In the last week, a few people have written in about finding signed copies of Lock and Key at their local bookstore, wondering if it’s an actual signature, or some kind of stamp. Let me tell you: it is the real deal. And I know, because I spent a LOT of July and August and some of September signing my name over and over again on these little sheets of paper which were later put into the books.
I saw one of the signed copies the other day at The Regulator, and it got me thinking. I believe I signed about 6000 of those sheets at least. Maybe a lot more than that, actually. It was really mindless activity, so I was always doing something else at the same time: watching Friday Night Lights or House on DVD, or any number of Bravo shows, or talking to people on the phone. I was big and pregnant and it was incredibly hot outside, so to have an excuse to stay in and “work” (flexible definition, hence the quotes) was a very nice thing. But when my mom got sick and was in the Intensive Care unit, my mind was always racing, scared to death, and doing those sheets was a great distraction. Just something I could focus on, begin and finish, have some sort of control over. I remember one night when things were really bad I signed sheets for two and a half hours straight with the TV on, just one right after another, even as my hand cramped up, then went numb. I signed some after the baby came (which seems insane to me now, but I have this thing about finishing projects, or trying to), when I was on this weird sleep deprivation-motherhood joy high, scribbling away while she slept beside me.
Of course, just looking at the books I have no way of knowing what was happening with each signature. Whether I signed in a happy mood, or a scared one, or while I was totally muddled. But I guess that really, it’s like the book itself. There’s always a story behind every story, something else going on within each page or paragraph. So those tip-in sheets just add a little bit more of me to each book, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m heading out to a bookstore today, I might actually look for one. Since I can’t tell, though, I think I’ll just assume the signature was from a day I was on my bed, FNL on my laptop, eating a cookie with my other hand, the AC cranked. There are always more good days than bad days, right? At least, there should be.