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At least one odd person at booksignings

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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 783

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:14 am    Post subject: At least one odd person at booksignings Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone else has had this happen. But do you find that you have at least one odd person come up to you and ask questions that seem so bizarre that you almost don't know whether or not they are serious.

At one booksigning I had a young man who was wearing a t-shirt with a hand, middle finger extended, on it. He asked what I thought of Adolf Hitler. This stumped me for a moment, then realized that it was the skull on crossed bones on the cover that might have given him the idea. This symbol was used by the SS, but has nothing to do with the story, which I explained to him. But he asked it again, so I explained from a political point of view. Of course he didn't buy a book, but he went away so others could come up to the table.

Another booksigning I had a well dressed woman stop and look at the book, then comment "It looks scary". At which I informed her that there was an element of horror in the story, but it wasn't a major portion. "I don't read scary stories", which was her final comment and walked away.

A week later a woman dressed as though she were out shopping, stopped and looked at the book. "Is there any sex or profanity", she asked as she read the synopsis on the back cover. I informed her even though it was a story about futuristic pirates, the language was rather clean since I do not use profanity myself. The strongest word that might be in the book was bitch, and that there was some romantic aspects to the story. "Sorry, I don't read those type of books."

Now at the last booksigning a gentleman came up to the table, picked up the book and read the synopsis on the back cover. Of course I explained to him what type of story it was while he read. His comment was, "Did you know that most pirates were French and Free Masons." Seeing that this person had an agenda, I explained that the skull and crossed bones that were on the book was for the pirate Edwards. "Sounds English" the man replied, then added "Was he a Free Mason?" "I don't think so" was my reply. Putting my book back down, he leaned on the table to bring himself closer. "If you want to know who the Free Masons really are, get the book Vatican Assassins. That will tell you about how the Catholic Church is trying to take over the world." With a smile I said thank you, and that I would check out the book. Then he went away to look at magazines in another area of the store.

Now is it just me, or has anyone else had the pleasure of meeting potential custormers who turn out to be, shall we say odd?
Tim Quinton
The Sea Huntress
The Sea Huntress: Elizabeth's Revenge
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...there is an old saying..."There's one in every crowd."

It is a unique price to pay while seeking fame, fortune, recognition, and increased book sales and exposure. However, don't let the odd and strange ones scare you off into a reclusive shell. No matter what we write and no matter what we put out there to sell to our readers, we can and we will have those twos and fews that stick out like a sore thumb.

For the most part, they will say and do what they will and then they will move on and take their problems and issues along with them. You will watch them move away, and shrug your shoulders and then shake your head and think "what was that all about?"

It will be OK, Tom.

I'm sure I will have my own strange ones once I hit the stores with The Dead Game, but I'm not worried.

Robert G. Schroeder Jr.
Author of The Dead Game
ISBN: 1-4241-6064-2
ISBN 13: 9781424160648
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Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I know just what you mean. When I was in Ohio, I had a lady come to the table after waiting in line for about 5 minutes. She proceeded to tell me about how she had to wait in the stadium for 2 two days to audition for American Idol and the only thing she ate was ketsup. I tried to redirect her because I had about 10 – 15 people waiting in line, but that didn’t work. To my surprise, she broke out singing and would not stop. At first I was embarrassed and I thought she was going to drive off my customers so what I did next surprise even me. I got everyone in line to sing alone with her. I didn’t plan on doing that but I just figured I needed take advantage of this crazy situation before people start to leave. The ladies eyes got wide open when she realized everyone was singing with her, she just abruptly stopped and walked away. The signing went very well and it gave people something to talk about.
Being we are exposed to the public, we are going to meet all kinds of people good and bad, we just have to take it as it comes and carry on with our business. Good luck to you my friend and have fun with the many different personalities you run in to.
David A. Lewis
Forever Moments
Shades of Love, Poetic Moments
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Dick Stodghill

Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 1028

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father, who was a traveling salesman, spent much of his life behind the wheel so when I was just learning to drive he told me, "Always drive like everyone else on the road is crazy because a lot of them are."
He was correct, of course. A lot of them show up at book signings or anywhere else that people gather. Ask any newspaper reporter how many of them find their way to the newsroom.
All that taken into account, Tim you really did attract some weirdos. So did Louway.
Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War
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Jeffery S. Miller

Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 964

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I did a book signing in Vegas, there was a guy who kept walking by me. I didn't think much of it until I saw him walk by four or five times. I looked at him and he was staring at me. I nodded to acknowledge him and he waved and walked by. He walked by again and waved at me. I waved. Guess what? He came by again. Finally, I said, "Hey, what's your name?"

He said, "I'm broke," and walked away. He walked by me again and waved. It was weird.

Jeffery S. Miller
Author of Higgins Series
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Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a priceless post! Tim, I empathize (being a Freemason myself, I've heard that one gents assertion before). Dave, the sing-a-long thing was a stroke of genius!

I've had my share of strange things, too, but one that stands out was at a Borders a few years back, where they had placed me in front of the young adult/children's section (not the best place for a mystery/thriller author). I was approached by a young lady of probably 12 who was trying so hard to act 20. She asked about my book, I gave her the dilluted pitch since I wasn't trying to make a sale to her, and she responded that she was writing a book, too. When I asked her what it was about, she answered "I don't know yet, but when it's finished I'll look for your book and you look for mine. OK?"

Tim Smith
"Memories Die Last"
"Never Trust Your Dreams"
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Joined: 03 Dec 2004
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one reviewer tell me she didn't like my book because a character ONCE used the term God Damn. I also had a radio guy who was all set to interview me until he discovered that I had eco-terrorists in the story. The moral: you are writing for YOU not anyone else. If a reader wants to knit-pick they will find something they don't like in every book they pick up. Ignore it and move on, my friend. Let the wind fill your pirate's sails to your next event.
Robert P. Bennett
Blind Traveler Down a Dark River
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Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow--there are some weird ones out there, huh?!

I think a lot of people see the attention you are getting with your book and want the attention themselves, thereby causing scenes or being overly-rude or argumentative.

Honestly, if people aren't interested in the book, don't have the money, or feel they might be offended by something in your book--they need to just walk by, ignore you or wave hello, and use the advice "Lord keep your arm on my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!" Wink
Charyl Miller Pingleton-
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Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 2570

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have experienced some weird ones also in all different extremes.
One elderly woman who was an author just pulled up a chair, looked through all my books, those published by PA and self published and asked me questions over things she read in the books while sitting there. Some questions were personal and straight to the point of what she wanted to know.

Some of the above examples are priceless though.

Charyl great advice! and Lou good idea with the sing-a-long.
Poems, Prayers, and Promises of..1-4241-0250-2
In This Valley I Grew..
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sing-along was a good idea. You took a bad situation and turned it around very quickly. I have an imagination as I'm sure we all do here (we're writers after all) but I would never have thought of that.

The gentleman who kept walking by and waving at you, sounds like something my husband would do. He loves embarassing me and our friends. I think he would be the wierd one at my signing, when I do have one. He'll be taking pictures for me. I'm just starting out with this publishing thing and I am waiting for my copies so I can start going to book stores. I'm planning on having my first book signing in April so that would give me plenty of time to prepare to meet all those other wierdos out there.

I just hope no one says anything about the publisher. I've been trying to deal with that ever since I signed on with PA. Its hard to just let it go because I don't like upsetting people and I have done that so far. I'll be the adult about it though since they simply aren't. PA is taking a chance on us and I love them for it!
Amber Rigby Grosjean
Author of Cursed Blood
ISBN# 1-4241-7017-6
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