Vroman's last night, obviously. I might not have gone had my brother not asked me to get a book signed for him. He likes this author, Chris Cleave. I hadn't heard of Cleave but I like my brother and plan B involved doing nothing, so I went.
Chris has two books out right now: Little Bee and Incendiary. He read from the latter and it sounds riveting. I haven't read his books (yet) so I can't recommend them, but the woman next to me in the signing line afterward told me that "Little Bee" was the only book everyone in her book club liked.
Cleave drew a good crowd, but not so huge that he couldn't take a moment to chat with everyone who had a book signed. I swore to myself I wasn't going to tell him I'm a writer. With two books published and a third one almost finished, what's he going to say to every wannabe writer he meets? "Good for you, that's very nice, good luck in everything you do"?
It slipped out, and while I was ruing my blabbermouth he asked me what stage I'd reached with my book. I murmured "uh, finished, working on synopsis, it's very hard, blah blah." He gave me suggestions for how to approach the synopsis and was so kind and encouraging (as opposed to condescending) that by the time I headed for the cash register I had forgotten I was supposed to be kicking myself.
I learned a couple of things: attending such events might be a good use of my time at this stage of my career, and being a nice guy sells books.
Because I hadn't planned to buy one for myself, but I did.