So, about 15 minutes before my first Dallas book signing, I left a message for my friend Bev, a devout Christian (and wonderful person) who believes the only way to eternal salvation is through Jesus. “Bev,” I said, “I’ve decided you’re right. I must be in hell. I’m standing outside the Borders, and there are 40 chairs set up and one person sitting there. I believe my plane must have crashed this morning, and I’m in hell.”
Indeed, I was not especially optimistic. Forty chairs, a huge poster of my book, a mic standâ€”and one person in attendance. She was about 50, and I walked up to her and said, “Is Jeff Pearlman speaking today?” Yes, she said. “Well, is his book good?” Yes, she said. “Well, I said, maybe I’ll stick around, too.”
By the time 7 pm came, there were a whopping 12 people in attendance. At first I felt a bit embarrassedâ€”here I am, in Dallas with a pretty high-profile Cowboys book, and all I could muster were 12 people. Then, however, I pulled up a chair (no mic, no stage) and talked for about 25 minutes. And it was wonderful. Great chat; a 16-year-old girl who seemed genuinely interested; about 15 book purchases. Best of all, two women whom I had met at Mike Irvin’s Hall of Fame induction last August cameâ€”Michelle and Renee (and Tony, Michelle’s husband).
Anyhow, it wasn’t a disaster. Very small number of people, but a positive overall experience.
And nobody arrived to kick my ass.
** Writer’s note: I accidentally wrote that Marti Sue White, the high schooler who attended, is 14. She is actually 16â€”and wicked smart. Inquisitive, engaged, attentive. If you’re Marti’s teacher, and you’re reading this, please give her straight-As.