Sunday, June 30, 2013
A Wet Weekend of Signings
We have had some heavy rain for a few long wet days. The rain has put weeding on hold,the last bit of planting off and delayed mowing and other outside work. So when I had to go to the city for three book signings I did not feel like I was wasting time that I should be giving to the garden. Friday, I sat at Coles in the Brunswick Square Mall and watched scores of people file by . Feeling rather like a vendor with the most uninteresting table at a yard sale I got lots of smiles and nods from the passer bys, when they actually made eye contact. Some said hello and some even stopped to briefly acknowledge me. It is not that I don't appreciate the store's effort to welcome authors but once you are stuck there any positive interaction is left to chance. This is not to say that I have not had good experiences when signing in book stores. It seems that from every signing I take away at least one really meaningful interaction which makes it all worth while. On Friday I had two such experiences. The first was with a lovely family of four from Burlington, Ontario on vacation in NB for the first time.Initially the dad stopped with the purpose of having an author tell his daughter, who wants to be a writer, that she can't make a living at it. I was able to clarify that theory but was also I think, able to give her some direction as to how, despite that fact, she could indeed follow her passion. They genuinely asked questions about each book and my writing journey and after buying The Year Mrs. Montague Cried we said our goodbyes. At the same time a woman stopped to say that she had read all three books and offered some very kind words about them. So Friday's signing was successful even though at 2:00 sharp I packed up quickly definitely not having sold out at my table.Saturday I started out at Indigo. That store is very welcoming and I enjoy the young enthusiastic staff that mills around greeting customers . Jeremy regularly announced my presence to people as they entered the store and even if they walked briskly by with a polite hello, I never felt invisible.I took pleasure in being surrounded by books and perused a few as I sat waiting for the interaction that would make this signing stand out. My sister in law's sister and mother came in and they bought four books. Wonderful! I can always count on friends and family.But the experience of the day goes to a young girl named Sarah. Sarah came through the door and I saw right away that she was holding a copy of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried. She had been waiting to meet me and have me sign her book since seeing a week ago that I was coming to Indigo.She had some questions to ask me that she asked shyly with the help of her mom. She showed me her favourite part (March 17, page 115) and told me why it she liked it.I signed copies of Ten Thousand Truths and The Sewing Basket for her and she left excited to read them. Now really ,what more could I ask for? So then I went to the mall and sat in the doorway of Coles, again feeling like I was an obstacle to be avoided or negotiated around. I saw a few people I knew ,had one man come up and make an astute observation through squinted eyes (apparently he left his glasses at home), "these are books right?" So on these wet miserable days I spent six hours sitting with books that I spent countless hours writing and if it sounds like I am complaining I really am not.For years I walked by book stores dreaming of having a book on the shelves.I now sit at those stores with three. I look forward to being at Chapters in Moncton ,Saturday July 6th.