The sun shone brightly as the cowboy cast his long shadow through the doorway of the book store. The shadow broadened as the sun was blocked by his enormous pardner. The Clint Eastwood style hats shaded the hard faces of the big men who strode meaningfully toward me. I eased out of my chair in readiness for… what, I wondered?
“You Christopher Chance?” asked the grizzled face of the big man.
“Yes,” I replied as his big hand thrust toward me for a vigorous handshake. His partner grabbed my hand when it was released from his friend’s great sausage fingers.
“My name’s Jeff,” he growled, “and I stayed up half the night listening to you on the Roy Basnett Show.
’‘So did I,” said his big friend, grinning all across his stubble-haired face. I half expected him to strike a match across his cheek to light the cheroot hanging from his mouth. Thus began the warm inner glow of realising that I have at least one fan in this great wonderful world of writing. Everything was suddenly worth it.
The day proved to be full of warm feelings as men and women from all walks of life asked me to sign their books. Prior to the event I was quite nervous because I feared a low turnout and feeling like a fool with a stack of unsigned books at the end of the day. I decided to create some interest for my work by sending out many press releases. The effort was worth it because I was invited to a popular late night radio show in Liverpool. Also, I was mentioned in local newspapers around the north-west of England.
The event was at Borders book store near the John Lennon airport in Liverpool. I liaised with the events manager, Kerry, who set up a display and posters prior to my arrival and featured my signing on the Borders events page on their website. During the two-day event Sam, the store manager had various staff members announce my presence in the store every twenty minutes on their PA system. They also gave a meaningful description of my books, which helped to drive sales. Borders staff members were enthusiastic and helpful during the two days and they brought my wife and I coffee and tea from their Starbucks coffee bar several times. Their smiles were for everyone, not just for us.
During the time I was there, I signed over forty books, so that equates to one book every ten minutes approximately. The time flew by because I was talking to people most of the time about the hardships of foreign prisons. Surprisingly, most of them were women. One of the conclusions I drew from this was that people in hospitals lie awake at night listening to late night talk shows because a lot of my books were being bought for people in hospital.
A Mediterranean type man appeared by my side, seemingly out of nowhere. He was tall and smartly dressed in a Crombie overcoat and polished black shoes, more like Arthur Daley than an elegant Mafioso don. He spoke out the side of his mouth.
“Hello Mr. Chance,” he stage whispered, crouching by my side so his head was level with mine.
“I’ve read your books but I want two signed for the family.” He is a member of a notorious Greek family operating in Liverpool and the north-west of England. I signed his books and he was gone, lost from view in the crowds of shoppers in the Mersey Retail Park. I hope you enjoy my books George.
Several of my books were bought by people purchasing a beach read before going to John Lennon airport to start their holidays. Amazingly, I have had some feedback on my website already and that warm glow is still there. I felt particularly good when members of staff bought my books. That in itself made me feel good and confident regarding my future. Writing really has turned my life around. Now, 13 years later, I am promoting my latest project, my book BENEATH THE POPPY FIELDS which is my thirteenth project and I have already started my fourteenth project, another screenplay adaptation titled, MOTHERLAND another Arrowsmith adventure, which is about Spooks (spies) operating mainly in Berlin, but there’s quite a bit of action in Syria.
Anyway, here’s my book front cover.
Best, Christopher Chance