Did you ever think you would hear those words come from these lips?
I surely didn't but that is what I wanted to yell on Saturday afternoon.
Every year I participate in the Dulles Expo event the Northern Christmas Market and every year I do very well with book sales.
This year was no exception. OK, well with one.
A young woman walked up and immediately began to look at the covers of my books. Normally I would be excited about this but this young woman was between the age of 10-12.
Before you start saying I should encourage her to read. She can read just fine. Before you say that I should encourage her to buy my books. Screech! Pump the brakes.
My books contain, in industry terms, "ADULT SITUATIONS" or "PG17" in movie terms.
There is sex, violence and language that is not appropriate for anyone younger than the age of 18. Yes, I know children nowadays have foul mouths and probably have more sex than me but that doesn't mean I agree with it.
So, with that said, I steered her to my publishers YA (Young Adult) line. She picked them up, read the back and promptly put them back down and went BACK to mine.
Her mom asked me if it was appropriate for someone her age. My answer
HELL NO! OK, I didn't curse but I said NO as strongly as I could without cursing. The mom turned to her mother (the child's grandmother) and said, "What do you think?" In which she said, "it's your decision."
So, I'm thinking its almost over. Sure I lose a sale but it would be worth it. The mother then did something unexpected. She asked me to show her a passage. I turned to the most graphic part that I could remember at that time and she read it. Here is what I heard, "Oh my...wow...whoa"
Now I'm thinking. I'm free and clear and she hands me the book back, looks at her daughter and says, "Well if you want it, go on and get it."
WHAT! WHAT...WHAT THE HELL! and the girl says but there are two..can I have both of them! and her mother says, "YES...get both of them"
I nearly passed out right then and there! I was so flustered that I couldn't even take the money. I was in shock.
Then the mother asked, "Can you sign them for her?"
In shock, I signed them to JOCELYN and I have been bothered by this ever since. My question is:
Would you be shocked or would you look at it like a sale to a customer. I welcome your thoughts.