This is the penultimate chapter of Beloved. Tomorrow will complete the telling of
the tale, finally... after all these many years.
Will really was the luckiest man in the whole world. Not only was he a brand new father to the most beautiful baby daughter ever born – little Miss Jocelyn Emma Dowell – but here he was, sitting in the window of Chevalier’s Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
Buffy was sitting in a comfortably overstuffed chair on a small fenced-in dais, well away from the traffic of fans who would (hopefully) gather. She was gently rocking their three month old in her arms, who would hopefully settle down before people started to arrive.
He held a copy of the flyer announcing this momentous occasion in his hands.
Come meet and greet the authors of a breakout science fiction blockbuster – William and Buffy Dowell – who will be signing copies of their first in a series of demon and vampire hunting volumes: Into the Darkness.
They will be on site between the hours of 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
Books available for purchase on site. Kindle editions will be available in the upcoming future. Join their mailing list to be kept informed of future sequels.
126 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
About 12:30, people started to queue up outside the store. A few at first, and then the crowd began to build. Will looked at his wife, who smiled radiantly.
“Seems the flyers did their job, Will,” she said. “Looks like the line goes all the way down the block. And it’s only just past 12:30.”
“At least there’s interest in the book. Took us long enough to not only write the thing and get it edited, but to also find a publisher. I didn’t want to accept any help, but Dad’s offer of ‘I know someone who knows someone’ certainly did change things for us, and quickly.”
Buffy nodded, thoughtfully. “If we do continue with this series – which seems likely given the outlines we already have stored in the computer – I’d like for us to do it on our own merits. I know Angel meant well, but if given an inch, he’d probably take a football field.”
This time it was Will’s turn to smile. “Sometimes I forget how well you really know my Dad.”
The owner of the store made her appearance by clapping her hands together to garner their attention. “Okay, my dears. The time has come to open the doors and greet your fans. The posting of a partial chapter seems to have garnered a lot of attention – so remember to breathe, stay hydrated. There’s bottled water in the insulated carrier by your feet.” Just before she threw the doors open, she added, “Smile, smile, smile!”
From her vantage point, Buffy watched as the people filed into the store, picked up a copy of their book, and headed for the queue line in front of Will. First up was a teenaged girl. She almost threw the book onto the desk, as flustered as she was. Will was gracious, listened to her patiently, coaxed out a giggle and a smile, and then signed her copy.
“Daddy’s a hit,” she cooed into Jocelyn’s ear as the child slept on her shoulder. She was more than happy to let her husband have the lion’s share of attention for the moment. With her baby in her arms, and Will close by, she couldn’t ask for anything more.
One by one folks handed over their book to be autographed, and Will looked genuinely happy with each transaction. Every now and then he would shake his hand as if to work out a kink or two, as the people kept coming – the line looked never-ending.
Occasionally, someone would make their way to her little platform, coo over the baby, and ask for her autograph, as well. They couldn’t have asked for a better debut to the reading public. Now, the onus was on them – they had to actually like what was written and clamor for more. Time would tell, of course, and in the meantime, they would relax and bask in the attention.
Buffy couldn’t stop herself from laughing out loud – startling Jocelyn, who quickly settled back down – as one enthusiastic grandma-type pinched Will’s cheek before she left happily with her prize.
Eventually the line of customers came to an end, and Will stood up and stretched his body, shaking the feeling back into his limbs.
As the store employees cleaned up his sitting area and put the remaining books back in the display pile, the owner made her way over to the tired couple.
“What a lovely and profitable day this turned out to be,” she said, happily. “Do you realize we sold and you signed a grand total of 265 books this afternoon? You should be proud of yourselves. First time authors don’t always receive this type of attention.”
“Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity,” Buffy said, shaking the woman’s hand. “Will and I were hopeful for a decent turnout, but this exceeded our wildest dreams.”
“I so agree with what my wife – and co-author – said,” Will nodded happily. “The best thing we ever did was put up a sample of the first chapter online –“
“And put your picture under it,” Buffy added with a soft giggle. “That didn’t hurt to draw in the females – and some of the males, if I’m not mistaken.”
“It’s all good, kids,” the owner smiled, obviously happy with today’s take, “All publicity is good publicity. If a pretty face can draw ‘em in, good writing will keep them.”
With that, the couple offered their goodbyes, settled Jocelyn into her car seat and headed for home.