Fitch's pharmacy book signing

For those who don't know, Fitch's Pharmacy and its resident nurse practitioner, Clinton, both have cameos in The Mirror Image of Sound.

How that came to pass is something I'll discuss in a moment.  Let's just say that I was more than chuffed to hear that Fitch's wanted to stock the novel - in time for Father's Day (today!).  What's more, they wanted me to do a book signing there!

So this last Wednesday I rocked up at lunch time, signed some books and was made to feel like royalty.

How did it all begin?

Well it was the night of Saturday, 8 March 2014 and I was knee deep in writing the last third of the novel.  Of course, I was publishing it online as I went.

Clinton, my nurse practitioner, works from a pharmacy (Fitch's) here in Perth.  I've been seeing him for years to renew routine scripts and have him administer injections and so forth.  In fact, I'd just seen him that week and we'd recently become Facebook friends.

So I was sitting there with Maureen on the Saturday night.  She was watching some recap of "My Kitchen Rules" and I was pretending to do the same (as I generally did), the notebook on my lap and my fingers hammering away at the keyboard.

I had reached a kind of impasse - a minor case of "writer's block" if you will.  I just didn't know how to finish the particular instalment.  I also knew that my character needed to have a particular medical condition diagnosed, but I was genuinely loathe to have him see a full doctor - for plot as well as writing reasons (who wants to write about doctor's waiting rooms?).

Then, abruptly, I got the first of many "online challenges" from my readers.  It was Clinton on FB instant message "chat", daring me to put 4 "hads" in a row in a sentence - in a way that would still make sense.

Twenty minutes later I sent a message saying to Clinton that the latest instalment was up, complete with his challenge having been both accepted and demolished.  I'd constructed an entire scene, giving both Clinton and Fitch's pharmacy a cameo (albeit moving both to Princes Hill in Victoria).  (The actual pharmacy in the novel is one I found using Google streetview.  It is similar in age and outward appearance but it probably doesn't have a nurse practitioner.)

In the novel, I've tried to describe its interior of Fitch's as accurately as I could.

I also had Clinton diagnose me perfectly (as he generally does) and gave him the following line:
"But seriously, I wouldn't worry about it too much: one of my uncles had arrhythmia; he worried about it his whole life.  He ended up being killed by lightning at the age of 85.  
Any concerns he had had had had no bearing on how his life actually ended."  
I followed this with my own narration:
I'm noting that Clinton has just used four "hads" in a row - yet it still seems to make perfect sense.
This passage has proved to be one of the most popular in the novel.  At my recent book club address I was even asked to read it out loud!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the book signing at Fitch's - and one from today as I passed by.

I notice that all but 2 copies have been sold.  Exciting times!


Post a Comment