I just finished reading an article related to the recent revelations about the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling, and was amused by Jody Picout’s comment: “She wouldn’t have been able to go out and promote the book.” But, taking a cue from Lemony Snicket and Daniel Handler, maybe she could.
Scene: the event section of a book store. There is a happy buzz as an enthusiastic crowd of mystery readers wait for the author, a debut writer, to arrive. Their conversations are about the writer’s intriguing background, how much they enjoyed the book, and what might be next for him. The book store owner comes to the front and the crowd stops their discussion to look expectantly at him.
“I am delighted you are all here tonight. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that Mr. Gailbraith is unable to attend tonight (groans and cries of dismay from the crowd). The good news is his representative Ms. R. is here in his stead. “
There is stunned silence from the crowd as an attractive blonde woman makes her way to the front. “I am so sorry that Mr. Gailbraith couldn’t be here. His current work as an independent contractor in civilian security means that his safety and that of his clients could be compromised if he was seen here. However, I am very close to him and can answer any questions you might have about him. You sir, in the first row.”
“What are Mr. Gailbraith’s favorite books?”
“Well, he likes a great variety — mysteries (of course), thrillers, classics, and even children’s books. A book he recently read and enjoyed was “The Vanishing Point” by Val McDermid.”
“Where does Mr. Gailbraith get his ideas?”
“They pop into his head on long train journeys.”
Has he read Harry Potter?
“I believe his children have. He was overseas when the final book came out though so I don’t know if how he felt about the ending.”
The bookstore owner comes back. “Thank you for those questions. Ms. R will now sign books on behalf of Mr. Gailbraith. She will ONLY sign The Cuckoo’s Calling — one per person.”