The First of a Thousand

Dateline: 2018 Chicago Printer’s Row. TG Wolff makes first appearance as a published mystery writer with Exacting Justice. ☺

The car rolled down our driveway. The yard was lush, rain and sun having worked their magic on the trees and brush around our house. Heavy drops fell from the sky. Judging from the color of the clouds, this wasn’t a one-time thing.

“Maybe we shouldn’t go.” Yeah, I said that. The idea of sitting at a table at a book sale as an author had a fleet of taking flight in my stomach.

The husband looked at me as though I’d grown a second head. I told him about the butterflies and pointed to the rain and came up with three or five other really good reasons to delay the drive to Chicago, just long enough to miss the book selling event. He didn’t stop the car, except for Starbucks, and then for gas.

Three short hours later, we pulled into the pre-paid parking garage. Welcome to Chicago.

We crossed Dearborn to the string of tents filling the street. It was an impressive sight as—WAIT! A three-hour drive after Starbucks. You know what we needed. Another Starbucks. Well, their bathroom. Take 2—It was an impressive sight as peaked tent after peaked tent housed book sellers, publishers, organizations and, yes, authors. The rain damped the event and books really don’t like that. If oil and water don’t mix then books and water, well, um, make pages curl. Yeah. Cause that’s what happened on nearly every shelf.

We meandered through the rain drops and the book stalls. Me, The Husband, Thing One and Thing Two and the thousand crickets in my belly. Eventually, casual like, we found the tent proudly announcing Mystery Writers of America. It was on Polk Street. Tent OO. I smiled , pretended I knew what I was doing, and set to play the role of published writer.

It rained. I talked to people. It rained some more. I chatted with my slot mates D.M. Perrone and Patricia Skalka. It sprinkled, poured, and drizzled. I had a conversation with a woman from Youngstown, Ohio and another whose husband was stationed in my hometown of Cleveland, OH. First, I smiled because I was supposed to, then I smiled because I wanted to. Then the most amazing thing happened…

I sold a book.

When that copy of Exacting Justice went from my hand to a reader’s, all the butterflies and crickets quieted, the fluttering pleasant now. After the woman walked away, and D.M. reminded me to replace the book on my stand, I realized….I forgot to sign her book!

UGH! ROOKIE!

Now I can say I’ve done a book event. And I didn’t just sell one book, I sold my first book, the first of a thousand.

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