Carolyn Turgeon's delightful novel Mermaid is out and tonight she's reading at Barnes and Noble! Here's her guest post:
So my third novel Mermaid came out on Tuesday, and tonight I have the biggest event for it out of all the events I’m doing: a reading in NYC at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble. Which is very scary even though it’s my third time, but I’m not sure I will ever be used to standing on a raised platform behind a mike staring out at a weird combination of almost everyone I know. The first time around, when I did a reading at the Astor Place Barnes and Noble for my novel Rain Village, I looked out at this huge crowd and saw my boss (I worked for a nonprofit at the time) sitting right next to my therapist and for a second I thought maybe they knew each other and I almost died, and then I saw my mom sitting next to one of my first boyfriends and sitting next to a more recent ex sitting next to a co-worker, and honestly it was so traumatic, all of it, that the whole time I was reading from my book I was thinking about the crowd and at one point I looked down and actually focused on the words and became convinced, suddenly, that I was reading from a page that I had already read. And I looked back up at the crowd, and I saw my friend Eric and his friend Kellan, who looked kind of…. sorry for me, and I thought oh my god I am standing up here reading the same page twice and everyone is looking at me and thinking how very sad and tragic it is and I almost stopped reading completely to apologize. But then I soldiered on, I kept reading from the pages I was supposed to read, and I finished, and it turned out that I actually read all the right things and didn’t repeat anything and that some people even mistook my trauma for emotional investment in what I was reading. Which was good. But still. I am just happy that I no longer have a boss or a therapist (though I may need one after tonight) to sit together and play tricks on me, as bosses and therapists are wont to do.