Normally, I avoid events where I just sit at a table and hope someone will stop by and purchase a book. But I'd never been to the Orchard -- a 102 year old apple orchard high in the Blue Ridge Mountains -- and this is a great time of year to take a drive on the Parkway. The leaves, though not at their peak, are nonetheless really pretty.
The old orchard is quite lovely.
I snapped a few pictures before proceeding to the building where a table was waiting for me.
Like any bower bird, I arranged my wares in as tempting a way as I could manage and settled down to wait. And wait. And wait. People would walk by my table, scowl at the books as if they hated reading or carefully look away.
At last a lady came toward me. I straightened up and prepared to be charming.
'Are you the one that made the butterfly boxes?' she asked, then glanced at the table. 'Oh, those aren't butterfly boxes.' Her mouth turned down.
"No, those are books,' I said to her retreating back.
And then -- a miracle! 'Are you Vicki Lane?' squealed a young woman. She'd read my first book and was anxious to buy more. Hurrah! (Thanks, Kim!)
Next I had a pleasant chat with a fellow who said he liked police procedurals -- which my books most definitely are not. He was followed by someone who wanted to know how to get published and another someone who said, 'You're a celebrity! Can I shake your hand?'
A few people came and chatted and left; some actually bought books. I was asked if the apples for sale came in smaller bags (I didn't know) and where the bathroom was (I pointed.) And I chatted with another aspiring author.
A sweet-looking lady lingered in front of my table and I did the standard thing of asking if she read mysteries. She looked at me in some confusion and then said that she was reading her Bible for the third time.
A brisk woman came up to the table. 'So, Vicki, tell me about your books.' I did and she asked, 'Are they for sale today?' when I assured her that they were, she nodded and left, never to return.
But there were quite a few who come and chatted and bought, enough to make me feel good about the day. And the nice folks at the Orchard sent me home with a big bag of apples.
And I had the pleasure of the drive home, with the late afternoon sun illuminating the leaves.
Ah, the glamorous life of the author!