I’m posting about this because of a comment exchange between one of my friends earlier today. It’ll explain a LOT.
About 2-3 weeks after I signed my contract, I was going on a small shopping trip with a friend of mine. Now, her name is Kate as well. Years ago, when we played in the same D&D group, this became a problem. Since I was in the group first, she was dubbed ‘K2’ (as in Kate #2). It stuck.
We got our shopping done, and she wanted to treat me to lunch. Off to our local Red Robin we went.
Lunch was good, and much conversation was had. There was some talk about my book and so forth, but not to the point of dominating the conversation. As we were wrapping things up and the waiter came to collect the bill, things got interesting.
He took a look at me and said, “I have to ask. Are you really a novelist or is that just a witty tee?”
That morning, I’d just randomly grabbed a shirt from my closet. It happened to be a t-shirt that reads, “Be Careful or I’ll put you in my Novel”. I’d completely spaced that I had it on.
I stammered out something about yes, I was a novelist and that I’d signed my first book contract a few weeks earlier.
He freaked out. Started asking about what it was called, when would it be out, what my pen name was, did I have anything else out he could read, the whole nine yards.
It was my very first encounter with a person who saw me as some sort of celebrity because I’d written a book. And, K2 was sitting across from me with a big grin enjoying every single second of it.
He left and all I could do was turn to her in shock and ask, “What the f(%&*(&( just happened!?!?!?”. I have no memory of what I said to him, but she said she thought I handled it very well.
I didn’t start writing to get recognized in restaurants. I started writing because there was a story in me that could no longer remain silent. I started submitting it to publishers to show my daughters that you can achieve things if you try hard enough.
Since that day, I’ve been very conscious of when I’m wearing that t-shirt. And that, to some extent, I’m now a public person. It’s likely I’ll have another run-in like the one at the restaurant at some point. Though it’s not something I ever considered when I first sent off my book.