Sunday, October 4, 2009

Conversations with Strangers

Someone asked me to write about the highlights of some of my book signings. And because I had a few laughs, I decided this weekend was as good as any to share.

Here are some of my favorite conversations from book signings from the last two days.

Lady: "There's someone famous in Costco!"
Me: "No, I'm not famous, I'm just here signing books."
Lady: "But you're here in Costco, so you must be famous."
Me: "No, I live here in Boise, I'm not famous."
Lady: "Someone in Boise is famous?"
Me: I gave up. "Yeah. I'm famous."

That one still makes me laugh. I'm so famous that no one in Boise even knows who I am.

Old man: "You know, you're the first author I've ever met in my whole life."
Me: shaking his hand, "Well, it's nice to meet you."
Him: "You need to sell one or two million books, then you'll be the first millionaire I've ever shaken hands with."

I'm still laughing about that one. Today I was wondering who the richest person I've shook hands with. My husband was the one to remind me. It was Glenn Beck. You know, the reason he didn't come to mind was because he was such a normal guy. Nice. He took a few moments to have a conversation. I guess I wasn't thinking about how rich he was, then or now.

More nice words from people this weekend:

Me: I'm talking about my book to someone, "It's a teen read."
Employee from across the aisle yells: "No, it's not! I read it and I loved it!"

Janitor pushing a really big trash can: "I bought your book for my wife and she loved it. She couldn't put it down. Said it was her new favorite book. I just wanted you to know."

I said thanks, but even that is not equal to what he did for me. I can't believe there are total strangers in this world who care enough to say such nice things.

I can't put their reviews in my query letters. No one will ever publish their comments in a newspaper or a national review. But that's okay. Really. When it's real people saying what they mean, it's impossible to top.

But, there were others. Three specifically come to mind. A teenage girl read the back of my book and when I asked her if I could sign one for her she said, "Not today." Her dad was standing there. It reminded me of all the times I told my daughter, "Not today" when she asked for something I just couldn't buy right then. It sounded the same.

The girl's dad whispered something in her ear and she smiled. She turned and picked up my book and asked me to sign it for her. I could tell it meant a lot to her. It was an honor to sign that book and become a small part of happiness in her world.

A boy stopped me as I was loading up my things to leave. He was probably ten years old. "Would you sign this for me?" He handed me a book. His big brown eyes were anxious and excited. His name was Jack. After I signed his book, he hugged it to his chest and practically skipped to his grandpa who was standing across the aisle.

The last was a little girl, maybe nine. She came up to me while I was putting up a sign at my last signing. "I'm looking for the author of this book," she said, holding Alvor.

Okay. You can tell I'm a softy for kids. But that's who I write for. To me, if they're looking for me, then I must have done something right. Maybe they're a little more forgiving. Maybe they're more innocent. Maybe sometimes you can see into their eyes and know there's a whole world waiting for them to become something amazing. When they cross paths with me, it reminds me why I do what I do.


bookjourney said...

Ok I must be emotional - I teared up over the kid stories and the signings..... LOL

This is so great! I loved reading this and I am so thrilled that I was able to read your book early on and know it was something special!

Way to go Laura! You have to be floating on air!

Nate and Robin said...

Sure you're famous, we know you. ;)
It was so fun to read about things that have been happening to you. We know that you will continue to do well.

Magenta said...

All I can say to these stories...
Awwwwwww! ^_^

I liked the janitor story. So funny, and at the same time, so thoughtful and meaningful. I mean, when a janitor likes your book, you must be on top! ^,~

Also the kid stories. Those must have been such special moments. I wish I could experience what you do.

Magenta said...

Oh, and Happy Birthday! I read it on the Latt gang's blog. ^_~

Laura said...

Thanks for your thoughts! Yeah, I love those kids. I always have. And it does make what I'm doing seem worth it.

But the famous thing still has me laughing.

L.T. Elliot said...

Way to go, Idaho!
On a serious note, I'm so very happy for you, Laura. (You totally are famous. I'm braggin' up that I know you.)

Dave said...



We hope you enjoy your special day!

The Lateiner Gang

Dave said...

Sorry, by MST, it appears to only be 11:50pm and still Monday...well here on the east coast it is already your birthday and I don't think ill make it another 10 minutes before passing out to wish you another one!


Kerren said...

"Happy Birthday to YOU!
Happy Birthday to YOU!
Happy Birthday, Dear Laura,
Happy Birthday to YOU!"
Did you put the music with that for us? We're hoping your birthday is delightful!
Love you!

Melissa said...

Laura, hope you've enjoyed a great b-day!

I love the book signing stories. It truly is a great read! :)

Laura said...

Thanks so much everybody. I'll be posting pictures of some of my birthday adventures.

The Toad said...

Laura, thanks so much for sharing these stories about the book signings! They're awesome, I loved reading about them! :D