When I last left off in Part 2, I was jumping up and down (in my head) because A Work of Art was chosen as the next selection for the parent YA book club at my son’s school. I was riding high, and then, something even better happened…
Ten days before release date: A writer friend told me she saw my book in a certain Barnes & Noble, so I rounded up Adam (my husband) and Caleb (my 10-year-old son), and off we went to have a look. Sure enough, my book was there in the teen section—10 days before the “official” release date.
I stared at it on the shelf, thinking, Oh my God, this is real. So real I could touch it. Which I did. Repeatedly.
And I took pictures, too. Lots and lots of pictures. The book sitting on the shelf. Me with the book (several shots). Adam and Caleb with the book. And finally, all three of us with the book. For that, we had to recruit someone else.
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A teenage girl and her dad were browsing the teen section, and when we asked the dad to take our picture, this is what happened:
“Sure,” the dad said. “But I have to ask…”
Here it comes! I get to tell someone!
“Why are you taking pictures of that book?”
I had to work to tone down my smile. “Because I wrote it! This is the first time I’m seeing it in a store.”
The dad looked at his daughter and nodded. “We thought it was something like that.”
He congratulated me. We had a short, pleasant conversation. And then Adam, Caleb, and I went off to shop. From the corner of my eye, I saw the teenage girl take my book off the shelf. Gasp!
I pretended to be interested in the Lego set my son was showing me while Adam kept an eye on them.
After a minute, Adam nudged me with his elbow. “Look, she’s reading it.”
“What?” I craned my neck, trying not to be too obvious.
“She’s reading your book!”
Sure enough. The girl was sitting on a bench with my book open in her lap. Her dad sat next to her.
Oh my gosh, she’s reading my book. Someone is reading my book. How long will she sit there reading my book?
Turns out, a long time. Well, a good fifteen minutes at least.
I continued to shop with my husband and son, and then… the moment I’d dreamed about, the one where someone comes running up to you and—
“Excuse me!” The girl came running up to me. I turned, all calm, cool, and collected.
She smiled shyly, my book clasped to her chest.
“She wants to ask if you’d sign her book,” said the dad.
“Of course!” I fought back a stupid grin. “I’d be happy to.”
I proceeded to dig in my purse for a pen, catching a glimpse of Adam’s face. He wasn’t fighting back his grin. My son looked on with his mouth slightly open.
“I read the first two chapters,” the girl told me. “I loved it.”
“Thank you,” I said. “That means a lot to me.”
I asked her name. Sabrina. Remembering what I’d read in a blog about how to sign a book, I asked her how to spell it. (“Never assume!” was the blogger’s advice.)
And then I signed Sabrina’s book, glad that I had a pen, glad that I’d practiced my signature and thought of a pithy phrase. Grateful that this girl named Sabrina loved to read and was there at the store with her dad on that particular day at that particular time.
Because, really, does an author’s first book sighting get any better than that?
Stay tuned for Part 4: What happens on release day.