I stopped off at a shop yesterday morning, on the drive back, and had a very surreal moment. My book was there on one of the shelves and just as I walked past a woman came along took it down from the shelf and after reading the back cover and skimming several pages, went off to buy it. I couldn't believe it. What are the chances of that happening? Not only the having a book up there at all, but actually standing there as someone takes it down and starts to read it. For a moment I was stunned. I immediately picked up another book and pretended to be reading, but when she turned out of sight I actually walked off after her. It was Monday morning and there was hardly anyone about and I found myself wanting to walk past her and whisper something. I didn't know whether I wanted to say 'thank you for buying my book,' or 'put that down, don't read that, you look far too respectable and decent to know about those kind of thing,' or just to tell her that it was my book she had in her hands, wanting to say something,
anything...Of course I didn't. But it was a very strange moment. I hurried out into the rain, cold and shaky, shocked at what I had almost blurted out, and at the chances of actually seeing someone there reading my bookcover. And very confused by my own reaction to both.
Who knows, one of the emails I get one day might actually be from her. Though now I'll never know...
If you felt someone watching you from a distance for those few minutes in a supermarket yesterday, after you had just picked up my book, someone acting strangely behind you, half-turned away, trying to be invisible but clearly wanting to say something, it was probably me — me feeling a million things at once; but trying to pluck up the courage to say 'thank you for reading my book.'