Jayne Hitchcock here – I get asked by friends and family how my book signings are doing and if anything interesting has happened. Pretty much all of them have had some odd moments, fun moments and quiet moments. I wanted to share some with you:
I was at a Barnes & Noble in Virginia for a book signing after I had spoken at a university. The girl who booked me for the university took me to the store and sat with me while I signed books for people who stopped at the table. This woman sailed by, stopped short, backed up and looked at the cover of my book. She asked me some questions about it, picked it up and looked through it, then put it back down. She told me when she was on her next flight, she would tell everyone about it. I thanked her and asked her where she was going. With a very straight face, she told me to the planets outside of our solar system – she said she knew many people there and they would be very interested in my book. As she walked away, the girl with me was agape and wide-eyed. She asked me if that happened often. I told her there was usually one unusual person at each book signing.
At another Barnes & Noble in Manchester, NH, quite a few people showed up, so I talked about my book, the work I do in cyber crime and such, then took questions. I got some good questions, signed a lot of books, then as the people left, there was a man and woman waiting. He came up to me and told me how he’d written a novel about professional wrestlers who go to the future to solve murders. Seriously. He said he’d used WWF in the title (before they’d changed it to the WWE), so he had to make up his own acronym. He then pulled open a bag, pulled out a manuscript and tried to hand it to me. He asked me if I could read it and pass it on to my agent. I looked at the cover page, which had an illustration that looked like a kid had drawn it and was stunned into silence. Thank goodness the bookstore manager was right there. She gently told him that I couldn’t take the manuscript for legal reasons. I wished him good luck and the manager ushered me out of the store, apologizing up and down.
This time it was a Borders bookstore in Concord, NH. My mother accompanied me – she’d heard the stories I’d told my family and she wanted to see for herself. Well. She got what she wanted. An older man came up, talked to me, bought a book and I signed it for him. My mom can talk to a wall and soon had him engaged in a conversation. He pulled up a chair next to her and they were off on their own, talking away.
A man came to the table, picked up the book, looked through it, put it down, looked me straight in the eyes and informed me he’d just gotten out of jail. He’d done bad things. I’m thinking, “Oh really. Duh.” I just smiled and nodded as he told me that he was on probation and had to take medication or he’d do more bad things and be back in jail. I’m just nodding and smiling and wishing my mom and her new buddy would help me. So, this guy tells me he wants to write a book about his jail experience. I cheerfully told him that would be an interesting story and gave him the name of some writing books to look at to help him. Just then, his son came up and told him he had to take his meds. Good lord. He finally went away.
But wait, there’s more!
As I turned to my mom and her buddy, she informed me he wanted to take her for ride in his Corvette with the convertible top down. I raised my eyebrows. My mom was 80 at the time. The man with the Corvette couldn’t have been more than 50. She wiggled her eyebrows at me and told me that she told him she couldn’t go unless I could come, but the Corvette only seats two. He was nice enough and left after giving her a huge hug.
I wanted to burst out laughing. It’s never a dull moment at a book signing. With my latest book, True Crime Online now out (see truecrime-online.com), I can’t wait for the excitement I’m headed for.