Who’s listening?

Eavesdropping. We’ve all done it, or fallen prey to it. But has eavesdropping ever worked for you in a way you never imagined?

Last evening my family and I reconnected with friends we hadn’t seen since I’d published my book, Money Man this past January.  Our friends, kind and supportive folks, peppered me with questions about my book and graciously listened as I rattled on about the publishing process and the challenges we authors face promoting our work.

My brilliant editor, Demi Stevens gave me invaluable advice when I received the first “proof” copies of my book. “Keep one of these copies with you in your purse at all times,” she said. “Whenever anyone asks you about your book, whip out your copy and hand it to them.” Great advice I strived to follow. If you ever saw me slogging around town with my big purse, now you know why.

True to form, I pulled out my book and handed it to our friends to check out. They took turns reading the back cover and handed it back to me.  Meanwhile, seated nearby, a couple appeared to hang on every word of our conversation. I wondered if we needed to adjust our volume.

We finished dinner and settled the bill when the eavesdropping woman approached our table and bent down to speak to me. “Congratulations on your book,” she said. “I found it on Amazon and just ordered it!”

“Wow, thank you,” I said. “I hope you enjoy it.”

“Who was that,” my husband asked?

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Those people were straight-up eavesdropping,” my daughter, Chelsea said.

“Yeah, they were,” I said.  “Best advertising ever.”

The Private Detective?

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived at a local hair salon to pick up my daughter from her appointment. According to Yelp, it’s classified as a $$$$ Hair Salon and Spa. Not too shabby. I was surprised when an older man sitting across from me piped up with, “Nice day to be in the barbershop, right?”

“Uhm, sure,” I said. ‘Barbershop’ is not how I’d classify this establishment, but who cared? Immediately I grabbed my phone and scanned for something to entertain myself as I waited.

Now, we’ve all experienced the feeling someone is staring at you as you do your best to ignore them. And I was getting this vibe from the dude who thought he was in a barbershop. Soon, I’d run the gamut of phone entertainment options and perused the magazines displayed on the table in front of me.

No sooner had I looked up from Martha Stewart’s Living, when staring barbershop guy approached with his arm outstretched.

“Do you mind if I give you my card,” he asked? “In case you ever need it. I’m a private detective.”

My first thought: Great. I look like someone who needs a private detective. My second thought: Eh, what the hell?

“Ha! Well, I’m a writer,” I said. “We should talk.” I chuckled and took his card.

He then proceeded to fill me in on a double-murder case he’s investigating–which also included international child trafficking, a state-police cover-up, and a slew of other sketchy characters.

Well, you don’t say? And people ask me where I get my writing ideas?