Back at the beginning of this month, I was with two of my children at Barnes & Noble. The boys were finishing their deserts and I did a little wandering. When you write, one of your dreams is to go into a bookstore and see your book(s) on the shelf. Years ago I even took a picture of where my books would go. I think I even parted the two books showing a space where a novel by Scott William Taylor would sit (but hopefully, not too long...).
Bookstores are, in a way, like a finish line for a writer, even though getting a book published is more the like the start of a new leg of the race, not a finish line. Still, the building, the books, the space on the shelf, remains a goal. Even with none of my books inside, it's still cool to see books written by my friends as part of the store's collection.
I was looking around when I noticed a patron walk in. Two weeks earlier I sold my book, Speckled to her at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX. She has a distinctive hairstyle--that's how I recognized her.
"I remembered you," I said and I think I startled her. "You bought my book at FanX."
She looked at me, then said, "You wrote, Speckled."
"Yeah, that's mine."
"Yeah, that's mine."
"I can't believe it--I have that book in my car right now. I just finished it and I loved it!"
I stood there, stunned. It is not an everyday occurrence for me, being recognized, and in a bookstore, no less.
"Wow, thank you," I said. She continued.
"I took your book to work with me and people wondered what I was reading. I loved the way your stories were so uplifting--the first one, about the village elder who looked at the stars (Stars) was my favorite."
I did not know how to react. I probably just stood there with a stupid grin on my face. Her voice carried and my son heard what she was saying. It was almost a surreal experience, my words affected this person I'd only met once in my life.
She said she was going to write a kind review on social media and I should be on the lookout for that. I've since searched for her review and as of yet, she's not posted it. And, to be honest, that's okay. I was lucky enough to hear it in person.