But then I discovered a new and rather satisfying aspect. Friends and people I know have started coming up to me to discuss the book and tell me how much they enjoyed reading it. Suddenly, chance meetings have a new focus. Even dinner party conversations have elevated me to the status of minor celebrity as people ‘ooh and ah’ at the discovery of a self published author at their table.
“Is there any sex in your book?” is the usual question. To which I now have the pithy response. “Of course, there’s lots of it about you know”. One very charming lady leant across and whispered, “You could do with a bit more of it you know.”
Yesterday at the doctors, as I nursed an infuriating cough in the waiting room, the lady doctor leant across the counter and demanded, “ Your book – is it the ‘The Man Who Stayed?’
“No,” I spluttered. “It’s ‘The Guest Who Stayed’”
“That explains why I couldn’t find it on Amazon,” she exclaimed as she hurried off to tend to some other snivelling wretch.
Reading my wife’s e mails (which I shouldn’t do but she reads mine) - I came across a long missive from a friend of my youngest daughter. Nursing her first child, she was seeking weaning information from my wife (who is expert in this stuff) and there it was – at the end of all the baby talk – “just finished reading Roger’s book. It normally takes me ages to read a novel but I finished this one in two days. That says it all.”
I brimmed with pride. Now I’m not telling you all this to be boastful. As I said, by normal commercial criteria I’ve bombed as author. But on a different level the expanded range of my social interaction is somewhat pleasing and has encouraged me to seriously contemplate my next novel. Watch this space.