Scope for Imagination

November 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

Last weekend I had arranged a book signing for The Heir and The Crown at my local Dymocks bookstore. I figured this was a good time of year to do it, so close to Christmas, as the shopping centre where the bookstore is located was likely to be packed.

Sure enough, it was. The bookstore had set up a nice, big table at the front of the store so I could engage people as they entered. The store is on a busy corner in the shopping centre (right across from Muffin Break – yum!) so there was plenty of traffic passing me by.

Most writers are introverts, and I am no different, so it can be difficult for me to engage people I don’t know in conversation, especially when I know that I want that conversation to end in them buying copies of my books. I hate being pressured like that myself, but that’s part and parcel of my job as an author, so I do it. Fortunately, I had quite a bit of success on Saturday, selling 18 copies all up, which was a good figure.

However, due to the busy-ness of the shopping centre, I found myself easily distracted. There I was, with people racing past me, and my imaginative brain would immediately start making up stories to go with the people walking past, especially if they past me more than once, which happened frequently.

There goes that lady with her two kids again. I wonder if one of them is buying a gift for a friend and they saw it cheaper in the first store, so now she’s rolling her eyes and going back to get it.

There’s the man with his mobile. Is he texting his girlfriend? Maybe it’s her birthday and he’s taking her out to dinner tonight …

So on and on the stories in my head went. I confess at this point to also being an inveterate eavesdropper. I’ll often find myself listening in to somebody’s conversation. Don’t knock it – I can get great ideas for a story that way!

Having an imagination can be fun, although it’s definitely a distraction at a book signing. However, it did make the job interesting and, who knows? Maybe it will give me material for my next novel.

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