I just got back from Toronto and the launch of my new novel, Broken Road, by Exile Editions. It went really well and I want to thank both the Exile-ites who organized the whole shebang and those friends and relatives who showed up and supported me — I am intensely grateful. But I am also exhausted. I’ve always found it very difficult to promote myself. I don’t like saying, “Read this. It’s great. I wrote it. You’ll like it.” Because, what if I’m wrong? What if it’s lousy? What if you hate it? What if, actually, you don’t like me very much and wish I would go away? Those are the thoughts that go through my head when I’m promoting my stuff, along with internalized injunctions to not brag or be pushy, that a lady waits for somebody else to say, “Read this. It’s great. She’s an amazing writer and should win the Giller.” I’m not going to lie (as my children often say, particularly, I have noticed, when they’re about to lie), that is the approach, the sit-back-and-rake-in-the-praise approach with which I am much more comfortable. The trouble is that such an approach is passive and not very likely to get you noticed. Sigh. I also hated my own birthday parties.