< back to full list of articles
Signing at the Waldenbooks

or Article Tags

When I first got published

I was happy as could be

My book came out, got good reviews,

Was an Edgar nominee

After twenty years of struggling

I finally got somewhere

Now I’m signing in the Waldenbooks

And nobody’s there

So I went to my publicist,

I said, “Hey, what’s the score?”

She said, “You mean it didn’t go well?

I lined you up three more.”

Three dreadful signings later

I’m tearing out my hair

And I’m signing in the Waldenbooks

And nobody’s there

So I went to a Bouchercon*

If that was what it took

Appeared on a panel,

Talked about my book

And they scheduled me a signing

As soon as it was through

With a table and a name tag

And a lot of people too

It was a light in the wilderness

Where everything was dark

But why’d they have to sit me

Next to Mary Higgins Clark?

Her line goes out the door

And down the hall and back again

And I sit there smiling stoically

And playing with my pen

So it’s back out on the road again

And back into the store

I didn’t like it the first time

But I’m doing it some more

I’m just standing by the book rack

Pretending I don’t care

And I’m signing in the Waldenbooks

And nobody’s there

I know there are a lot of us

Who write the mystery line

And of all the books that people buy

They can’t all be mine

I wish my fellow authors

All the best that I can wish ’em

While I stand here talking to the guy

Who came in to buy John Grisham

Yes I’m older but no wiser

Tearing out my graying hair

And I’m signing in the Waldenbooks

And nobody’s there

Yes I’m signing in the Waldenbooks

And nobody’s there

Copyright © 1996 Parnell Hall

*Editor’s note: Bouchercon is an annual convention of mystery fans, held since 1970.

Parnell Hall is the author of the Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle mysteries, the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas. He is still waiting for someone to ask him to sign one.

Connect With Us

1020 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Suite 204 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
P: 310-546-1818 F: 310-546-3939 E: info@IBPA-online.org
©2016 Independent Book Publishers Association