As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a book junkie. While mysteries draw me in like nothing else, over the years I’ve added a few different genres to the collection, much to the consternation of my darling wife. As in: “What are you going to do with all these books?”
So last week with a little free time, I drifted into a local bookstore, wandering through the aisles, expecting a new title to catch my eye. Turning a corner, I caught a glimpse of something that triggered a flashback. It was a book by the late, great crime novelist Elmore Leonard. Many of his efforts were bestsellers that went on to spawn movies and television series. Leonard was known to many as “The Dickens of Detroit” for his memorable characters.
Years ago while working in Motown, I stopped in a little bookstore downtown with some time to kill. Walking down the aisle I saw an old man with a natty goatee sitting behind a card table with a stack of books before him. I did a double-take. Stepping closer confirmed this was not a cardboard cutout or a mirage. This was Leonard. Just hanging out, signing a few books, talking with people. Here was one of my writing heroes, right in front of me.
Eventually I found my voice. We talked about characters and stories for about twenty minutes, before a small crowd began to gather. The shelf behind him was filled with his books. As I left with an autographed copy in hand, I promised myself, ‘someday, those will be my books on display.’
So it’s a kick to see my own novels on display in a local store. The Grey Wolfe Scriptorium recently opened in one of the Detroit suburbs. Dianna and Zachary have taken a different approach. They want to focus on stories that are either by Michigan authors or take place in this great state. So when they opened the doors, I was pleased to see all four of my novels prominently on display, right in the center of the main wall. A local store supporting local authors. Ya gotta love it.
This week's song is an old favorite from Eric Clapton that kept popping up. Hope you enjoy it.