During the course of my promotional year for my book, Any Color but Beige, (I’m nearly three quarters of the way through now), I’ve been invited to speak to a lot of book clubs. And of all of my promotional activities, apart from my book launch, this has been the most fun.
Media interviews are sometimes nerve racking. Public speaking can be a bit impersonal because of the distance between me and my audience. Book signings can be a little intimidating; you sit front and center in a bookstore waiting for your reading public to arrive and snap up your book.
But participating in a book club discussion is like having a night out with a whole new set of (café) girlfriends. And because they don’t know me I’m always surprised by the type of comments, questions and suggestions.
Like the night I arrived early and introduced myself to the hostess, who was warm, friendly and very welcoming and who said, “You know, I thought you’d be taller.”
I had to laugh. Actually she’s not the first person to say that. In business situations, where I’m meeting someone for the first time after just talking to them on the phone, the “tall comment” is a common reaction. My tall sister, Beth, likes to tease me with, “you must sound tall on the phone.”
How does one sound tall, I wondered? And, how else do I sound?
Well I found the answer to that one just a few days ago on a recent business trip to South Africa. The new client I was meeting for the first time said to me, “I knew you’d be a redhead, and I knew you’d be wearing something bright and warm like red.”
She was right on both accounts. She had even remarked to her boss that this is what she had expected Cat Larose to look like. It’s no wonder he had a bit of a startled expression on his face when we met; it was like he already knew me.
As for me, I’m terrible when it comes to predicting what someone will look like from the sound of their voice. Or what they do by the way people carry themselves – in this digitally connected world I find people “show better” digitally than in real life where you can’t edit your attitude with a keystroke
My dentist’s receptionist surprised me one day as she assigned me a very “professional” attitude. After ten years of biannual appointments and polite banter, I finally mentioned what I do for a living during my last visit. She stared at me wide-eyed. And then she said, “You know, I always thought you were a doctor!” I love these kinds of comments because they make me laugh – at myself. And it’s so important not to take yourself or life so seriously all the time.
Many of comments about the book make me laugh too, but all are very gratifying. I’d like to share some of them here with you.
I really enjoyed the humour of the book and the positivism it radiates… An Eat Pray Love meets Sex and the City, with the shopping replaced by color, and Mr. Big by a plane ticket
It made me reflect on my own life, my own writing, and where I’m coming from. You have the power to connect with your readers, you can touch people…even change the life of your readers…that is something really special.
I marked many pages and underlined things to re-read over and over and over. My favorite lines so far are:
• It’s easier to let go of something you don’t want to keep.
• It’s about how you feel and not about how someone else makes you feel.
• The only man worth crying over was a dead one. That’s a real loss. Anything else is a blessing.
• I want to be deliberate in your life.
I love the way you write and I enjoyed hearing your voice as I read it. It was a fast read because I just didn’t want to put it down and on the flip side, I didn’t want it to end. Thanks for sharing your adventures and hilarious experiences with all of us. It was so much fun to read a happy book. I’m really proud of you for having the courage, gumption and commitment to share your life.
The most common question I get when people do read about my life is, “Are you going to write a screenplay, and who would play you?”
You now know the answer to the first question, and that answer is yes. It’s time to try something new. The answer to the second question is not so easy and so I throw it back at my readers. Who do you think could capture the essence of Cat?
Book club readers have told me they’d like to see a second book involving lots of travel and of course a little romance. All I can say to that is if my recent travel schedule is any indication: Germany, Holland, France and South Africa – I’m well on my way to collecting lots more new travel stories. As for the romance, we’ll just have to wait and see.