Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Ellen Hart writes:

I knew an author once who'd gone for an early morning run.  On his way back home,he stopped into to an Uptown library to find a book.  You have to get the picture here.  He looked awful.  Sweaty.  Hadn't shaved.  Had on grungy clothes.  Hair windblown. While he was wandering the aisles, he noticed a woman holding one of his books. 

He paused next to her and said, "I wrote that book." 

She looked up at him and deadpanned, "Sure you did."

Now, my author friend knew what he looked like, and figured she didn't believe him. But he couldn't help himself.  "No, really, I'm M.D. Lake.  I wrote that book."

The woman inched away.  This time, her voice took on a pacifying tone.  "Of course you did."

"Really. I'm the author."

At that point, the woman turned and headed for the check-out desk, leaving my friend to ponder the vicissitudes of the writing life.

Here's this Wednesday's Burning Question:

Have you ever seen a stranger reading one of your books?  In an airport? A coffeeshop.  On a bus?   And if so, did you introduce yourself?


Sheila Connolly said...

Not yet, sigh. But when I've seen an undecided buyer holding a book that I've enjoyed, written by someone I know, I make a point of telling that person or saying something like "did you know she lives near here?"

Dana Stabenow said...

My favorite example:

I was on a plane from Anchorage to Seattle, and a man asked me to change seats with him so he could sit next his wife. He had a copy of The Singing of the Dead in his hand, finger marking his place a little over halfway through. I waited all the way to Seattle for him to find my picture on the inside back cover and realize who had traded seats with him. He never did.

carl brookins said...

Once. In a B&N. I'd done a book club event in a town in mid-Minnesota and went after to the B&N. I encountered a woman looking at A SUPERIOR MYSTERY. After a minute I stepped over and introduced myself as the author. She looked at me, nodded and "I thought so."

Marcia Talley said...

Back before I "retired" to write full time, I was the federal librarian representing Fedlink, meeting three times a year with other OCLC network reps in Dublin, OH. When Sing It To Her Bones came out, OCLC honored me at a reception, then gave copies of SITHB to all the delegates, about 100 of them. When the conference ended, we all flew out of Columbus airport, and I fantasized about how many copies of my book were being read on airplanes that day!

Julie Kramer said...

I've seen my books for sale at airports, but it's my fantasy to actually see someone reading one on a plane. Hasn't happened yet. Maybe I should fly more.