I am starting today a new feature on this blog, signed items. I have quite a lot of signed books and a few other items and I hope to present them here and tell a little story about the signing.
Posts will be tagged "Signed" so they can easily be found.
I start first with the book Touched by Scott Campbell. About 6 months ago or so I decided to send out about a dozen books to about a dozen authors through the mail in the hopes of getting some books signed by people who I would not likely be able to meet. One of the hinderances of such an endeavor is I live in Canada and you need to send a postage paid envelope. If the author is American, that would mean I would need American stamps, so I sent many of the books when I was on vacation in New York City this past September. I took the books with me in my suitcase and bought the postage there, which was in itself a lengthy process as I had to buy postage for the interior envelope and the exterior times about 12 and it had to be stamps, not metered postage, as metered postage is only good for the day it is printed, then there was all the customs forms, etc. But it all worked out.
I think of the dozen or so books I sent to America, I got them all back. I also sent three to England, you can buy British postage online, and got back two of those. The one I did not get back was Vincent River by Philip Ridley. I also contacted Dennis Cooper, who lives in Paris, and he sent me his address. I sent him two books and as you cannot buy French postage online, I also sent him Euros to cover the cost of the postage, about $50 CDN worth of Euros, and despite repeated follow-ups and promises by Mr. Cooper to send the books back - nothing yet.
Another American author, Scott Sherman, I contacted by email and he agreed to sign my book, he was so happy to be contacted he said he would sign any book by any author. When I emailed him back for his address to send the books to, no response. Repeated follow-ups, nothing, nada. Why say you will sign and then ignore me?
The one Canadian author I wanted to send a book to, Daniel Allen Cox, said instead I should come to meet him when he comes to Toronto to promote his next book, which is actually happening this weekend on Saturday. I read in the paper he has had trouble with over-eager fans, so perhaps he didn't want to give his address. Perhaps Scott Sherman felt the same way, who will ever know as he never wrote back, but he gives the name of the small town where he lives in his book bio and I easily found his address online, so what's the point of that.
The first book I have chosen to feature from the dozen sent to Americans is Touched by Scott Campbell. The book sounded good from the description online and although I have yet to read it (need more time!), I look forward to it.
Here is a brief description of the book followed by images of what I received back.
"When twelve-year-old Robbie Young comes home and tells his mother "Jerry Houseman's been touching me" the lives of both families fly out of control. Scott Campbell's first novel is a sometime shocking but always the insightful and moving story of a sexual relationship between a young boy and an older man. Told from the points of view of the man, his wife, the boy and his mother, Touched is never sensationalistic or sentimental. Campbell knows how to tell a story, and his innate empathy with all of his characters shines through on every page. Touched might disturb the reader, not because of its subject matter, but because Campbell understands the human heart and its desires all too well."