So it was quite a harrowing ordeal finally getting to my table at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association show for my book signing.
I left a miffed and confused security guard in the men's room, and he watched me the whole way.
After a few minutes at my table, I got to meet author Kerry Madden, who brought her beautiful little girl, Norah, with her, and I got to sign a book for her. Later, Kerry also signed her book for my daughter. I know, I'm kind of a geek, but I really get a kick out of meeting "real" writers like Kerry. And I also met Marlene Perez, who has like a constant, small, whirlwind of a party following her everywhere; and I sat next to author Patricia Santana during the signing, too. So it was very ultra-cool (and I probably shouldn't say it, but the coolness was certainly not diminished by the fact that I was, like, the only guy there).
So I kind of had an "in." Lots of people came looking for books for boys... specifically non-fantasy books for teenage boys. And so they swarmed on Ghost Medicine, saying things like, "I never knew such things existed!" And they were all thrilled that I have another non-fantasy book for teenage boys, in the path of falling objects, coming out next year, too.
Okay. So I look up from my signing table, and guess who I see standing there, glaring at me? Yep, the Biltmore Stalker. This time, he's flanked by two other guys in suits (no doubt the urinals had been vacated of any new suspected domestic terrorists), and he points at me and I can clearly read his lips as he says, "I watched that guy pee."
All in all, despite the stalking, getting wedged in subterranean concrete hell, it was a terrific day. I met a lot of great indie booksellers and people involved in the book biz in Southern California. Aside: I don't know if I should say this, either, but the independent booksellers, well... seem to really like books... like it's not just business with them, and that's a vibe that I can relate to. There were also so many YA-specific people there, and they definitely were excited by Ghost Medicine, after having read such nice reviews and other blurbs about it. So I made a lot of friends and got a few more invitations to go out and visit some other parts of California.
But... the very best part was hearing people tell me that they'd heard so much about my book, and actually having a couple complete strangers come up to me (and I'm not talking like the complete stranger coming up to me at the urinal) and telling me that they'd read Ghost Medicine and they "loved it."
That's better than anything.