My life has a tendency to balance out, for which I am more often grateful than frustrated. During my tenure at Castle Voldemort, I once received a nice bonus at work. Several years later, during a stint playing in a community band, I decided it was time to buy a new trumpet. Within a few weeks another windfall came to me, almost exactly what the horn would cost. That’s how I roll.
I should have expected as much when The Beloved Spouse and I failed to score any autographs for our copy of Books To Die For at Bouchercon. With thirty-plus authors ready to sign, we waited for the line to thin before queuing up. Little did we know demand for signatures would be so great most of the authors had to leave for other commitments by the time we got within hailing distance of the signing area, and we bailed ourselves. So it goes.
The Sole Heir has somewhat better karma. Things tend to drop right for her. Today’s tale shows how her good fortune balanced things out for me, without her even knowing about it.
Last week was my birthday. (I’m now in what I call my Ketchup Year: 57.) She bought me a book from my Amazon wish list (Down These Green Streets, so there’s a Declan Burke angle here, too), but, as she told me during the unwrapping, there was a story behind it.
She had the choice of buying the book new, or used. Daughter of a fledgling author, she opted for new, thinking new is better for a gift, and the authors get paid. When it arrived, she noticed it lacked the sheen a new trade paperback has, and the edges were less than crisp. The pages had obviously been turned. This was not a new book, and she was not amused. Short on time before my birthday, she was about to send it back, but thumbed through it first.
Turns out someone at Amazon made a mistake: she’d scored an autographed copy. Ten contributors had signed, including Declan Hughes, Colin Bateman, and Ian Ross. (We’re still decoding the others.) She gave it to me as is, with the offer to swap it for a new one if I preferred.
Like hell. They’ll pry this copy from my cold, dead fingers.
This was better than balancing out. Books To Die For is just as good, signed or not. Having the unexpected signed copy of Green Streets, and a story to go with it, puts me well ahead.
And the kid’s only half as Irish as I am. Go figure.