When I participate at writer conventions or book festivals I always want to stand out. I offer to do anything that needs doing, because that makes me memorable to the event organizers. I want to be the first writer introduced, and whenever possible I try to have the last word.

It occurred to me that my behavior at book-related events is the opposite of the way I act in any other group dynamic. Author ego aside, I never want to stand out because those who do usually become targets. I learned this philosophy in the Army. My first squad leader taught me this:

Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last, and don't ever volunteer to do anything.

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