My two favorite sales were an older lady and a young girl.
I was over at John Ryan's table; he was telling me some of his history, when my husband pulled me away. One of the organizers was looking for me--she said there was a woman out in the lobby that wanted to meet me, so I followed her out there. An attractive, gray-haired, well-dressed lady was sitting on a bench outside, with a cane, and she had clipping of the Hometown News article that featured me and my books with her.
She'd come all that way just to get a copy of each of my books for her grandsons! But she'd recently developed vertigo, she said, and she just didn't think she could make it through the room to my table. What an awesome lady! I felt so honored--and not unlike a celebrity.
But I suppose my most favorite sale was the twin! Adorable teenaged twins were at my table while their father hovered around. One was very interested in Children of Path, while the other was not. The one looking at my book told me her sister could read a book in just a few hours. This avid reader then told me how she had read many series of books in a day, and the entire Harry Potter series in a week!
Anyway, the one looking at my book read the front, then the back; she asked about the picture of the panther on the cover, were there panthers in the story? Then she opened it up in the middle and read, then went to the first page and started reading. Her sister said, "What are you doing?" Impatient girl! Her twin said, "I'm reading this book!" Like, duh. Then the reader abruptly put the book down and went to her father and said, "I want that book."
She told her dad she had money for it at home and would pay him back. He made her promise. Then he made both girls say pretty please. And while getting out his money, he made them both call him "most awesome dad." And they did!
I loved this sale because I felt like my book was connecting with that young woman--in the way it connects with me. It was a wonderful feeling and I hope the book doesn't disappoint her.
At the book fair, I purchased Finn Flanagan and the Fledglings by Kip Taylor. This is a series book about a boy who dies, becomes an angel, then joins a league of young angels to save the world. At least that's what Taylor's rep told me. The cover picture is cool (I met the illustrator there and she signed the book for me) and I found the story idea intriguing.
I also purchased The Zen of Max by Lou Belcher. I'd heard about Lou's book subtitled "a memoir of great wisdom and many naps" and about her late cat Max some time ago and was glad to finally be able to get a copy.
Across from my table was Charles Nothe with his massive tome Proscriptii, historical fiction set in ancient Rome. I really wanted the book because I like really big books. But I knew that wasn't a good reason to spend $20 on a book and, after all, my husband was with me to remind me to be more frugal.
Unfortunately, when I went to speak with Nothe, I told him my dilemma and his response was to give me a copy of the book. Part of me understands why he did it. It was clear in talking with him that he and I were both passionate about history and historical fiction--he much more so than I because he actually researched and wrote, whereas I have only read and enjoyed, the subject (except for that little BA degree, of course). But, like with that young twin, when you find someone who clearly wants to read your book--you want them to read it!
Well, my husband refused the offer and insisted I pay, an idea I had no qualms with. But when I tried to give Nothe money he absolutely refused. So we decided upon an exchange. I gave him a copy of Zombie Revolution for a son or nephew, I can't exactly recall. I really don't think it was a fair exchange and depending on who you ask (me or hubs) one of us got the better deal. (Hubs isn't all that fond of heavy tomes of history.)
In fact, hubs later looked at me with a smile and said, I read the first sentence and almost put the book down, but it was okay after that. And he had me read the first sentence of Proscriptii. It was a long, complicated, glorious sentence and I told him, "I'm going to love this book!" We shared a good laugh at our differences.
I shared a table with Stanton Bronstein who writes under the name S.N. Bronstein. He turned out to be a fabulous table mate! Great sense of humor, great attitude--I think he and I and hubs all shared a basic outlook or worldview. I mean, imagine us sharing a table with Debra John who apparently brought along a psychic! (Don't get me wrong, Debra was a lovely person...but if you know me...you know what I mean.)
Stanton was much more of a pitchman than I could ever be. People were first drawn to his table by the covers of his detective book series--photos of places in Miami. He only had to give them his spiel and then turn to the children's book at the end of the table with its picture of a way-cool black cat and they were sold--if not on the adult series, then definitely on the kids book. He outsold me by a large margin.
And I am now intimately familiar with his books; if he had left for a while, by Sunday, I could have given shoppers the entire spiel in his stead.
When he was packing up, Stanton gave me a copy of the kids book, Private Eye Cats Book One: The Case of the Neighborhood Burglars. I was grateful. I didn't insist on paying Stanton, mostly because I hadn't slobbered all over the book practically asking for it. He shouldn't have given it to me though. But I'll definitely enjoy the read so I'm really thankful.