Several times this week someone has approached me as I sat at the bookstore laptop, frowning as I pondered just the right words to use. It’s a delicate business, Facebook posting….
“I don’t want to bother you, but…” the gentle inquiry began. The first time it was, “….but I really like Nicholas Sparks–”
I leaped to my feet. “Right over here.” But the lady did not follow, just stood there with hands clasped.
“Um, I meant, I’ve read everything by him. I just wondered, would you know of anybody who maybe writes a little like him, that I might enjoy reading?”
Madam, my day has been made. I led her to LaVyrle Spencer (among others – don’t judge me). We pondered and debated plot lines and writing nuances, and she left smiling.
I sat back down, smiling. Later that day another customer said, “I don’t mean to bother you …”
He had read all the Nevada Barrs we had. I showed him James Doss, Margaret Coel, Dana Stabenow and J.A. Jance. We talked plots and points and cultural sensitivity and he left with a bagful of paperbacks, smiling. I sat down, smiling.
Charlaine Harris. Nora Roberts. Mercedes Lackey. For some reason, this week, people have wanted to talk “similar authors.” Sometimes I call them starter authors, people whose body of work lead people to others who are similar in theme or style, yet different. And they lead to another, to another, and the reading path goes on and on and on, great writers, popular writers, eclectic writers, groupie writers. Who cares, so long as you’re enjoying them?
I love matchmaking in the bookstore. Please don’t ever apologize to a bookseller for wanting to ask about authors, dear ones. We LIVE for these opportunities. They’re not interruptions; they’re fulfillment.
Anybody wanna talk books?