Writers get a little paranoid every time they enter a bookshop

That is if they can bring themselves to step over the threshold in the first place. However being avid readers (it's prerequisite of becoming a writer) they are attracted to the physical bookstore like bees to clover. The temptation then is not simply to browse the shelves and choose something to read, but to check if the bookshop stocks your novels. If they aren't on the shelf then you are disappointed, although the hope that the shop has sold out sustains you. Equally though it worries you - why hasn't the bookshop re-ordered?  And if your book/s are sitting on the shelf the initial thrill of seeing them quickly gives way to why aren't they selling? It seems you can never be satisfied.

On Saturday then, on entering a bookshop, I was pleased to see a woman wandering around with a copy of Tide of Death (the first in the Inspector Andy Horton series) in her hand. I would have said nothing but my husband, (always proud of my achievements) cried out, 'That's your book,'  on which the lady turned to me smiling and said, 'Have I taken the last one?' And I was instantly reminded of the anecdote by a writer whose name I forget, who was sitting on a train opposite a person reading his novel.  The author leaned forward and said, 'You're reading my book' on which the person said, 'Oh I'm sorry. I just picked it up. It's rubbish anyway,' or words to that affect and thrust it back at him.  Fearful this might happen to me I quickly introduced myself as the author. The lady smiled, said, 'That's nice' and that was it.  What did I expect? Admiration? Questions? Interest? Maybe the last two at least.  Even when the bookseller said that I could personally dedicate the book if she wished she politely declined.  She bought my book (and a couple of children's books) and left the shop. Perhaps she was embarrassed, though she didn't look or sound it. Still, no matter, she bought a copy and I hope that she, or whoever she was buying it for, enjoys reading it.


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