Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Almost Famous

I've often wondered what it would be like to be recognized as a "famous" writer. Not even famous -- just recognized as a writer. Unless you're someone like Stephen King or JK Rowling, I know it doesn't happen often -- as a rather famous writer friend of mine recently said, news anchors get recognized more often than famous writers. Still, I always remember that scene in Jewel of the Nile -- "the Joan Wilder?" -- and allow myself to dream. While I haven't been recognized just as a writer per se -- there were other factors involved -- I do have a couple of really fun stories that I tell people regarding my fifteen minutes of fame.

Shortly after getting my first contract with Champagne Books for Shadow Fox, I had to bring in my yellow Beetle to a tire shop for a new set of tires. I didn't know the young man who wrote up the ticket, but because I had just received my first set of business cards with my book cover on them, I gave him one. He was mildly interested, but because the release date was still far off, I didn't think he'd remember, much less buy one. Several months passed, and the sequel to Shadow Fox, Fox Rising, released. At some point after that I ran over a speed bump too hard, a block from the tire shop, and drove it in before it exploded. The man writing up my new ticket looked familiar, and when he came outside and spotted the yellow Bug, he literally jumped up and down. "It's you! It's you! I've been hoping you'd come back!" He had not only read Shadow Fox, but Fox Rising as well, and loved them both. In fact, a few days later, he got my phone number off the ticket and called me at home, asking when Book Three was coming out. And he took good care of my car.

Then last month I ordered a delivery online from a sandwich shop. Because they didn't want to tell me they didn't do delivery, even though it was on the website, the manager made one of his employees ride his bike -- several miles and in the dark -- to make the delivery. Needless to say it was over an hour late, and he was actually afraid I would be angry at him! (I was, actually, quite pissed at the manager for making him ride his bike.) When I opened the door, he said, "Oh, thank God it's you. You're the writer!" Turns out I'd given him a business card too -- over a year ago! -- and he had also read and enjoyed Shadow Fox.

Now I know these two occasions don't really count as being recognized as an author, but I will truly cherish those memories. So authors, make sure you're always armed with a stack of business cards! You just never know when handing them out may result in being almost famous.

Ashley J. Barnard
Dark Fantasy with a Contemporary Twist


January Bain said...

What a lovely "real life" tale! Thanks for sharing. Best, January

TK Toppin said...

Great post. And, it's always good to be armed with a pleasant smile. That's another thing people never forget.

Linda Kage said...

I love those stories. Wow. I think they're actually better than the Joan Wildler bit. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Wonderful to be recognized as a writer and as a writer whose audience appreciates your work.


KMTolan said...

It's great to have a fan gush over you. Applause is so rare, and is worth more than any royalty check.

Ashley J. Barnard said...

Thanks for coming by, guys! I agree; "applause" beats royalty checks -- good thing too since my royalty checks are, um...yeah.