Bizarre Questions

I’d like to welcome Dave White and thank him for guest-blogging for me today. Dave’s debut, When One Man Dies, just came out this week. Here’s a quick peek at a description for this detective novel; I know this is going to be one to savor:

When Gerry Figuroa is killed in a hit and run, his pal, Jersey P.I. Jackson Donne, is hired to investigate. Donne soon discovers that Figuroa may not have been quite the innocent he seemed. A second case leads Donne to a dead body on the steps of Drew University. As he digs deeper, Donne uncovers a drugs connection, and it quickly becomes clear that certain people would rather he dropped his investigation. Soon his ex-cop partner shows up bent on shattering everything, and Donne finds his past hurtling towards him with a vengeance.

And here’s Dave’s guest entry:

I wanted to take the time to thank Toni for giving me a chance to post her on Muderati. 

This week has seriously been one of the best weeks of my life.

But a lot of little bizarre things started happening this week.  Things I didn’t exactly expect, but in retrospect I feel like I should have seen coming.  Strange people come out of the shadows when you publish a book.

There was one woman who approached me.  She apparently worked in publishing.  She felt the need to tell me that publishers only buy bestsellers these days and if the book isn’t a bestseller, that person will never get a book deal again.  I think she was trying to be helpful, but she really wasn’t.  In fact, I felt like she had just given me the kiss of death.

Another woman wanted publishing advice and figured if she bought a web domain that was her in to being published.  I answered her questions kindly. 

But it also made me think of other things that seem to come out of this great situation for me.  What is it about this little bit of success I’ve had that makes people come to talk to me?  Why am I suddenly an expert in the field?  In both cases, I explained to the women that I’ve been incredibly lucky and it wasn’t an in depth research of the market that got me my deal.  But that didn’t seem to be enough for them.  I had to fall back on the old standard of luck, talent, and networking.  Hopefully, I’ve had at least two of the three, if not all three.

It’s an odd situation to me, talking to these people, when sometimes I just want to be left alone.  I don’t mind it exactly, but I’d much rather talk to my friends.  I feel like I’m just being polite to these people and they’re seeing right through my façade.  It feels false and that’s what I don’t want.  They want me to have all the answers, and I definitely don’t.

But—as for politeness–it’s all I have.  Hopefully it’s enough.

What about you?  What are you stories about people approaching you?

5 thoughts on “Bizarre Questions

  1. Laura

    Dave, I might have something thoughtful to say when I haven’t just gotten off a red-eye, but I wanted to pop in here and note: WHEN ONE MAN DIES was displayed on the front table of new titles in the Anchorage airport’s bookstore.

  2. pari

    Dave,First of all, congratulations on the book. Try to take some time just to enjoy the ride, because that’s what it is . . . a ride. There will be days of incredible bliss and others of astounding self-questioning.

    Don’t worry about not being an expert, you’re simply more of one than the people asking you for advice. As long as you’re striving to be honest, that’s about all you can do.

    Now, probably the oddest experiences I had with people was during the debut of THE CLOVIS INCIDENT. I attracted all kinds of UFO believers who were convinced I’d been visited and absolutely couldn’t, wouldn’t be dissuaded.

    Remind me to write sometime about my four days at the Roswell UFO festival that year.

  3. Louise Ure

    Congratulations on your book, Dave! I think you’re right that it’s a combination of talent and luck. The networking figures in later, for me at least.

    My weirdest (and best) approach at a signing for my first book? The gorgeous bearded man who came up to the table and asked me to sign, saying “Can you just write ‘To the best kisser I’ve ever known.'”

    I still have no idea who he was. But I wish I did.

  4. pari

    Actually, Louise,In that case, I would have done some personal research — purely for fact-finding, mind you, for comparison. That’s a heckuva claim.

  5. JT Ellison

    Yay, Dave!

    One of my all time favorite people and a fabulous writer to boot. Folks, if you ever get a chance to be on a panel with Dave, don’t miss it. And for the readers, go witness this boy in action, you won’t be disappointed. Wicked is the best word to describe him.

    And to top it all off, WHEN ONE MAN DIES is incredible.

    I’ll report back in a month. Haven’t really had any good experiences yet. ; )


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