But, then again, who could blame her? Her shop is nestled in a picturesque corner of Connecticut where famous writers and artists live in seclusion. Moreover, just about all residents are highly literate. At a signing, they expect to find someone whose latest bears a seal of approval. The proprietor, in turn, wants to entice them to come in and browse and purchase other items as well.
In short, she’s taking a chance on a local author, published by an independent house from the wilds of Pennsylvania, offering a Hollywood caper no one has heard of.
To up the ante, what if the notices in the paper and the cards and e-mails I sent don’t pan out? What if she orders a number of books and has to send a bunch of them back?
Besides, what does she mean by “give a talk”?
The only thing I’ve come up with is to discuss what sparked this venture in LaLaLand. Like the time I came across an old studio going to seed, replete with a crumbling Western town. One that seemed to be crying out:
“If I could have one more hurrah. A good ol’ showdown. If I could come alive again before I wither away.”
If nothing else, I hope it doesn’t come down to that awful cartoon in The New Yorker. The one where a writer is slumped over a pile of books. The sign in the window reads Book Signing Today! A gaunt, wide-eyed woman hovers over his shoulder clutching a manuscript. The caption reads, “As long as it’s only the two of us, how about checking out a thriller I just cranked out?”