about my novel and poetry writing as a a teenage and young adult YA


You Must Read Both:    Copyshop Experience    Bookstore Metaphor

The Copyshop Experience

I couldn't stop reading your story - I want your next one!

At The Copyshop. This sort of thing has happened to me more times than I can remember, but the Copyshop Experience stands out above all.

It Was a Dark and Story Night… Actually, it wasn't night but it's a true story. One afternoon many years ago, I needed to make a copy of my newly written suspense thriller Neon Blue at the request of a literary agent.

I knew of a one-hour service copyshop in my neighborhood in San Diego, so I stopped in. I won't mention the brand, but it was a national chain with fairly large stores that did a lot of business. The place was busy, and the one lady behind the counter looked harried. She was sweating, and foofed a lock of hair up off her forehead with an overwhelmed exhalation. She told me: "My main copier is out of service, and I'm swamped this afternoon. I can make a copy overnight and have it for you first thing in the morning if that's okay."

"That's fine," I told her. She was very nice, and I felt sympathy. My novel could wait.

Next day, I walked in and it was less busy. She gave me an odd look as she stood near the back wall, sorting some stationery boxes. On the counter sat two reams of paper side by side. One was my original, and the other was the copy she had made of Neon Blue. I waved amiably and said Hello. Her response surprised me.

"I hate you!" she said.

I'm sure I looked stunned. What's this?

She came to the counter, rubbing her hands clean with a rag. "I hate you. I stood there after hours, when the store was closed, and started making a copy of your novel on the small copier, one page at a time. I couldn't help it. I started reading—and couldn't stop. I took the novel home and stayed up all night reading it. I'm dead tired today, and it's all your fault." She leaned eagerly closer and said: "I want to read your next one! How soon can I have it?"

I didn't have another suspense novel for her, so she faded into memory, but her praise has lasted in humor and memory for many years. This is an experience I've had many times, with many readers over the years. This is why I am offering half of each novel here for free reading. One is my teenage SF novel Summer Planets. The other is my twenties novel (written in the Army in Cold War Germany) On Saint Ronan Street (New England college town romantic affair between a struggling young poet and a beautiful, neglected, lonely young faculty wife).

Couldn't Stop Reading… Not everyone likes every book, obviously. If you don't like my work, no sweat—thanks for stopping by, and best of luck finding the story that is right for you. On the other hand, you may be one of those readers like the copyshop lady (and others) who got sucked into the atmosphere, the characters, the tale…and could not stop reading. And want more. That leads me to explain about The Bookstore Metaphor (click).


intellectual property warning