Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This Writer's Journey (continued)

A truly mysterious thing happened this week.

After my 1 p.m. Friday workshop at the Space Coast Writers Conference on "Nuts and Bolts for Constructing Fiction," a gentleman stood in line to speak with me. As he approached with a stunned look on his face, he reached over, took a copy of The Distant Shore from my book table, and muttered, "This is weird."

"This is REALLY weird," he repeated, shaking his head.
"Excuse me?" Was he insulting my work?
"This is so, so weird." He held The Distant Shore by two fingers like it might electrocute him.
I was speechless. How was I supposed to respond to that?

"I'm sorry. Let me explain. I rush home from work today just before lunch to change clothes and THIS..." (he dangles my book at arm's length), "THIS is on my kitchen counter."
He noticed my confused expression.
"I'm a single father of a 12-year old son, who wasn't home at the time."
Debbie must have still looked perplexed.
"I didn't buy the book. He surely didn't buy the book. I've never seen this book before in my life. It wasn't there when I left in the morning, but there it was, like God dropped it down from heaven right through my roof. And then I come to this conference and you're the first speaker and I can't believe my eyes, but there it is again..."

We both stared at the magical space-traveling object he held aloft.

I could only think of one thing to say. "Well, God sure must want you to read my book!"

The mystery plagued us the rest of the day. Then later that evening, it suddenly hit me. His son! Of course! His son was 12 and I was speaking at three middle schools in that area the following month. I found him in the ballroom at dinnertime and asked what school his son attended. Sure enough, it was one of the schools that had purchased copies of The Distant Shore for their students to read before I arrived.

I felt like Trixie Beldon, book sleuth. Or at least Nancy Drew.

But it would have been so much cooler if the Almighty had signed up as my book distributor.

-Deb Coty