Friday, April 28, 2006

Never Give Up

Guys, I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I logged on for an online chat this week and there was only one other person in the chat room. I logged on a little early so I wasn't too concerned at first. But fifteen minutes later, there were still only two of us. That's like having one guest show up at your birthday party after you invited your entire fifth grade class. I was humiliated. I sent out at least sixty emails inviting friends and readers to join the chat. My friends sent out emails. The website hosting the chat had been promoting it for a month. I mean, I know I'm not famous or anything, but dang, I thought my mother, sister, and boyfriend would log on and pretend to be loyal, avid readers of my books.
Yep, it was just me and someone named Zawadi. Me and gender-neutral Zawadi in very small font on my monitor. Two blue names in a square white sea. Me and anonymous Zawadi and I didn't really count because I had to be there.
Zawadi is an unusual name, I thought. I must have a guest from overseas. I decided that's equal to five Americans. I had to console myself between the screams in my head and that equation seemed to work.
So Z. and I chatted about the book. Turns out Zawadi is a she who hadn't read my novel, but she liked the title. Great. I can't say much about the plot anyway because it's romantic suspense, but it's really tough when all you can do is give a synopsis and try not to ask personal questions. It's not like you're IM'ing with a friend, after all. After what seemed like nine hours, but was actually twenty minutes, the founder of the website who also moderates the discussion joined us. She said the server was down and no one could log on. Zawadi and I got on just before the server crashed. Ever feel like it's raining on you and you alone? Turns out this catastrophe had NEVER happened in like 9 million forums. Ain't I the lucky one? So I forgave my friends and family in my heart while the moderator sent out an email to her members giving them an alternate way to log on. Eventually, we had eight or nine folks. Nice, but not the millions I was hoping for. (So I'm an optimist.) We did have a good discussion and guess what? It so happens Zawadi is a very famous multi-published author and a publisher.
I'm self-published so you know I was thrilled with that last title.
Just goes to show why you should always give 110% 'cause goodness knows my first inclination was to log off and pretend I forgot the thing was scheduled. I typed away for an hour and I did my best to keep it interesting and lively even though I wanted to cry because the turn out was so small. I'm so glad Mama taught me to finish what I start. Next day, I had fifty emails from friends and readers telling me they tried and tried to get into the chat. Oh well. Y'all hang in there. One out of a million is okay - if it's the right one.