Book signings are funny things. You have to have a pretty tough skin, which I guess I do, because some people can be darn rude.
Here’s one incident, which will probably go down in the annals of memorial moments: A woman came up to the table, looked at everything, listened to my canned speech, and picked up the last copy of In the Shadow of the Glacier. She said, “I might be interested in this. I’ll look at it while I have my coffee.” And took it away.
For about an hour I explained to everyone who came that I was sold out of the first book in the series. I could have sold that book several times over.
The woman came back just as I was preparing to leave, pointed out a typo, and put the book back.
I was genuinely shocked.
Then there was the woman carrying a couple of paperbacks of bestselling American authors. I said, “I see you like mysteries, may I introduce you to mine?”
She said (having not even picked one up), “I wouldn’t like those. I only read authors I like.”
And I said something like, “That’s too bad for you.” I was not going to bother being polite.
But I have found that the good moments usually outweigh the bad ones, such as last week in Bellville when a woman came in with a bag bulging with books. She had all of mine, even Winter of Secrets, and wanted them signed. Or in Kingston when two women came in with a couple of my books to be signed and bought two they didn’t yet have.
There are people who seem genuinely pleased to have met me, and really interested in my books. And the ones who want to take fifteen minutes to tell me about their writing project.
I try and have fun with it, to roll with the punches and enjoy the good moments. After all, no one is making me do this.