Saturday, April 2, 2016

Exposing Myself in Public for Fun and Profit...And you can too!

Sorry about the click-bait, but desperate times call for desperate measures! Actually, I'm not desperate, I've just experienced little bouts of it lately. If you've ever had to market yourself or something you've created, you probably hear what I'm chirping. There is so much information out there that a person has to do some crazy stuff to get noticed by twenty people. (If she's lucky.)



I wrote this book. It's called Death Becomes Us. Perhaps you've heard of it. Just kidding. But now you have! And it's about death professions and social anxiety and let me be the first to tell you that trying to sell a book about death is hard, unless you're a mortician with thousands of youtube followers or a doctor or a celebrity. I'm just a chick with a pretty darn interesting story. Don't believe me, here's a review randomly selected from the 53 reviews I have on Amazon. (The fact that I have 53 reviews is kind of a miracle.)

It is fitting that Mrs. Skjolsvik should "kick-off" her idiosyncratic memoir on death with a quote from Woody Allen - "I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens." She is certainly a kindred spirit of the film auteur/comedian's combination of naked vulnerability and abject neurosis. Skjolsvik follows what is initially a seemingly random trajectory driven by the task of completing her education. She discovers along the way how various people cope with death both in their professional and personal lives. All the while she grapples with her own fears, phobias and perceived shortcomings in a style that oscillates between honest confessional and conventional reportage. The reader will find himself breezing through amusing passages detailing the absurdities of Skjolsvik's personal travails then suddenly be confronted with a gut-wrenching account of a couple losing their child or a prisoner confronting his execution date. This a very affecting book and a genuine account of the author's ultimate journey in embracing death as a life affirming experience.

I know you might look at my book and think, darn that looks like a sad book. I don't want to read that, my life is depressing enough. But wait! Did I tell you the book will make you laugh? Mostly at me and my neuroses, but it will make you laugh! And who doesn't want to laugh, especially at me?

Which brings me to the exposing myself in public part...

I have social anxiety. I've done lots of cognitive behavioral therapy, which you can read about in the book. In a nutshell, in CBT, we do exposures, which is repeatedly doing the thing that makes you think you're going to poop your pants in public. After awhile, you prove to yourself that you are not in fact going to soil yourself, but are actually going to begin having some fun. Since the book came out, I did a reading and Q&A at the Neptune Society in Fort Worth. I did another at the Bayfield Public Library. I've been on a panel at All Con dressed as Ripley from Aliens.

See?


And here I am not dressed as Ripley, but looking quite serious.




And then I got wrangled into doing another reading at the Eastfield College Library with some other authors from the DFW Writers' Workshop and I lived! Hallelujah! So, this public thing isn't scaring me quite as much as it used to, which means...


I'm going places and I want you to show up so I can expose myself to you. With my clothes on, of course.

Coming up...
I will have a booth at the North Texas Book Festival on Saturday April 9. I will be selling my wares, along with tiny adorable book ornaments that I make by hand.

On April 21, I will be at the Bedford Public Library. The Bookworms chose my book to chew on and so I will be there to answer questions. It's open to the public.

April 23 & 24, I will be at the DFW Writers Conference selling books and I'll be on a nonfiction panel on the 24th.

April 29, I will be in San Francisco at Books, Inc to read and sign at 7pm. Please, oh please, show up! There will be wine and some kind of snack item and me exposing myself.

June 5, I will be in New Orleans at the Garden District Book Shop from 2-4. There will be snacks and wine and more exposing of myself. Please be there! It doesn't work if there are no people. Books don't care if you expose yourself to them.

There might be something in San Diego or maybe LA in May. I'm working on it.

So, there you have it. Please expose yourself to my book. You can check it out from the two libraries listed on this page.

Or you can buy it, which is even better!

So, do me a solid and write a comment below so that I know I'm not exposing my words to the void of the internet. It's okay. It's scary at first, but you can do it.




3 comments:

  1. Pamela - I want to say how impressed I am by all of this - your humor, your persistence and creativity (and willingness to expose yourself) in marketing your book, that you have 53 reviews already . . . having written a book about death myself, that I was sure would go "viral" because so MANY of us are going to die(!), finding out how scary a topic it is for most people, and knowing (as you do) what a liberation and empowerment talking about death can be . . . I'm just really impressed. And I'm going to get me a copy of your book ASAP!

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