I was very excited and pleased the other day when the town manager gave me a call. Of course you should keep in mind that my ‘town’ is a small one. But we do have six buildings on main street and one of these building is two stories! So we do think of ourselves as a up and coming city.
Anyway, I did get the call from the lady who manages bustling metropolis. They are having an arts festival. Not, I was told, to be mistaken for a craft show. And she asked if I would come and participate with my books. Can you say flattered? Now I’m not letting it go to my head too much. I’m sure she has never read one of my books, and I know they hope to get a lot of people to participate, but I was still pleased to be asked.
However, something did happen the other day that I was truly thrilled about. I’m so very proud of my books and I’m most grateful for those of you out here that buy then and let me know you like them. Honestly, that’s more than many writers get. But with the exception of the lovely bloggers I’ve been lucky enough to meet in person, no one I know in real life has ever had much to say about my books. That’s not a problem, I write to a specific genre, and that genre is seldom talked about outside the blogging world.
If a real life friend reads my book and is horrified and disgusted by it, few (none actually) have come to tell me so face to face. And if my books sparked a dormant interest in spanking or any form of domestic discipline – if the books excite them, well then they certainly aren’t going to tell me! It’s something I’ve learned to accept.
But back in the spring I was in a craft show in town – selling my bookmarks. I did have a some of my books with me and I even sold a few. One little old lady from my church was looking at one. She’s a sweet thing. She was a school teacher for forty years, never married and lived with her mother until her mother passed away. She’s close to eighty now. She ask me what I wrote and I gave her my standard answer. “I write romance novels for the older crowd. I’m tired of only reading about twenty and thirty-year-olds. My characters are in their sixties.”
I could tell she was intrigued, but I wanted to be forthcoming with her. So I added, “To be honest it’s like a lovely older couple meets
Jump ahead two weeks and she stopped me at church and told me she wanted to read one and I agreed to bring it to her the next Sunday. I never expected to hear one more word about it. But last Sunday she stopped me to say, “I loved your book! I couldn’t put it down. I love Cassie and all the things she gets into. Are all your books like that?” I told her yes, all the books in that series were about Cassie and Tom and their friends. “Well,” she told me, “I want them all!”
I was dumbfounded. She never mentioned spanking, which, of course is very prominent in all the books. I wonder if she enjoyed those parts or just skipped over them the way I sometimes skip over sex scenes if a book has too many. I don’t have the guts to ask, but I’ll always wonder.
I do have the occasional heart palpitations when I think of people in my home town reading my books. I know at this arts festival a few of my former teachers will be there, including my first grade teacher, the lady who literally taught me how to write. I had thought she was a hundred way back then, but she’s recently turned ninety-three. There will be former students and colleagues, these student's parents and various other friends and acquaintances. When I think back to the fierce way I guarded my secret for nearly fifty years this seems amazing.
I’ll be sure to let you all know how things go.