People say the craziest things at author talks

Author and friend Nichole Bernier recently wrote an amusing (and occasionally disturbing) piece in the Huffington Post about the strangest things ever said to authors at book events.

I thought I’d share a few of my own.

At one of my first book talks for the launch of SOMETHING MISSING, a woman asked, “How do your ex-girlfriends play a role in your fiction?”

When I asked about the inspiration begins her unusual question, she said, “You look like the kind of guy with a lot of ex-girlfriends.”

I’m still not sure what she was implying.


Recently I was discussing my newest book, MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND, at a local library. One of the gentlemen in the audience identified himself as autistic and asked, “Do you know what the cause of autism is?”

After stating that there was no definitive answer to that question, he said, “Autism is caused by inbreeding. My parents were first cousins.”

I pointed out that perhaps his parents would prefer that information like that remain private and quickly changed the subject.

During an appearance at the Hartford Public Library a year ago, a less-than-stable audience member rose up halfway through my answer to another audience member’s  question and shouted, “Where are the damn donuts?”

I told her that I tried to avoid donuts whenever possible.

At a recent book club appearance, I was asked about my religious beliefs. I described myself as a reluctant atheist who wishes he could believe in a greater power but hasn’t been able to do so yet.

A woman asked, “Can I pray for you?”

“Sure,” I said. “Knock yourself out.”

“Can I pray for you constantly?”

“Sure,” I repeated, with considerably greater trepidation.

Lastly, a woman at another book club meeting had read my biography earlier that day and inquired about my two near death experiences and the  armed robbery that I experienced. After giving her some details about each event, she asked, “Do you think the universe hates you?”

“As long it doesn’t kill me,” I said, “I don’t care what it thinks of me.”