Saturday, September 25, 2010

"You Wrote That? Really?"

While strolling through the park one day, in the merry, merry month of...bet you thought I was gonna burst into song, but I swear it'll never happen in your or my lifetime. Random bursting-into-song freaks me out, the end result of several torturous viewings of High School Musical with my nephews. Sorry, Zac Efron, but I hated that crap!

Speaking of other things that freak me out....The park was Madison Square Park, and the day was today, one of those gorgeous fall days that makes NYC a joy to behold. It was pretty crowded as usual at the Shake Shack, but I decided to grab something to eat on the way into work. I was standing in line with three copies of my book, which I'm shipping out to reviewers later today. A woman peered over my shoulder and said, "Wow, that's a really nice cover. What book is that?" So I gave her title, told her it's historical fiction, which she proclaimed to love with a little girlish squeal. I gave a little more detail; love destroyed by Norman conquest of 1066, yada yada. She was totally unfamiliar with the history, but said she's a sucker for lovers torn apart and maybe she'd check it out. Then, she asked the writer's name and I told her. She followed with, "But, why do you have three copies of the same book? Is it that good?" I said, because it's mine, I'm the author.

That's when it got weird. She looked me full in the face, looked at the cover, back to me, back to the cover, following with, "You wrote that? Really?" I nodded and smiled, a genuine one, not the usual sarcastic, half-assed smirk that most people get from  me. Then, total, absolute, dead silence ensued. Oh well, it was time to place my meal order anyway.

Walking on, I'm still slightly bemused by this woman's reaction, and don't quite know what to make of it. Why did she seem so shocked at the prospect that the books were mine? Was she unsure whether to believe me? Did she fear I was suddenly going to start hawking copies on the Shake Shack line? Guess I'll never know.

What reactions have you encountered from others, friends and random strangers, when they learn you've written a book?

4 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

i can't believe she did that! reactions i get are usually positive, even if they don't want to buy a copy, but then i don't usually say, "wanna buy a copy?"

one funny thing that happened while i was watching my son at taekwondo... this lady was sitting behind me while i read thru Eldala to edit for mistakes and she said, "i was reading over your shoulder. that looks like a good book. who wrote it?"

i showed her the cover and her eyes lit up and she said, "really?"
"yea, really." i told her more about the story and she said she wanted a copy. of course, i never ask later when i see a person if they've read it. seems weird and pushy to ask.

Lisa Yarde said...

Hey Michelle, I know what you mean. If I'm carrying around copies they're usually tucked away in my book, but not today. I don't talk about the book to random strangers, unless prodded as I was today. Her reaction was just strange.

June G said...

I bet she looked like that because you're black. I'm not familiar with any black writers of historical fiction of the type you write.

She probably couldn't believe a black person would want to write about that topic and it didn't fit into her belief system. Of course I can't prove it, but I almost pretty sure that's it.

Lisa Yarde said...

June, I'm with you. I know black writers of historical romance, but I know of none who write medieval historicals. It isn't something I conciously think of or care about, but maybe it suprised her. SMH. Who knows?

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