Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Author Signings: But She Was Thinking…

by Donis Casey
The Author is spending her afternoon in a bookstore, doing a signing.She does not bother those who pass her table with their faces averted in order to avoid eye contact, but she engages with anyone who seems interested, and she talks about whatever they want to talk about, all the while trying tactfully to steer the conversation around to her book. She knows exactly what to say to the questions and comments that are directed at her. But what she says and what she is thinking bear little relation to one another.  Lets listen in

COMMENT 1: I dont like mysteries.

THE AUTHOR SAID: What sort of thing do you like to read? OR Do you know someone who does like mysteries?

BUT SHE WAS THINKING: What do you mean you dont like mysteries, you knucklehead?  Have you ever read one?  Do you know what a mystery is?  A good mystery is a psychological drama extraordinaire.  Even Hamlet is a mystery did Uncle Claudius kill Daddy, or is Hamlet just nuts?

COMMENT 2 : I dont read anything that doesnt have a contemporary setting.  If it happened before I was born, it doesnt interest me.

THE AUTHOR SAID: Sometimes you can learn a lot about what is happening today by reading about the past.

BUT SHE WAS THINKING: Come over here so I can slap you upside the head, whippersnapper.  Dont you know that people in the past were exactly the same as they are today?  Dont you know that people never learn, and the same things keep happening over and over again?  That those who dont learn from the past are doomed to repeat it?  Of course you dont, since you were either born yesterday or just fell off the turnip truck.

COMMENT 3:  I have a great idea for a novel.  If I tell it to you and you write it we can split the profits and become millionaires.

THE AUTHOR SAID:  Im sorry, but Im under contract to write X number of novels for the next 20 years and just dont have time to ghost write.  But there are people who do that.  Look on the internet.

BUT SHE WAS THINKING: Are you too busy/handicapped/lazy /illiterate to do it yourself, or do you simply have no concept of reality?

COMMENT 4:  Youre the first real author I ever met. I just finished my first novel. Will you show it to your editor/edit it for me/recommend me to your agent or publisher?

THE AUTHOR SAID:  Im sorry, but my agent/editor/publisher wont allow me to read or recommend unpublished manuscripts in case one of my future stories has similar elements and we get sued for plagiarism. But I can give you some tips on how to get started.

BUT SHE WAS THINKING: No. Ive never seen you in my life. How do I know youre not a psychopath? Get away from me.

COMMENT 5: Im not interested in your book. Ive never heard of you.

THE AUTHOR SAID: (she launches into a long tale about how years ago she bought a signed first edition of Outlander before anyone ever heard of Diana Gabaldon and now that book is worth at least $650.)

BUT SHE WAS THINKING: Actually, Im going to be on the six oclock news tonight after my arrest for assault.

(The author is just joshing.  She LOVES everyone who speaks to her during a signing and would never have an ungenerous thought about any of them.)
Donis Casey is the author of eight Alafiar Tucker mysteries. The newest book, All Men Fear Me,  will be published in November by Poisoned Pen Press. The award-winning series, featuring the sleuthing mother of ten children, is set in Oklahoma and Arizona duringht the booming 1920s. Donis lives in Tempe AZ with her husband. Readers can enjoy the first chapter of each book on her website.


judy said...

Good humor here that hits home. Beware the naïve browser who talks too much and learns too little.

Arletta Dawdy said...

Every writer's fantasy life at book signings...being quick with the response while smiling and wanting to let go comes hard! Your humor sees you through that and more. Thanks, Donis

Alice Trego said...

Wonderful humor here! I have heard some of these questions and comments before, but every time always seems like the first time that I'm hearing them...almost stereotypical! Well done, Donis!

Shanna Hatfield said...

Love, love this post, Donis! And since I'm heading off to a two-day event, perfect timing! The crazy questions we get asked at book signings... All in a day's work, right?