Recognition, Writing and the Ladies Room by Debra H. Goldstein
Do we write for recognition? Or, is it something in our blood that makes it impossible to do anything else? I’ve heard many people say, “I write because I have to” or “Even if I never become a New York Times bestseller, I have stories that need to be told.” These remarks may be true, but let’s face it, even the shyest among us loves to be recognized. Of course, there are preferred time and places to be singled out.
When I was doing my first Sarah Blair book tour for One Taste Too Many, I flew from Alabama to Michigan for two speaking engagements. In the waiting area, I noticed a compact curly white haired woman. Her multi-colored plaid shirt made her standout from the grey crowd waiting for the plane to load. When we got on the plane, our eyes met for a moment, but we both looked away.
After we landed, I did the age old action of jumping up, grabbing my stuff, deplaning and heading for the restroom. As I was coming out of my stall, she exited the one across from me and said, “Debra?”
“I’m Becky.” How nice. I had no idea who Becky was, but I could tell she believed herself to be a long lost friend. “I loved that mystery conference in Birmingham.”
Clue number one – she attended Murder in the Magic City in February. She must have remembered I was a panelist this year.
“I was sorry to miss that conference with Reed Coleman conference. I just love that Reed Coleman.”
I hastened to agree with her. While she gushed on about Reed and his books, I racked my brain trying to remember how we knew each other while sticking my hands under three different sink soap nozzles before one finally worked. Distracted wondering about some of the people wandering the airport who had been in this bathroom, I glanced up to see she was already drying her hands.
“You spoke to our book group years ago, before we disbanded. I liked your Maze in Blue book and your talk was funny.”
Eureka, now I knew where we’d met. “If you enjoyed that book, you might like my new one, One Taste Too Many. It was released a few weeks ago. In fact, that’s why I’m here in Michigan. I’m doing two book talks and signings”
“Can I get it on my kindle?
After I replied in the affirmative and pointed out it was only $3.99 for the e-book, she smiled. “I’ll have to get it. I’m on my way to my vacation house for three weeks. What did you say the name of the book is?”
“One Taste Too Many.” Thinking like the marketer I have had to become, I asked: “would you like a bookmark?”
“Oh yes,” was the answer. Only problem, she was ready to walk out of the bathroom and my hands were still under the running water.
“Um, here, let me dry my hands.”
Another woman and I grabbed for the small piece of exposed paper towel. I won, but it wasn’t enough to do the job. In the meantime, the other woman got the next two sheets. I finishing the drying process on my jeans, searched inside my purse for a bookmark, and proudly presented it to her. She smiled and slipped it into her pocket.
We walked out of the bathroom together – a fan and an author whose only thought was “Now, I know why they say never approach an agent in the bathroom.”
----Since then, Two Bites Too Many and Three Treats Too Many have been published. Four Cuts Too Many comes out May 25, 2021, but is already available for pre-sale. And here's a secret, Kensington is running One Taste Too Many on various promotions for $1.99 for the e-book ---a better price than Becky paid.