Because it’s a new and exciting experience for me, to meet my first fan who didn’t know she was talking about my books, I had to share it with you.
A month after the release of my debut novel, Second Destiny and its prequel, First and Only Destiny, on Halloween, I was sitting in my hairdresser’s salon and telling her about the fun I’d had the night before. I’d dressed as my alter ego, Gloria Silk, for the Halloween party at my local Toastmasters club. I like to make people laugh or at least lift their spirits, and shared my escapades with my hairdresser friend; about how I’d worn a big (Cher-black) curly wig, along with a floor length black velvet dress and high heels. And lots of makeup administered by my teen daughter who’d had a good laugh about how she wasn’t used to putting on makeup on such ‘old’ skin!
The other client in the small salon looked at me and said, “Gloria Silk… Isn’t that the writer of those two books about the Jewish girl and the Hindu guy? I read them, and loved them.”
I was stunned into silence, and as my friends and family know, this is no mean feat!
It was almost like I was watching a rehearsed skit or a wish-dream.
At my expression, the woman stared at me and asked, “You aren’t… Gloria Silk, are you?”
When I nodded, explaining that that’s my pen name, pseudonym, she gave me the brightest smile and got up to hug me. She couldn’t believe she was meeting the writer in person. “My husband won’t believe it, when I tell him I met you.”
I was on cloud nine. I’d met my very first fan, and all because I’d asked my hairdresser if she’d mind keeping the rack cards about my books, and telling clients about my intercultural novels they may enjoy.
I’d had so much fun at the Halloween party the previous night, and I was just sharing and laughing about it. And here I was at the right place at the right time, meeting someone who’d stayed at my hairdresser’s a little longer than planned. Otherwise I may never have met her, or known about her.
Not only had Manju enjoyed reading my books, she also confirmed, when I asked her about the research in my book – as she was from the same culture and background as the Indian character I’d created – if I had misrepresented anything. I had everything right, as far as Manju was concerned. Letting out another deep sigh of relief, I was overjoyed. Yes, loving anything Bollywood, and doing my due diligence for the reader’s full enjoyment, goes a long way, but this was invaluable.
Now we’re in touch and connected with each other, and the beautiful, musical Manju is officially my very first fan.
Yes, I have a few good writing buddies, who have been helpful along the way, and I have reading friends and contacts who like my writing and are awaiting my next books. And don’t get me wrong, I love getting the great reviews, and getting surprise compliments, like my neighbor stopping me in the street as she drives home, and winds down her car window and tells me, “I’m loving it, really loving it.” With such a smile of pleasure on her face. And she’s not the kind to mince words, believe me.
But this Halloween, when I met my very first fan, will always be special to me because it was like a gift from God; a validation that an unknown woman who loves to read, really enjoyed my books and wants to read my next one.
What else can a writer possibly want?
Do you have your own story to share? About a first fan of any kind? Share it with me, I’d love to hear about it.