Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Instant Gratification

Friday, December 14 ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

I'm sitting at a book-signing table at the Hastings store on Tramway Boulevard with my friend and fellow author Gary A. Wilson. Somehow, through a miracle of grace (and Gary's enthusiasm for my book), I've managed to sell three copies of The MoonQuest, even though I've felt thoroughly ungrounded and largely incoherent since arriving here.

A young couple approaches our table. As is often the case, it's the woman who's the reader. She picks up The MoonQuest and, instead of scanning the back cover, immediately begins reading from page one.

Her eyes and face begin to glow with pleasure. It's clear she doesn't want to put it down.

"I love it," she exclaims, "the names...the places...the story. I love it!"

I sign it for her and she and her friend move on, leaving me profoundly grateful -- not for the sale but for the light in her eyes as she read my words.

Although, I've been blessed with good reviews and positive feedback, I've never witnessed someone experiencing my story. I've never been gifted with the immediacy of a reader's delight. I've never experienced the instant gratification of a reader's instant gratification.

It's a rare privilege -- one closed to most authors. Tonight, I have seen the impact of my words in real time and I'm humbled by the power of the story that lives within me, the story that lives within us all.


motherwort said...

What a gift. When I was reading and reading and reading for my thesis, I came across Joseph Gold's books, Read for Your Life and The Story Species. Reading and literature are not just cultural imperatives, but in Gold's view biological imperatives, necessary for the diversity, evolution, and survival of the species. Pretty strong stuff, but I think so resonant with your experiences and your book, The MoonQuest.

Mark David Gerson said...

Even if reading isn't a biological imperative, storytelling must surely be one!

Read on....
Mark David