Sara Mills

Sara Mills lives in Alberta, Canada in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She is freelance writer, wife and mother of three. Her passions include collecting swords, raising Golden Retrievers and hosting a house full of hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles and puppies. Aside from animals and swords, Sara loves film noir, Humphrey Bogart and The Maltese Falcon. Miss Fortune is her first novel. You can visit her website at

Writer as a Rolling Stone

I am a writer. My first book came out a few months ago, but I’ve been around the industry a long time, so I have heard many stories about the dreaded book signing.

Now, to a reader, the whole idea sounds terribly glamorous: long lines, screaming fans, and hundreds of books sold. You know, your average book signing . . .

I can hear the virtual laughter from every writer. Most book signings are nowhere near that cool. Instead, the poor author who is doing the signing is more likely to sit at a table that bookstore customers avoid at all costs for the next four hours. It is a little like trying to invisibly pass by a panhandler on the street. If the customers can avoid the author’s eyes, then they can pretend they don’t notice how awkward and embarrassed the poor author is, and therefore don’t have to buy one of their books out of pity.

The running joke in the writing world is if a published author’s head begins to swell from glowing reviews, or if he or she starts to revel in the rock star–like status while attending writers’ conferences, all confidence is deflated with a resounding pop at a typical book signing.

But a few weeks ago an entirely different kind of book signing took place at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It may have been a world-record signing. Sponsored by Barnes & Noble and American Christian Fiction Writers, this mass book-signing event included 127 Christian authors.

A section was partitioned off and chairs were set up for people to sit and visit and ask the authors questions. The authors and some of their works flashed across a projection screen for all to see. The organizers made this book signing memorable for authors and readers.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that my book came out a few weeks ago? Yeah, the Mall of America signing was my first ever book signing.

How fair is that?

For the rest of my life, nothing could possibly top that event. Not only did all of my books sell, but I got to sit with 126 awesome friends, laughing and talking. I can only imagine that it would be a little like performing on stage for the first time in front of a hundred thousand screaming fans as lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones. How does anything else you do ever compare to that?

The organizers of the signing (yes, that means you, ACFW, and that definitely means you, Cara and Janna Ryan) did such an amazing job that they may have given authors a taste of the too good to be true life, and it may be hard for some authors to go back to the meager three-books-sold signings. But all in all, it was a fantastic time. And I’ll always remember that afternoon as my guest spot playing with the Rolling Stones.

Miss Fortune