At work, standing in the cafeteria lunch line, it happened. A server left his station, walked to the serving station in which line I was waiting and asked, "Are you the one writing the book?"
I nearly fell in the floor! I made him repeat the question, certain I'd misunderstood it. "Are you the one writing the book?" he asked again.
Hiding my grin was impossible. "Yes. How did you know?"
"Jenn told me."
Jenn is a coworker of mine in another department. I'd let her read my prologue the previous week. She told me she liked it, but you know how that goes. All your friends like what you wrote when they're talking with you about it. Perhaps she really did. Or perhaps she was just impressed that I had actually completed my draft. In any event, it made me feel like a...ahem...writer.
And it felt good!
I don't even need to tell you what the next question was, right? Anyone who has finished a book (even the first draft) knows the next question. "What's it about?"
So there it was. The question I've pondered answering for months. I've wondered what I'd say, how badly I would answer and whether I'd leave them shaking their heads acting like they understood what I was telling them.
"Well, it's an epic fantasy." Quickly, I moved to dispel the blank look already forming. "It's kind of like Lord of the Rings." Whew. The nod of comprehension. I don't need approval, but understanding is crucial. This way, they can walk away with an inner giggle muttering, "Ha! The guy thinks he's Tolkien." That much is acceptable.
So, what makes it even better? The other server joining the conversation and asking, "Is it like Eragon?"
"A little," I answered. "It's got dragons."
"I loved Eragon," he told me with a smile. "When you get it published I'll have to buy a copy."
Then it was my turn to smile. Yes, folks, it felt mighty good indeed.
Do you have similar stories you'd care to share?