Thursday, February 11, 2010
Back when he was just becoming an author whose name people knew, Nicholas Sparks was scheduled to come to Barnes and Noble. Because his novels are light-hearted stories for the big-hearted, Nancy didn't take him seriously and it was fine with her that he wasn't coming to her store.
Something happened at the B&N, though, and the publicist called Nancy at the last minute and asked if Sparks could read at her store. She agreed, and asked me if I would introduce him.
I was very excited! I had it all planned how I would tell the story of knowing him from the Book Nook, finding out he'd written a book set in NC, etc. I also wanted to meet him.
About thirty minutes before the reading, the door to the bookstore started swinging open and (mostly) women of all ages started arriving. Soon the seats that had been put out were full and the staff was bringing out more. Then those seats were full and it was standing room only.
Nicholas Sparks arrived, and started charming the pants off those women. He mingled and signed books, and chatted and smiled that charming smile, and I was just itching to get to the podium.
Nancy came out of the back of the store and saw what was going on. And with no more thought of me she marched to the front of the store, welcomed Nicholas like he was the author she'd been waiting for all her life, and proceeded to introduce him!
I've forgiven her because I love her so much. And she did let me introduce Joyce Carol Oates who said it was one of the most enjoyable introductions she'd ever heard. But I'll never let her forget that she swept me aside like a piece of dirt on the bookstore carpet, and stole the stage from me that night!