No sales. One limited expression of interest. One second-hand compliment.
The interest – a lingering look – came from a distinguished fellow: well-trimmed white hair, sporty black-and-white checkerboard-patterned shirt, impressive Germanic accent.
“Wanna buy a book?” I said.
“I already have a book,” he said.
A good, if overly literal-minded, response.
The compliment was relayed by the fellow who had bought “Cheesesteak” two weeks ago – and had not yet read a word. “My wife is enjoying your book very much,” he said. “She grabbed it from me.”
“Is she from Philadelphia?” I said.
“Southern California,” he said.
Which, at least, speaks, if not to the universality of my work’s appeal, then to its cross-continental reach.
(A few days later, the fellow said he had begun reading the book himself and, as a sports fan, had enjoyed running into Robin Roberts in Chapter 3. This chapter had material I would consider more influential to the path of my story that Robin or even the Whiz Kids, but I told him, while he could not expect any more baseball, he could look forward to basketball and boxing.)
In other news…
“I Will Keep You Alive” is practically ready for the printer. The back cover copy has been finalized. (“Churn” defeated “sea of.”) The price will not be lowered, despite the page count coming in under what the catalog promised. (“What can you get for an extra dollar anyway?” I argued. “You plunk down a $20. You don’t care about your change.”) There will be no authors photo. (Mystery hasn’t hurt Pynchon or Ferrante.)
There was one we liked on Adele’s iPhone. But a shadow on my dome made it seem like I was wearing a yarmulke, which, in turn, made my scarf appear to be a tallis.
Not the image I am shooting for.