As you all know, I'm speaking at Southwest Writers on Tuesday night in support of my new novel, Rattlesnake Wedding. Hopefully it will go better than an event I did last fall up in Santa Fe where I felt like I sold my soul, at a deep discount.
I did a book signing at a book fair up in Santa Fe in support of my last novel, the one with the funny name --Lawyer Geisha Pink. The signing was at the old Borders near the heart of downtown, with a handful of other local authors. Within blocks of the site, stores were selling Alpaca vests for hundreds of dollars and modern artwork for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There is something called Santa Fe style, it's hard to describe, but the women and men streaming into the book fair had it in abundance. Every one coming in was Santa Fe stylish, with scarves that cost more than my car. I smiled. This was going to be a great event.
Something odd happened when the first person came to my table. She was the sixty-something owner of a gallery that had recently closed. She was interested in buying Lawyer Geisha Pink, especially when I told her that it was about a woman who sometime imagined herself to be a superhero. "That's just like me." She picked up the book as if it was a box containing potential golden additions to her visible collection of Native American jewelry. Her neck actually appeared blue from all the turquoise.
"How many copies would you like?" I asked with a smile.
"I'd love to buy all your books," she said. "But I'm a little tight right now since the gallery closed." For one moment, I thought of my dearly departed grandmother. I ended up giving her the book for five dollars.
Word must have got around the event, because soon I was surrounded by half of Santa Fe. Everyone was dressed to the nines, hell, they were dressed to the tens, elevens and twelves. All of them had jewelry that was probably stored in a safe guarded by laser beams, yet, all of them pled poverty-- gallery closings, real estate slumps and two consecutive people claimed "liquidity issues."
I obviously couldn't hire an investigator to find out, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt and sold everything for five dollars. I sold out, but lost a hundred dollars.
On the way out, I saw one person who bought my book for two dollars get into a Land Rover.