Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile

In the 1940’s, a popular song was recorded by Sammy Davis, Jr. The song was titled “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile.” Here goes – I’m admitting my age – I remember my mother singing this song to me whenever I was a grumpy kid. The song must have lodged somewhere deep in the recesses of my gray matter, because I haven’t heard it for many, many years, yet suddenly it came wafting through my brain just yesterday.

I stopped by a bookstore in my city, looking forward to a cup of coffee and a romp through the newest children’s books, when I encountered an author. Actually, I almost missed her. Yes, she was sitting quietly behind her table, arms crossed, cell phone in view, and a magazine within reach. She seemed to have everything that she needed, except for one thing – a smile!

C’mon now, who wants to approach a curmudgeon?

Authors are supposed to do signings to present themselves and their books. So, smile! Be inviting! Remember that body language speaks louder than words. Sitting with your arms crossed tells people that you are unapproachable. Working crossword puzzles or talking on a cell phone tells people that you are not interested in them. It’s absolutely essential to talk to people, all the while keeping that smile on your face.

If you believe in your books and believe in yourself, you will realize that you have accomplished something that many people only dream about. Be proud. And don't forget to smile!

To quote the last lines of the song: “So make life worthwhile…Come on and smile, darn ya, smile”


Gayle Carline said...

Well, if she was one of Karen Syed's authors, she'd get a BIG spanking!

I know a lot of authors are shy little critters who hide behind their words, but they're going to have to get over themselves if they want to compete in this market.

Gayle Carline (aka GeeCarl)

Regan Black said...

Gayle's right about the spanking. And the market. Making the experience and the connection positive for the reader is vital to your success.


Jan Mader said...

Hi! I was blog walking and stopped by. I'm a children's author and would love to have you come visit. I post creative writing exercises for kids and adults.

Hope to see you soon....