Monday, June 19, 2006

Children and book signings, oil and water.

I made my book signing debut yesterday at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, Illinois, hosted by the wonderful Augie Aleksy. See the children in the front row, looking bored and mischievous, respectively? Those I claim as mine, and they were the only ones to ask rude questions. I should have thought of paying them to be ringers and given them questions ahead of time, like "What made you think of that fascinating title?" or "Mother, how do you find the time to nurture us and still write mystery fiction of this calibre?" But instead I got "Why is there so much profanity in the book?" That comment was provided by my eldest son, a whippersnapper with a bold attitude and more cleverness than he can handle. This will most likely be the last signing they'll be attending, despite the pride that I'm sure was in there somewhere, deep within their callous, youthful hearts.

Still, it was a lovely signing for my book, The Dark Backward, and I was pleased to see friends and colleagues, neighbors and writer's group supporters, and even strangers who had read the book and liked it, all converging in one room to hear me discuss my work. It was very rewarding, especially when someone asked, after I gave the briefest of background, if I would read from the book. I had avoided doing this, fearing people would be bored, but they seemed, in fact, to want to hear it.
That was fun. I was almost starting to get a swelled head, but my children, if nothing else, will keep me eternally humble. My littlest son walked up to me while I was signing a book and asked, in a weary voice, "When will this be over?"

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