I don’t remember the exact day, but it was early-October in 2002. My first event for my first novel. I had always been a huge fan of Book Soup and the idea of seeing my name up on the marquee was thrilling and kind of intimidating. That first event is a rite of passage for a writer and having my debut at Book Soup made me feel like a hapless talent show walk-on suddenly opening for AC/DC. I’d never done a reading before and for all I knew this would be the only novel I’d ever write. I was feeling excited and insecure. To add a complication -- and what novelist doesn’t like to add a complication? -- I’d invited a woman I had just met and had a serious heart-palpitation inducing crush on. Nothing like flopping in front of someone you’re trying to impress.
But I guess I shouldn’t of been worried because there’s a magic to Book Soup, some kind of good karma, positive juju, invisible kittens high on MDMA riding unicorns vibe, that makes people smile when they’re in the store.
In other words, this story has a happy ending. Border Grill catered with margaritas and guacamole (the mashed avocado dip is used as a personal lubricant in a scene in the novel), and my reading earned an encouraging thumbs up from Jen Ramos and Tyson Cornell who were working the event. Or maybe they liked the margaritas. Even better, the Book Soup magic has continued, I’ve written
six books since then, and I married the woman I was trying to impress.
Mark Haskell Smith's new book Naked At Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures In the Clothing-Optional World is available here at Book Soup!