by Jas Faulkner
Sam was laughing when I answered the phone.
“Open your email,” she said. “it’s not one of those screamie video things, I promise.”
It was a picture of a hand printed sign that taped to the front door of the store with a My Little Pony sticker. It read: “Book sighing at the back of the store. Free cookies with book.”
Tab’s niece, Hannah, was staying with her favourite aunts and it looked like she was back in business. Whenever Hannah’s parents work took them out of town, Hannah packed her suitcase, filled an old knitting bag with her latest sketchbook, lozenge paints, brushes and her latest journal and supplies for her guinea pig, Darla Hood, Darla’s cage and carrier and head over to her aunts. She found her parents’ penchant for digging up stuff to be tedious and preferred the glamourous world of books.
However, she was having none of this retail or struggling author stuff. Her goals were twofold: she wanted to reopen Meg Ryan’s bookstore from “You’ve Got Mail” and she wanted to be a rich and famous writer of books with purple covers. For those of you playing at home, Hannah is precocious eight-year-old.
“We had a signing last Friday.”
I laughed. “So you’re having a book sighing today.”
“Something like that. Did I tell you Little Miss Thing interviewed our guest author?”
“Oh yes. Check your email.”
There was an MP3.
“You can use it. The writer was fine with being interviewed, she just asked that we not use her name if we published it anywhere. I think you’ll figure out why once you hear it.”
So, without further ado, I present the transcript of Famous Writer Lady: The Hannah Interview:
Famous Writer Lady: Hi!
Hannah: I’m Hannah. Are you famous. Talk up so my fans can hear you.
Famous Writer Lady: I’m not famous. There are a lot of very nice people who like my books.
Hannah: Cool. Are you rich?
Famous Writer Lady: (laughing) No.
Hannah: But you write books. Can people get rich writing books?
Famous Writer Lady: A few people do. Stephen King, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler.
Hannah: They’re all boys.
Famous Writer Lady: Now that you mention it, yes.
Hannah: Can they still still long enough to write?
Famous Writer Lady: I take it the ones at your school can’t.
Famous Writer Lady: Do you want to be a writer?
Hannah: I am a writer. This is my book I wrote last week. It’s called “Darla Saves Japan.”
Famous Writer Lady: Is Darla a little girl like you?
Hannah: Noooo. Darla is my guinea pig. She eats a magic treat that makes her as big as a person and then she saves Japan from the robots.
Famous Writer Lady: Sounds like a good story.
Hannah: Oh, it is!
As a self publisher, Hannah was ready to put her money where her mouth was. Sam said she’d printed out a dozen copies of her latest, stapled the eight-page books together, and applied liberal amounts of glitter to the cover.
“She wanted to know how much Stephen King charges for his books and we told her she might have to charge a little less because she isn’t as well known yet. ”
With the MSRP reduced to one dollar and the added perk of the choice between a Fig Newman and a Newman-O, Hannah was ready to set up her own sighing at the back of the store. Sam and Tab have explained that weekday traffic is always a hard sell.
“So how are sales?” I asked.
“Not bad,” Sam said. “So far she’s sold four copies. We haven’t discussed production and promotion costs just yet. Right now we’re letting her have her first fifteen minutes.”