There was something so nice about going into the stores and meeting the people who worked there. We shook hands, we drank tea. I admired their book displays and window décor. They were kind to me about my books. It was a lovely part of my working year because it was real and tangible. There was almost always a lovely lunch involved in towns like Kilkenny or Cork. I still remember an amazing tomato soup in Sligo! Usually we dined with the book sellers and had a great chat – not even necessarily about books.
Not only did I get to meet the book sellers, I also got to meet readers. That was the icing on the cake. Fans who come to a book signing are so gracious. I guess the folks who don’t like your genre don’t come near so you only meet nice people – a pretty cool arrangement. Again it’s lovely to shake hands and sign their books with a personal message. These are the memories we novelists take away from a book tour and savor while we’re locked away in our studies, producing the next book. I feel a bit like a blue whale that only comes up for air every few months! It’s so nice to get up and out but I gotta go back down to write again soon or there won’t be another book.
I’m not just saying this, but book people are a particularly nice breed – those who sell them and those who read them. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve worked in a few industries at this stage; business, broadcasting and books. (Do I have a B fetish??) Anyway, the book business is without doubt the nicest. Bookish people tend to be full of humor. They’re thinkers and I know I’m generalizing here but to my experience, they tend to be generally all round nicer individuals. In broadcasting, people can be tough, sassy and highly competitive. I know, as novelists we have to compete too but somehow we pack a softer punch. Maybe it’s because it’s not quite so cut throat. As a DJ, there are only so many hours in the day. If I had the Saturday morning show (which I had) nobody else could have it. If somebody better came along, there was a good chance I could be axed. As a writer, however – if somebody likes romantic comedy, they’ll buy my book but they’ll buy Jennifer Wiener’s too. We’re not in direct competition. Readers read more than one book – thank God!! So now I’m on a virtual blog tour. Yesterday I spoke with a lovely lady based in Hong Kong and today it’s beautiful Italy. Wow, ciao, Ruby!
While I’m sentimental about my old days on the road, there are plusses to this new system too. I get the most amazing emails from people all over the world. I love that. I also love hearing about somebody in Milan or Melbourne reading my book, while I’m based in Boston. My little treasure; Wellesley Wives will probably travel further than I ever will but isn’t that every writer’s dream? Who knows if I sell enough books, maybe I’ll even get there in person someday. What kind of soups do they have where you live?? In the mean time do please stay in touch through face book or twitter. I hope you love Wellesley wives and remember … Readers make Writers happy
Lots of love, Suzy xx