I witnessed a moment I wish I could bottle. I went into Barnes & Noble after leaving my hairstylist. They are just a few doors away from each other.
I walked by the Customer Service counter in the middle of the store and noticed a tall, white, bald man signing paperbacks. I continued on and did my circuit to check out cookbooks, sci-fi/fantasy, adult fiction, and teen fiction. Next, I made my way through the tables with the specials. This brought me back around to Customer Service.
The man was still there with a large stack of books he signed. He was talking to another man in his fifties and a head shorter. He had a book pressed to him while he was talking to the author. I picked up the gist of the conversation quickly. The aspiring writer asked the author for advice on writing and getting published. I call him “aspiring writer” because he admitted he was not writing. He was asking the author for advice because he had no idea where to start.
The author was kind, patient, and attentive with the aspiring writer. I listened to his advice and internally smiled and nodded as it is advice I have heard and read before from other writers. He made eye contact with the aspiring writer, recommended a book (the one he was holding), and gave him the time and full attention others would not be inclined to give.
I was intrigued and kept “perusing” the table. Not because I needed to hear the advice he was imparting, but because he made an impression with this simple interaction and I was soaking it up.
I stuck around long enough to find out the author’s first name. Larry. We crossed paths and I think I surprised him when he turned around. He nearly took out Superman on an endcap while we sidestepped each other and smiled.
That moment with the aspiring writer stayed in my head. I shared it on Facebook and I still could not shake it.
I was back in the store five days later hunting down the display of books that the author signed.
Larry Correia is his name.
Mr. Correia, you may not have sold the aspiring writer one of your books (yet), but you sold one to this writer. Never lose your generous spirit.