Mastering My John Hancock


Yes, after practicing on an envelope, I practiced on my proof copy.

I am a south paw, so penmanship has always been a challenge for me. Add in the fact I have spent the last twenty-three years teaching Kindergarten and First Grade, in other words printing on a daily basis, I have some nerves about signing books. I recently had a conversation with an older student I tutor about using the phrase, Let me put my John Hancock on that or Do you need my John Hancock. She had just finished studying the American Revolution and knew he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Imagine the nerves those men must have felt signing their names. How marvelous that John Hancock’s name has become synonymous with signature.

I hadn’t thought too much about it until my book came out in print and I had multiple people asking if I would sign them. Then it occurred to me, what will I write, beside my name? My name by itself seemed to0 bland. Another decision to make.

Then I wondered what kind of pen to use. I almost emailed an author I know, but was embarrassed to ask such a question, so I stood for a while in the pen aisle of a big box store.  I narrowed down to fine tip. Then I found one that promised no bleed through.  My friend Sally recommended a smear test, so as we sat at a bar during a friend’s fortieth birthday celebration, I wrote on an envelope and immediately ran my finger across, good news no smear!  Pen selected.

I tried out several messages, like Happy Reading!  Lowcountry dreams, but I decided to  incorporate my LLC name, since it will tie into my author brand and go with all the books I plan to publish in the foreseeable future. So Wishing you Palmettos & Pearls it is.

I had the thrill of signing a copy that my friend Dodie purchased and then brought to me to sign. She will always be part of the memory of my first autograph.  My first public signing will be on May 24th, so I have some time to practice writing all that in cursive. I anticipate at some point book signing will become second nature for me, but for now it a thrilling, new part of my author life.


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