I reported encountering the delightful Randy Wayne White earlier in January at the Sanibel Doc Ford’s, the upscale sports bar named after the sleuth in his mystery novels. Today I had the pleasure of attending a reading and signing at the Sanibel Island Bookshop for novelist and friend Mary Alice Monroe.
I’ll confess that I’m not always excited to meet the authors whose books I adore, in fact often, I avoid it. This may sound odd, but truthfully, I’ve met a few whose books I could never pick up again with the same unadulterated pleasure. Not because I despised the author on sight, but because I couldn’t reconcile the novels and the person. The two seemed so different, that from the moment of our meeting, the author intruded, and I could never again lose myself in the novels.
Mary Alice Monroe is definitely not one of those people. From the first time I met her I realized Mary Alice warm as warm-hearted and perceptive as her stories. We met at a time when we were writing for the same two publishers, and we had the opportunity to share our publishing tales and feelings. I felt richer for it. I’ve followed her career with delight as she found her niche and began to write sensitive portrayals of life in the South Carolina Low Country, and to focus on environmental issues.
Today I arrived at the book store just as she was reading a passage from one of her novels, Swimming Lessons. The selection was emotional and thoughtful, and there I was, trying not to cry. And not just because I was about to greet an old friend, either.
Are you a fan of Mary Alice’s, too? Or would you like to become one? Of course, I had Mary Alice sign Swimming Lessons for me, but I had her autograph another one of her novels, The Four Seasons for one of my lucky and loyal blog followers.
For fun, if you comment on this post by the end of February, I’ll enter your name in a drawing for The Four Seasons during the first week of March. Just tell us about a time when you met a writer or another public figure. Or just tell us about the person you’d most like to meet. Any “non-spam” and original post will count. Comment as many times as you like, but only one comment per person will be entered. So enjoy and share.
Meantime, want some good news? You don’t have to wait to find out if you win. Mary Alice’s books are available at a bookstore near you. Read them and enjoy.