Monday, May 19, 2008

The Perils of Fame

Fame isn’t all good. Let me explain. Last week I was in Toronto for a book signing at my favourite branch of the big chain, the Indigo Spirit store in Royal Bank Plaza. Before going to the store, I popped into the bank to deposit my royalty cheque from Poisoned Pen Press. The teller read the cheque. She looked up. “Are you a writer?” By co-incidence I just happened to have some of my bookmarks in my bag. I gave her one. She oohed, and aahed and sounded most impressed so I explained that I would be at the store in the mall underneath the bank at noon for a signing. She said she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to get away then, so she’d ask her manager if she could come with me – right now! – to get a book signed. And off she dashed. There was some kind of an argument going on at the wicket beside me; a supervisor had been called over to intervene. The customer broke off the discussion and turned to me. “You’re a writer are you? What do you write?” So while the supervisor glared at me, the argumentative customer proceeded to talk mystery writing with me. He, by the way, does not read mysteries. He used to but life is hard enough without reading about other people’s misery in your spare time. I explained that part of the pleasure of a good mystery can be seeing everything put to rights. I don’t think he was convinced.

Understand that this was at 11:30 on a payday in the biggest branch of the biggest bank in Canada. Lines were forming while my teller ran to get permission to take a break, and the customer who’d tied up a teller as well as a supervisor was discussing mysteries with me. Heads were turning to see what the hold up was.

It was all getting rather embarrassing.

I wonder if Angelina Jolie feels like that some times.


Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

That's an experience you should work into a novel. You may have foiled a bank robbery, or at the least a personal melt-down. I hope you sold a LOT of books.

Rick Blechta said...

Yes, Angelina told me a while back that this is the single most embarrassing thing that happens to her -- and far too often.