As I have mentioned in my "other blog", I loathe bookstore signings as a rule. The worst is the unannounced bookstore signing, when I wander into a chain bookstore to see if they have my books and offer to sign the stock. This is quite demoralizing as usually they either don't have my books or the bookseller asks me not to sign them as that makes it harder for them to return (!).
However, during the recent NYC Hi-YAH! tour with my friend Justina Chen Headley I broke my rule. Justina, whose debut novel "Nothing But the Truth and a Few White Lies" was just published, has not yet been jaded by the depressing nature of bookstore signings. Her sheer optimism and energy convinced me to give the local Borders a chance.
So, I timidly treaded into the children's section as Justina disapeared into the YA section. My look of loss and confusion caught the eye of the bookseller.
"Can I help you?" she asks me.
"Uh no, uh maybe, uh well," I stammer, "I'm an author and I was just checking to see if you had any of my books."
"Who are you?" she asks me.
"Um, well," I say, preparing myself for the usual look of nonrecognition, "I'm Grace Lin."
"Grace Lin!" she said, "The Year of the Dog"
Well, I don't know who was more suprised. Her, because I was in the store, or me, because she actually knew who I was. Apparently, during Chinese New Year they had made a huge display of "The Year of the Dog" and she had loved the book. So much that she remembered my name. Wonders never cease.