I participated in a booksigning for The Double Cross at the Costco in Lehi last Friday. The whole thing was to have happened two weeks ago. Everyone knew about it, apparently, except that Costco in Lehi. So it goes. No harm, no foul.
The one yesterday was that mix of busy and downtime that booksignings often are. My niece Amy dropped by on her lunch break, and so did her mom an hour later. Other friends, readers and fellow writers dropped by, bought books and chatted. Then there were those stretches when I had to work at convincing folks they really really needed to read this story about Paloma and Marco Mondragon, and care about New Mexico colony at the time of Comanches and Spanish. Must've convinced enough folks, because the books all got sold.
In the course of sitting at Costco, I did my usual informal-survey-keep-your-mind-busy tactic. According to my survey, most people are in Costco to buy 30 rolls of toilet paper at a time (I did the same), milk, and birthday/party cakes. Oh, and lots of disposable diapers, which went along with the numerous women I saw with little kids in the cart, and another on the way. It was totally Utah country.
Then something touching happened, which even now is making me tear up a bit. An older lady stopped by to tell me that her daughter owns and has read nearly all my books. I told her that I bet she didn't have this one. She agreed, and had me sign it for her daughter.
Nothing unusual there, eh? Then she said, so serious: "My daughter is far from home and going through a nasty divorce. She tells me that when she feels low and down, she reads your books over and over until she feels better."
Wow. I'm going to be thinking about that mother and her beleaguered daughter for a long, long time - maybe every time I sit down to work on another chapter. Yeah, it's historical fiction with usually a bit of romance - fluff. Yeah, when I start each book my mantra is, "This isn't Hamlet and you're not Shakespeare." But now and then, I am reminded that what I do matters to more than just me.
You other writers know exactly what I'm talking about.