Captain Bulldog (aka: Hubby) and I were at O’Hare Airport in Chicago about to catch our flight back home to Houston. We had just moved into the queue for the 2nd Group to pass through the last check point before boarding. A petite flight attendant got in line right behind us. Captain Bulldog, never being one to not notice a pretty lady, questioned her about having to stand in line. She laughed and guaranteed that she belonged in Group 2, just like us—no special privileges for flight attendants heading home.
That’s when the pretty flight attendant noticed the bouquet that I cradled in crook of my left arm as if the flowers were a precious sleeping baby. She said, “What beautiful roses. Is it your birthday or something?” I grinned and replied, “No, it’s not my birthday, but a very good friend and one of my critique partners, Pamala Knight, gave them to me Saturday evening in honor of publishing my first novel. Pamala lives in Chicago and I’m in Houston, but we both belong to The Lalalas, an online critique group, so we got to see each other while I was in town.”
Well, the pretty lady ‘ooh’ed’ and ‘aah’ed’ that I had written a book and she was so excited to meet a real author. At that point, C.B. reached into his travel bag, produced one of my bookmarks, and handed it to her. (I’m telling you, it was as if he’d been doing that his whole life. I was astounded at how quickly he reacted.) The flight attendant handed me a pen, right then, and asked if I’d sign the bookmark. (Picture me; experiencing my first autographing to someone I’d never before met. Oh my!)
I asked her name. It was the same as my sister’s so I knew I’d need to get the spelling correct. She grinned and said it was with just one “n”, Diane. (Sis uses two n’s.) I asked Captain Bulldog to turn around, handed the bouquet of roses to Diane, and then used Dear Hubby’s back as a hard surface on which to write, and signed the bookmark. At this point, I began to notice the crowd behind us was now paying attention to our conversation much like that old commercial “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.” I did my best not to lose my composure. Hubby’s grin said it well enough for the both of us. LOL!
So, on to check in. As I stepped onto the plane, I was waylaid by the crunch of people just inside the galley next to the captain’s cabin. The two flight attendants noticed my dozen roses, still cradled in my arm, but I now viewed them more like a trophy. “Is it your birthday?” I grinned. Big time, grinned. “No, a friend gave them to me.”Then, Diane’s voice from three people behind me yelled, “She published a book! The roses are for her book!”
That’s when the line went Full Stop. No forward movement. The two flight attendant’s eyes sparkled like tree lights at Christmas. They both asked several questions at once about my book. Not wanting to hold up the people behind me, and knowing the attendants were at work, I told them I’d give them bookmarks as soon as I found my seat.
The lady who had been listening to my original conversation with Diane back in the airport yelled, “May I have one, too?” Still grinning, I nodded “Yes!” to her and moved along. That lady turned out to be Michelle.
As I found my seat, I thought, OMG! Was this really happening? I felt light-headed, but somehow, I held it together. Danged if I’d let myself pass out and miss my ‘moment of fame’. Ha!Before the flight took off, I found Michelle in her seat and she was already searching Amazon on her cell phone for my book title. My seat mate, Elena, wanted a bookmark as well. Oh my! And, once all three flight attendants: Cindy, Janet, and Bosiana (pronounced, Bo-Shawna, and she’s from Poland!) had served refreshments and were taking a short break, they finally got their questions answered about how I came up with the story, the setting, and how long it took to write. And, they each got their signed bookmarks.I ask you. How much fun can a debut author have in one day? I mean, really? LOL!
So, if you ever need a bump in your publicity, just book a flight and get in line with a dozen roses. But, keep those bookmarks handy!