Today, more than ever, the expression, “It’s a small world,” makes sense. But I prefer the old Persian saying, “The Earth is round, we never know when we’ll meet again!” Maybe what I enjoy is the optimism in this version, its indication to an active world rather than one shrinking in size. A recent experience with one such dynamic wave made me realize how truly connected people are.
Years ago, I happened to read Digging to America by Ann Tyler, who is one of my favorite contemporary authors. It was a delightful novel and I wrote a review on it for The Iranian. A few months later, I received a sweet letter from two ladies in New Jersey. Prior to conducting their book club session of the above book, they had decided that because of its connection to Iranian characters and culture, they’d look up a review by an Iranian writer. As luck would have it, they found my article. Their flattering remarks on my review made my day and in the end they expressed interest to read more of my work and to be notified about my upcoming novel. We exchanged pleasantries and I promised to be in touch.
Four years went by and as the ending of my fact-based novel continued to change, I became too absorbed in revising Sky of Red Poppies and lost track. Two weeks into the launch of my novel, I received another e-mail from one of those ladies. She had followed my articles and now working at a New York bookstore, she requested copies to be sold at their store. it has been a year since, and I still can’t put a face to her name, but by now my mind has given her an angelic image.
To date, The Blue Door Books in Cedarhurst NY has single handedly sold well over three hundred copies of Sky of Red Poppies – more than any other retailer, excluding Amazon. In addition, my unseen friend has organized several book club discussions by phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if by now the people in Cedarhurst know me better than San Diegans do! This is no longer just business as these connections convince me that I’m on the right path and such friends generate the needed energy to go on.
Now going through round 2 with The Moon Daughter, my friends are welcoming me once again and so far, four shipments have gone out. Delighted as I may be with my second novel’s success, I’m convinced the deep joy I feel has more to do with the reassurance that friendships last, no matter where you live.
So, if you happen to pass through Cedarhurst NY, stop by The Blue Door Books and visit the people who don’t just provide known books, but reach out and make their own selections. By doing so, not only do they support unknown authors, but show how deeply they care about what their clients read. Suitable recommendations are why we all became readers and receiving such care is what makes independent bookstores irreplaceable.