Very true exchanges between me and bookstore customers over the last two years.
Of my books on the signing table.
“Are these complimentary?”
Of the title, Janeology
"Geez, is this ANOTHER book about Jane Austen?"
(After I stopped laughing, I said, no, it wasn't remotely concerned with Ms. Austen.)
Of my pitch - After his wife Jane commits an unthinkable murder, her grieving husband struggles to find a possible explanation for her actions – were they due her lack of nurturing as a child? Did she inherit a tendency toward violence from her ancestors, some with dark, criminal lives?
“Oh, we all have black sheep in our family. My brother’s wife just left him and he’s now realizing it had something to do with her mother. Now THAT'S a story you should write."
(His story made me feel akin to bartenders. If I have enough signings, I WILL have enough material for another book.)
Of me just standing there all alone, stacking and re-stacking my books for about 30 minutes.
"Hey, do you know where the bathroom is?"
(If I had a nickel for everytime I was asked this question....)
Of my description of the book to a kind old man.
“Sounds good. Let me go ask my wife.”
(Sweet! Here she comes and she has a bunch of mystery books in her basket!)
Of my offer to sign a book for a woman.
“Oh, are you the author?”
(Doh, I failed to introduce myself!)
Of my introduction to the next person who approached my table, “Hi, I’m the author Karen Harrington.”
“Hello the AUTHOR Karen Harrington.”
(Okay, now I really feel silly. Steve Martin in The Lonely Guy silly.)
Of the mints on my signing table.
“What are these for?”
(Well, you see. The books are complimentary. But that mint will set you back about $17 bucks.)
Of the woman who ran over to my table with her hubby and told me her name was Jane.
Hubby: “If I read this, will I understand my wife better?”
Me: Ha Ha! Maybe. Here’s a bookmark.” (She leaves. Returns 10 mintues later.)
“OMG! My husband’s name is Tom!” (See, the couple in my book are Jane and Tom.)
(So, you'd probably guess that they bought a copy, but no. Sigh.)
Of my accidental penning “Very best pictures” (Doh! Should have written WISHES)
Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. We were talking about pictures, and, well, ha ha…well, if I become famous, one day this will be very valuable.”
(You know how you felt in high-school when you tried to come up with something cool to say and all that came out was "Hey, your shoe is untied." Yeah. That's about right.)
Of the guy who walked into the store and made a bee-line to my signing table.
"I'm in sales, too. Make your pitch in 30 seconds. Go!"
(Are you serious? Gulp! Happy to say he bought the book.)