Final sketches for The Day-Glo Brothers arrived yesterday, and without planning to, I found myself test-marketing them to two very different audiences this morning. The reactions were just as different as the audiences.
First was at my dentist’s office. When the hygienist wasn’t in the exam room, I pulled the sketches from my bag to review them. When she returned, she asked about the pages in my hands. I clarified that I’d done the text but not the art, and then I explained what Day-Glo is and hit the highlights in the story of how Bob and Joe Switzer had invented those colors.
“They sound like nerds,” she replied.
Next was at my mechanic’s. One moment I was giving him my e-mail address so that he could whitelist me (and my future reporting of mysterious automotive symptoms), and the next thing I knew my explanation of the “.info” portion of my domain name had led to a discussion of the book-marketing plans behind my vanity URL.
For this tangent we’d gone off on, I was lucky enough to have not one but two visual aids: the sketches that by now were in my hand, and the daylight-fluorescent-green service report on the counter between us.
I poked the report and said, “I’ve written about the guys who invented this color.”
My mechanic’s response: “Wow!”
Thanks to the unsolvable mystery of my car’s latest symptoms, I didn’t owe the shop anything today. But I’d have gladly paid up just in exchange for the genuine wonder and curiosity my mechanic displayed as we discussed the Switzers’ story and my telling of it.
An hour earlier, the hygienist’s response to that story had been of the “Why would anyone want to learn about that?” variety. Here, it was more like “How did you find out about that?!”
I don’t intend to lose any sleep over the former. But I need to figure out how to get my book in front of as many folks as possible who’ll give me the latter.