I've done a number of signings at local bookstores over the last while. I'm happy to meet readers and talk about books, of course. But when dealing with random samples of the general population, you have to be prepared for anything. In the last few weeks, some people have said some unusual things to me. The following are some of the ones that made me roll my eyes the most...
"Hey, you should do what that Harry Potter writer did - what was HIS name? - and make your books into movies."
Doh! Thanks for the suggestion. Why didn't I think of that? Okay, got it: Books into movies. Sure. Number one on my to-do list.
"Wow, that's not a very good photo of you."
And that's not very polite of you.
"This one's [photo] not very good either."
Would you kindly buzz off? I mean, please buzz off.
"Are you Margaret Atwood?"
Nope. I have better hair.
"I don't even read. Well, I mean, I know how to..."
My mistake. Forgive me. I was confused by the fact that you're walking around in a BOOKSTORE...
"Why haven't I heard of you?"
Because you're a dick with no clue about the world around you? Dunno, maybe not. Perhaps your head's up your ass. Maybe I'm not famous yet, because - as you know - Dan Brown, Stephen King, Sue Grafton et al were all BORN FAMOUS or have the very rare FAME GENE ... and I missed out? No, wait, maybe you are indeed a dick.
"Do you make a lot of money doing this?"
Yes. So far I've made almost $96 billion, but my agent takes a cut, so I have to keep plugging away...
"Where is your publisher's office?"
Um, why? This info isn't a secret (Google), but it's an odd thing to ask me about here and now...
"Whose books are you signing?"
William Shakespeare's. My calligraphy needs work, doesn't it?
I've also had people spend more time talking to me about the book covers than about the book itself, and you know those silly little details like setting and character...
As well, I've had people chat at length about my two books and the different paper grade used in book 1 versus book 2. Paper grade (thickness, quality, etc.) can add to the weight & heft of a book. Why people find this so fascinating is beyond me. One guy lifted a book several times and pronounced it of a satisfactory weight. Then he walked away.
As well, at store signings, people also get overly curious about my work history and education, neither of which is exactly a state secret, but I'd rather discuss minutiae like plot and dialogue...
And then there was the guy who went on and on about biogeometry and feng shui. Apparently, I need to rearrange the images on my book cover in order to draw people to the book on the shelf.
And you thought being an author was about writing...