Well, last night I attended the 44th Annual Local Author’s Exhibit held at the San Diego Public Library. I never knew there were so many writers in San Diego, and I’m sure a good number of them weren’t even there. I’d guess at least 125 writers showed up for this event, and each writer brought a guest—except for me.
As luck would have it, my wife and a few of her workmates drove to Big Bear Mountain this weekend for a little skiing, snowboarding and female bonding. My wife rarely chums around with the “girls” so as much as I would have appreciated her accompanying me to this event, I encouraged her to go and enjoy herself.
My contingency plan was to invite my dear friend, Paula, who is actually much more than a friend. Paula, a fellow writer, voracious reader, writer of musicals and plays, has been instrumental in nurturing my writing career. Did I just say, “career”? She helped me design my author’s web site, created a video to be used by Amazon to promote my book, and overall she’s been a very positive influence in my life. She’s a gal who always looks at the glass as full. Not half-full, but full.
Unfortunately, Paula’s glass was empty yesterday. She had been fighting a terrible head cold and it got the best of her Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, there was no way she could accompany me to this event. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not high on these social get-togethers, even though I realize they’re an important part of self-promotion and marketing. So, I pissed and moaned but went in spite of my discomfort.
Most of the books on display from local authors were nonfiction. As I milled about checking out name tags and looking for at least one familiar face, it amazed me how many of the authors were PhD’s. One in particular overheard me talking to another writer about my Amazon Encore deal and he approached me. This Latino man, nearly 80 years old, was a natural storyteller. His energy level was that of a 30 year old man. We talked for over an hour. And I listened while he told me about his book and his struggles to get it published.
This very colorful man writes every single day, and he writes longhand! He even showed me his calloused fingers from grasping a pen for hours and hours. His book is based on a true story. It’s about an organization that made millions of dollars smuggling illegal aliens into the United States.
I went into Amazon.com this morning and searched for his book. I used the “Look Inside” feature to read a few excerpts. The guy is a hell of a writer. If you’re interested in reading a remarkable story, his name is Manuel Vic Villalpando, and the book title is The Illicit American. I might even ask this guy for some coaching.