I’ve done quite a few readings and author appearances for The Last Three Miles, and some have been better than others. But I’m happy to say I haven’t had any conversations even remotely like this:
“I love your books,” one woman said.
“Thank you,” I replied.
“They are so relaxing,” she said. “And they really help my digestion.”
I think I am going to put that on the cover of my next book. It’s the best comment I’ve had since the San Francisco Chronicle called my book UNSOLD TV PILOTS “The best bathroom reading ever.”
Another woman picked up one of my books and asked:
“Is this one good?”
“No,” I said. “It’s awful. I wrote it while I was trying to kick my heroin addiction.”
“Then why did you say that?”
“What did you expect me to say?” I replied. “Of course I think it’s good. I wrote it.”
“Well,” she said. “I was hoping for your honest opinion.”
Not one minute later, another woman (the audience was 99 % women) picked up one of my books and asked me:
“How much did it cost you to publish this?”
“Nothing,” I said.
“Really?” she asked. “What about the other authors? What did they pay?”
“Nothing,” I said. “We all got paid to write our books.”
“Is that something new?”
“No,” I said.
“I thought everybody had to pay,” she said.
“No,” I said. “That’s not the way it works.”
“That’s not what I’ve heard,” she said.
I quickly educated her in how the business works. And after my long speech, she nodded and asked.
“How much did it cost you to get an agent?”
I’ll leave it to you to read about the woman with the attic full of spiral-bound notebooks.