Monday, 13 October 2014

Never Judge a Book...

Hi there

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  It’s Monday, the start of a brand new week and as usual I’ve got a lot of things planned.  I have found that since facing cancer head-on I have come to value my days more, and tend to cram in much more than I did before.  Life is too precious to waste.

A few months ago, on my ‘Writing;The Alphabet’ series we were 
discussing book covers.  The old adage about never judging a book by its cover seemed to have gone by the board, as we realized that, certainly in Erotic Romance, book covers are what attract or detract us from picking up a novel.  However, a recent incident made me think again whether the adage is –or should be – obsolete in our lives.

A friend of mine who lives locally was asking about my books.  I told him that I had recently started Cowboy Romances, but had come up with an idea for my ‘Sirens and Sailors’ series.  Since our local town boasts a canal as well as a large mere (lake), I thought it would be a good place to showcase my paperbacks.  The town attracts a lot of tourists who travel around the country on the canals, and often stop off at the wharf for a little shopping.  My friend suggested two shops which he knew the owners of, and told me to ask there if they would stock my books.  I was quite excited as I went into the first shop – and, of course, bought a book while I was in there – and approached the owner, a casually-dressed lady in her fifties, I surmised.  Unfortunately, she looked at the cover of my first book and told me she didn’t think it was appropriate for her shop.  I couldn’t help feeling disappointed – it had taken a lot of courage to go in and ask her – and left feeling quite despondent.    When the owners of the other shop which had been recommended to me, a young couple. turned me down without looking at my books I was mortified.  I wracked my brain, determined to find someone who would be interested in my books.  The only other place I could think of where tourists might go to was our small Tourist Information Centre.  It is actually inside of one of the local shops, the local haberdashery.

When I entered the shop and saw the elegant, elderly lady behind the counter my heart sank.  The lady looked lovely, friendly and helpful, but I was concerned that she might be offended by my books.  (Even my own mother won't read them!) I thought it was worth asking anyway, having come this far, and if nothing else I was getting some experience in talking about my work.  I was amazed at how enthusiastic the lady was!  She took a great interest in my novels and was hopeful about being allowed to display my material alongside the tourist information – after all, I am a local author.  I gave her one of my books and asked her to let me know what she thought once she had read it.  Not only did she take my book, but she also asked me if I would be interested in giving a talk to a group which she was a member of.  "Never underestimate the elderly," she told me with a twinkle in her eye when I asked if she was sure they would want me.  We had had a lovely chat and she said that she felt that her friends would be interested in hearing how I came to be a writer following my cancer treatment.  Of course I agreed, and am looking forward to firming up a date with her.

Incidentally, I popped back into the shop a few days later when she informed me that she hadn’t had chance to read my book yet as her daughter had commandeered it and was enjoying it – she promised to give me some feedback, too!It really did go to show that we mustn’t let people’s appearance give us pre-conceived ideas about them.  I am so glad that I didn’t make a final judgement about this lovely lady before getting to know her – she is one of the sweetest ladies I know and I can see us becoming good friends!

I hope you have a great week, and make the most of every moment :)

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