So I went to a local bookstore this weekend to pick up something I ordered. I think it's pretty funny, all things considered, but I rarely darken the doors of the big chain bookstores. I'm a huge fan of the local used bookstore (and you would not believe how many times I've found SIGNED COPIES of first editions there, just lazily sitting on the shelves with dog-eared paperbacks) and I love the independent little booksellers. But the big ones? Eh. Maybe just because I don't drink coffee. I don't know.
Anyway, I ordered a book that a friend of mine wrote. So I had to pick it up.
I know this will come as a huge surprise, but while I was at the counter I was chatting with the clerk. While we were talking, another customer came up and said she had ordered a book to pick up.
(My book is not in stock at any of the local bookstores, that I'm aware of. For whatever reason, it's in bookstores in other states but none in my own hometown. I've long since stopped trying to figure out why this is. Other than my friends at Star 102.1, I've been largely ignored by the local folks. Oh except to be shunned because some dude who I think is in his 50's who writes for the newspaper had never heard of my blog, and apparently if he hadn't heard of it, no one else had, and an older lady who wanted to write a story about me after she took me to the K&W cafeteria, told me about her sex life and got irritated with me when I wouldn't tell her my children's names. But I digress.)
Y'all? I got excited. I really did.
The clerk walked away to get the book for the lady and I said,
"Did you say Meeting Mr. Wrong?"
"That's my book," I told her. "I wrote that book."
She raised one eyebrow at me.
"No, really," I told her.
"You wrote a book?" She asked in the same way I would ask someone, "What the hell have you been eating? Your farts smell like moldy cheese!"
"Yes, really," I assured her, and then she asked, and I swear to God this is true,
"And they just let you walk around in the store like this?"
So I, clearly not yet understanding the situation at hand said, "Yeah, I know. Can you believe it? Every now and I then I get to get out of my cage and stretch my legs."
Okay, she didn't laugh. Not even a giggle.
By that time the clerk was back, book in hand. The patron immediately flipped the book over and, seeing that it was indeed my picture on the back, said to me,
"You wrote this book! You're Stephanie Snowe!"
"My friend," she continued, "told me to get this book. Because my husband left me after TEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE for some HOOKER HE MET AT WAFFLE HOUSE!"
"Oh...my," I said. Because, really. What do you say to that?
I'm very sorry K-Mart employee lady with your vest still on. I hate that your husband left you for a waitress/hooker and you see fit to shriek about it in a bookstore where people are being quiet.
"I read the first part at her house," she told me. "Let me give you some advice."
"Okay," I said. Because, hey. Why not? I mean, you want to always listen to the advice of others, right? You may not always take it, but sometimes you just might. Listening is how I learn and improve. I've always believed that.
"Your main character is a bitch," she told me. "I really hate her. I hope the book gets better, because I really hate the main character."
"I wrote poetry in high school," she told me, smiling smugly. "Everyone has always told me I should write a book about my life because you wouldn't believe the shit I've been through!"
"I bet I wouldn't," I told her. And that part, at least, is true.
"Will you sign my book?" she asked me. "I've never met a real life author before."
So I did.
And I wrote:
Thanks so much for buying the book. Also, I'm the main character.
I'm kind of thinking she's not going to like the book y'all. Pretty sure I won't see her name in the fan club.