|Storefront of Illusive Comics & Games. If you look closely, you can see a row of my books in the window announcing the signing. Nice promotional hustle!|
You never know what you're gonna get at a book signing. Some writers are guaranteed to draw a crowd out the door anytime and anyplace; I am not one of them. I've never had literally nobody show up, but I can't remember an instance when a line at my table was any longer than, oh, say, three deep. The nice thing about being unpopular is I get the opportunity to really spend time talking to my readers, who are often passionate about my work (true for both books, which makes for some challenging gear-shifting) and smart, interesting people.
Quality > Quantity.
In light of that experience and standard, Wednesday's signing at Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara, Calif., was a very good one. Owner Anna publicized the event well both online and on site, managers Perry and Steve were fine and friendly hosts, and we sold about equal numbers of my books to folks who seemed happy to be there. Wednesdays are when the new comics arrive, so they had a steady stream of regular customers coming in to pick up their weekly fix. At the same time, half the store was turned over to gamers who huddled around three or four tables in the back. The joint was jumping.
|Steve and Perry took good care of me. If you put their names together you get the lead singer of "Journey." They're probably sick of hearing that but I just figured it out.|
|They set me up right inside the front door. When I didn't feel I was getting enough attention, I could stick my feet under the table and trip customers as they came in.|
I finally met Tim Schmidt, who corresponded with me about WHTTWOT and shot some photos of my book posed in the offices of his employer, Intel (I'm not seeing an obvious way to link to those photos, so you should go "Like" my WHTTWOT Fan Page on Facebook and then find them in the "In the Wild" Album yourself). Tim designs microchips, helping make all our Worlds of Tomorrow come true. In fact, he worked on the very Pentium chip I used as the basis of my Future Superchip in the last chapter of the book. That's cool! Tim is a friend I'd never met in the flesh (funny how many of those we all have these days), so I really appreciated him coming by.
|Tim: Taller than expected.|
|With Walter and Tina. I didn't know Walter 30 years ago, but I bet he's changed a lot since then. Tina hasn't.|
As much as I enjoyed seeing Tim, Tina and Walter, in addition to meeting new folks like John, Adam and Al, the night's highlight for me was being surprised by my daughters. Robin and Laura live about an hour away in San Francisco--in fact, I'd just taken them to dinner the night before--but they had some family business in the South Bay and came just to see the bafflement on my face as they walked through the door. Bafflement achieved!
|Robin, me and Laura: Three-fifths of the WHTTWOT creative team (you may recall that my girls and two of their friends did a lot of digital coloring for me). I approve of Laura's sweater.|
My thanks to Anna, Steve and Perry (now I'll have "don't stop...believin'..." stuck in my head all day), all my friends and family who came by, and especially all the people I didn't know before who came by. I'm grateful!