I’m still smiling following a longer than expected phone call with a stranger, now almost a friend, called Alex. He answered my call to a private pension company. I won’t bore you with all of the tedious pension side of the conversation. Partway through, I casually mentioned that I’m an author.
‘I thought your name was familiar,’ said Alex. ‘I think my girlfriend has a book of yours on our bookshelf.’
‘Are you sure?’ I replied, stunned and unable to believe this could be possible, because I’m a virtually unknown author. ‘Which book is it? Random Bullets? The Hostile? Her demonic Angel? Potholes and Magic Carpets?’
‘Yes, that’s the one, Potholes and Magic Carpets. The cover has a glass jar with two paintbrushes in water, yes?’
Flabbergasted, I replied in a fit of giggles, ‘It certainly has. How wonderful.’
I was conscious the charming young man might be sacked by the pension company for spending too long on a call, but Alex seemed unconcerned. Times must have changed since I worked in a call centre for five years after giving up my long graphic design career. We were under the cosh from the second we shoved on the headset each day.
‘My girlfriend and I are always on the lookout for unusual books to read,’ he said.
‘In that case, you might be interested in today’s free kindle offer for my book, Random Bullets. It’s a paranormal crime thriller and is dear to my heart. I reckon it’s my best book and readers seem to agree, judging by the ratings,’ I said, always primed to promote, given half a chance.
‘We’re not really keen on kindles. Much prefer paperbacks, so I’ll definitely buy the paperback version of Random Bullets,‘ he said.
Warming to my subject, I said, ‘If you enjoy reading extremely strange books, then you should try my paranormal thriller, The Hostile. One reader said it was the strangest book he’s ever read. I won’t tell you much about it, as it’ll spoil the surprise.’
‘Sounds fascinating. I’ll investigate The Hostile tonight,’ said Alex.
We carried on talking about books for a while, then rounded up the call with more boring pension chat. I haven’t stopped smiling since putting down the phone. Young Alex deserves a promotion for making an old author extremely happy. What were the chances that the girlfriend of the man answering the pension company phone would have bought one of my paperbacks? Damn! I forgot to tell him that The Hostile is also available as an audiobook.