Anybody who has children, works around children or has encountered children somewhere in everyday life has heard that plaintive cry: “That’s not fair!” It seems we were born with that already in our minds.
But on Saturday I had to bite my lip to stop myself saying it out loud even though it was pounding itself against my brain. And it wasn’t fair. Really — it wasn’t!
Saturday was the “Local Author Collection Launch Party” at Paseo Verde Library in Henderson. The library had been planning this for months — they had contacted 40 local, Las Vegas authors and asked if they would like to (1) donate a copy of their book to the library and (2) participate in a book-signing/fair.
Being a new author — hey, my book hasn’t even been out a year — I was delighted to be included. What a fun idea, I thought. So on Saturday I schlepped a bag of books, my framed, signed picture from Phyllis, and a bowl of candy off to the library. I shared a long table with another author and we worked to make everything look enticing — and it worked. Well, sort of.
Lot of people stopped at our table. Lots of people looked at my picture of Phyllis, picked up my book and thumbed through it and told me when/where they had seen Phyllis Diller: How old they were, which jokes they remembered, and how they’d laughed until their sides hurt.
Lot of people asked questions and were happy to chat and reminisce. “I remember watching her on television and she made my dad laugh out loud. My dad never laughed,” one lady told me. “I went to a costume party dressed as Phyllis Diller,” another lady said. “I won a Phyllis Diller look-alike contest when I was 20.” And on it went, with people happy to talk about Phyllis and ask questions. But did any of them buy my book? No, they did not.
“It’s available here at the library?” someone asked. “You bet,” I replied with a smile pasted on my face. I wasn’t going to make any money from that one.
At the end of the two-hour shift, I gathered up my stuff, put the picture and publicity photos back in my rolling bag along with all the books I had brought with me. The candy I left for the man who was standing behind me waiting to set up for his two-hour shift. “Hope you do well,” I said in parting. “Oh, I will,” he replied. “Yeah, that’s what you think,” but I didn’t say it out loud.
I put everything in the car and then came back in to stroll along and see all the new authors and what they had to offer. And there he was, the man who had taken my spot with a whole array of books — not just one, but many. It looked like a series, but I couldn’t really tell because there was a crowd of people standing in front of his table with money in their hands. “… and I’ll take this one, too,” the lady said, adding a third book to the stack she was assembling. From what I could see, they looked like fantasies — books about vampires or aliens or something else unworldly. “Son of a ….” I said to myself, “that’s not fair!” And adding insult to injury, he had brought his own candy, so the candy I had left for him just got mixed up with his and his customers were happily digging out the Dove chocolate from amongst his Jolly Ranchers. “That’s not fair!” I muttered to myself again as I turned away.
On top of that, I forgot my camera so don’t even have pictures. The lady at the next table kindly snapped a few on her camera, and if she ever sends them I will post them. In the meantime, I’m telling myself I had a great time, met some fun people and what else was I going to do with a Saturday morning?
And I smothered the little voice inside my head with my left-over Dove candy. I didn’t leave it all for him — I might be naive but I’m not a total fool!
And if you haven’t read my book, go ahead and check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Spotlight-Road-Phyllis-Diller/dp/0985972882