Though I have been writing since I tried my own hand at a monster movie at the age of seven, illustrated in crayon, it is only this year that I have had the opportunity to do book events as a real Novelist. I have been doing festivals and children’s parties for decades as a mime and balloon delivery guy, but I’m looking for activities in my skillset that would be appropriate for my reputation as an author and my book.
Well, duh… This is obviously the main component of any book signing event, but WHAT should I sign? I have in the past personalized signatures for the customer, like the woman who showed at the Post Mortem Press table adorned with a brooch made of a bat’s skeleton torso. I signed her book: To the lady with the lovely ribcage. I would like to have a catchphrase appropriate to Camp Arcanum like “Beware the undead, skinless bunnies.” or “Wishing you sex, magick, and chainsaws.”, but even I have trouble signing that with confidence.
I have learned to do public readings from my book, I just have to be careful with selection. If there is any chance of children over-hearing, I don’t pick the chapter with the bi-sexual sex magick ritual or the unfortunate spatter demise of a raccoon. I also try to put the excerpt close enough to the front of the book to give away too many spoilers.
In my mime and renaissance faire days, I did a fair amount of juggling, and that is reflected in my ren faire performer Eleazar in Camp Arcanum. While I am not as proficient in manipulating assorted objects as my Eleazar-consultant Stuart Sisk, I can keep three lacrosse balls in the air. One just needs to check ahead of time that the venue owner doesn’t mind my playing with my balls in their location (Com on, you all were thinking that!)
Who doesn’t love balloon animals. I can do the simpler ones, but to accurately depict undead, skinless bunnies I would have to smear them with KY jelly to give them the proper feel of slimy decomposition.
As a mime and a make-up artist, I’ve done a TON of facepainting. Kids love getting bright intricate colorful designs put on their bright, little faces. I’m just not sure how Mom and Dad will feel about pentacles and inverted Kabbalistic Tree of Life designs.
I learned to use a chainsaw to cut down trees while growing up in Tennessee. There aren’t many trees to harvest in bookstores and the authorities don’t like it when you take down trees from parks. I could apply my sculpting skills to carving crude wooden bears or even cruder self-portraits from telephone poles. The sound, smell, and sawdust might be a little off-putting, but come on. There’s a chainsaw on the cover of my book, we need to do SOMETHING. Maybe chainsaw juggling?
I am sure there are plenty of creative activities I missed, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.