|Maine in spring with grandson, remembering book tours.|
by Gayle Lynds. Springtime has traditionally been when my new novels are published, so I’ve never looked upon March as the Month of Madness. But I must admit I’ve had some “interesting” experiences while on book tour.
There was the time I signed with a woman who was the daughter of a mob boss, and her son stood behind us, legs spread, shoulders square, and gaze constantly moving. No one was gonna bother us, no sirree!
And they didn’t. In fact, it turned into a very nice evening, with her fans and my fans interested in both of our books. I like my fans. In the end, readers always save me. Go figure – her book was a cozy!
Here’s another example…. A few years ago, I was on tour when I spotted my latest hardcover in a terrific display in an airport bookstore.
Thrilled, I picked up a stack and went inside and set them on the counter in front of the sales lady. I took out my pen, explained I was the author, and offered to autograph the books.
She looked horrified. She explained she really couldn’t do that.
This wasn’t the welcome I’d hoped for.
“No, no,” I said. “I really did write these. And I’d love to sign them for the store.” I added what seemed to me obvious: “Autographed books are usually easier to sell.”
By this time, a few other customers had heard and were gathering around.
She looked at the books and then at me. “How do I know you wrote them?” she asked.
It was a challenge.
I took out my driver’s license … this is the truth … and showed her my name and the name on the book were the same. Gayle Lynds. Really.
“You could be another Gayle Lynds,” she said.
I opened up the dust jacket and showed her my photo. “See, it’s me.”
I figured I had her at this point, but instead she looked me in the eye and said, “I can’t let you deface our books.”
I paused. What could I say to that? I mustered a courteous thank you, and started to leave.
“I’ll buy it if she signs it.” It was a woman’s voice, a tall woman with gray hair and a twinkle in her eye. “I believe her!”
Bless her. And that turned the tide. The crowd laughed, others said they’d buy it, too, and the clerk called the manager, who gave permission for me to autograph the books. I signed the books, and with luck every damn one of them sold.
I am forever grateful to readers. You guys keep saving me. Happy March! Happy spring!
I'm not a March fan. By March, I'm too impatient for the end of winter. By March, it's been too long, and too much cold, and this is particularly true this year. How nice that you have good associations with the month. Maybe it's all those years in California….
Loved the story about your trying to sign your books in that store. I heard that Clive Cussler had a similar experience in an office building when he walked by an office and saw someone reading his latest thriller over their lunch hour. He poked his head in and asked, "May I sign that for you?" And she had looked up aghast and said, "Absolutely not! It's MY book." Ah, so it goes. Glad you had your photo in your book for a final ID! Great post, Gayle.
What a lovely story Gayle 🙂
I love this story! Especially about the bookstore. Signings are always a challenge because anything can happen. (And does). Hope your next goes smoothly.
I've heard you tell this story before. What a hoot!