Next week as I sit signing copies in a Wexford bookshop, I'll be thinking of my granny. Wexford's only about fifteen miles from Enniscorthy but going there after she was widowed meant a lonely, daunting trip to the big city. I still remember her tiny, upright figure, shining buttoned shoes, and the jaunty tilt of her hat as she walked down the hill to the station, shoulders back, head up, keeping the best side out.
And sitting here now I realise I'm just a bit daunted myself. Booksignings are like that. You wonder if people will come. If they've liked your book. If you'll spill your coffee or your pen will leak. You worry that you'll lose your schedule or the car keys or forget how to spell your own name.
But my granny had another saying, ritually produced whenever I got shy before a party. 'You'll-love-it-when-you-get-there-so-you-will.' And I know she's right. I've never arrived at a signing to anything but broad smiles and cheerful welcomes. It's great to meet friendly readers, hear fascinating stories, and put faces to names you've only known from Twitter or Facebook, or from warm, perceptive comments on your blog.
In fact the only daunting thing is crossing so many new thresholds. And that's just a matter of keeping your shoulders back, head up, and the best side out.