Last week my
wife, Donna, and I flew to California to help our youngest grandchild, Nash,
turn two. On the airplane and in the
terminals, as I have for the past six years, I paid close attention to what the
other passengers were reading in the hope that one of them would be reading one
of my books.
In my mind I
carry a scenario in which I ask the person how they enjoyed the book and then
reveal that I am its author. They are impressed,
I sign their book, and we carry on a conversation until the flight attendant
tells me to get back in my seat and buckle up.
Of course it
hasn’t happened yet, outside my own mind.
But last Friday morning, as I was on the homeward leg of my Hope Street
run, a car came to a stop beside me and the window opened. I expected to be asked directions to the
“I’m so glad
I finally ran into you,” said the attractive woman at the wheel. “I’ve been carrying your books around in the
car for weeks, hoping to run into you, so you could sign them.” It appears that I had accosted her some time
earlier, as she minded her own business at a stop sign, and forced my flier on
her. She had gone ahead and ordered two
books from Amazon and had been hoping to run into me ever since.
As she dug
for the books in the back seat, I was sure they would be “Mother and Me” and “A
Ship in the Harbor,” the first two of my three Holocaust memoirs. I was wrong.
The top book of the two she hauled out was the novel, “Writer’s
I signed it
but, as I prepared to sign what I assumed to be the sequel, “The Best Sunset in
Venice,” I discovered it to be a second copy of “Writer’s Block.” I asked why she had two copies, and she said
she had loved the book so much that she had ordered a second copy for a
friend. As I wrote something in the
books, I mentioned that there was a sequel entitled “The Best Sunset in
Venice.” She said she would order a copy
I told her
that, if she gave me a ride to my house, only a couple hundred yards away, I
could sell her a copy and even offer her a cup of instant coffee. She agreed, and we spent the next hour
chatting about the characters in the book and the characters in our lives. It was really a very special experience and
one of the very special benefits of being an author.