In Which I Think I Have Arrived
by Kathryn Smith
So, it's release day and DARK SIDE OF DAWN should be showing up in bookstores all over the place. I'm a little distracted because I'm working on this new book which is due in March, and have another due in April. Am I worried? Nope. Just busy -- and trying not to get more distracted! So, I thought I'd blog this month about writers and being recognized.
I'm not a big deal in the publishing world, but occasionally someone -- usually a book store staff member, or a dedicated romance reader (or author!) will look at me and say, "Aren't you Kathryn Smith?" This generally happens when I'm in sweats, have spilled coffee on my shirt and don't have any makeup on. I've considered lying, but I'm always so amazed that they know me I foolishly admit to being...well, me.
This weekend we had friends down from Ottawa, Ontario. Saturday, my friend Sarah and I went out shopping. Now, luckily for me I'd spoken at the Connecticut Romance Writers of America
monthly meeting, and so I had reasonably good hair, and makeup on. We were in Torrid and I was at the counter buying some earrings. The sales clerk asked for my name so she could look up whether or not I had one of their loyalty program cards. The clerk beside her (a lovely young lady named Danielle) said, "Kathryn Smith. Hmm." I replied, "Yeah, there are a lot of us." Here's what followed:
Danielle: No, it's just that I read a lot and one of my favorite authors is named Kathryn Smith.
Me: (pause) The one that wrote about Victorian vampires? The Brotherhood of the Blood?
Me: Ummm, yeah. I am Kathryn Smith
At this point, I think Danielle's jaw might have dropped, which sent my
ego soaring heavenward. I have to admit that I even quizzed the poor girl just to make sure she hadn't confused me with someone else. She hadn't. She read me. She loved my books, and I think she might have been shaking just a little when I came around the counter to give her a hug.
I had books in the car, so my darling hubby grabbed one so I could sign it for Danielle. I had him bring an extra for the other clerk. I was still thinking that maybe this was all a mistake, but then Danielle spotted me coming back into the store and looked so happy that I was forced to accept that she liked me. She really liked me! In fact, she'd called some friends on her break to tell them she'd met me.
This was so freaking cool.
At this point, I was grinning like an idiot. I told Danielle how lovely it was to have met her and off I went to do more shopping. I don't think my feet touched the mall floor for the rest of our shopping trip, despite the ache in my ankles when we finally returned home. Of course, once I left the store I was just plain Kate again, but for awhile I felt important, and was reminded why I love my job so much. It's for moment's like the one with Danielle -- not because it made my ego soar, but because something I created meant a great deal to her. It's a truly amazing and humbling experience. She kept saying that I'd made her day, but in reality, she made mine.
So, that's my story. For one brief shining moment, I was indeed a Pop Culture Diva! And let me tell you, it felt great. Oh, and the earrings I bought are amazingly funky.
Anyone else have stories like this? Of a time when a person thought you'd done something for them only to have benefited from it in your own way as well?
Kathryn Smith is the USA Today bestselling author of almost 20 books. A Canadian transplanted to Connecticut, she's been known to say the word 'about' just to delight her friends. She likes to write. A lot. Her current releases are the historical romance WHEN SEDUCING A DUKE (Oct 09) and the romantic urban fantasy DARK SIDE OF DAWN (Dec 09), both from Avon Books.