05 May 2017

First Signing like a First Kiss

 Family Fortnight +  Leading up to the International Day of Families on the 15th of May, we bring you the seventh in a series about mystery writers’ take on families. Settle back and enjoy!
by O'Neil De Noux


Like a first kiss - there has been nothing as good as my first signing. GRIM REAPER was released in 1988, and a local bookstore (back when local bookstores carried my books) had a signing for me. My publisher, Zebra Books coughed up some money (money I later discovered came out of my royalties) and I brought food and drink. My father brought beer of course.

We hoped to sell 30 books and the bookstore (part of a small chain) had 300 shipped in. The big surprise came quickly. A lot of my friends and my family showed up. I come from a big family - my father was one of 12 and my mother was one of 12. At that time, I had 95 first cousins and most of them had kids.


My brother is the tall one in this picture. The one non-family member is the third from the right. She was a retired nun. She was the principal at my grammar school, Our Lady of The Holy Rosary. She sent a note after reading the book, wondering who taught me to curse like that. I blamed it on the Christian Brothers at Archbishop Rummel (where I went to high school). Gotta love a Catholic education. I spent two years at a Jesuit university.


These are some of my aunts, a cousin and one of my sisters. They got all dressed up for this. My Aunt Earline (in red) lived to be 99. My Aunt Bess (second from the right) got married again when she was 80 years old.


My 2-year old son pitched in.

Well, we ran out of books. Sold 300 paperbacks. Never happened again, although my family continued to come to my signings through the 1990s. They don't come anymore. My books are too hardboiled and they haven't given the historicals a chance. You can only read so many curse words, I guess. Such is life.

But I'll always remember that first kiss.

PS: I did not write the promo on the flyer. Vendetta of blood?

www.ONeilDeNoux.com

7 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

95 first cousins! O'Neil, that's a publishing empire!

Very classy dressing up for a signing. I like that.

Paul D. Marks said...

I'm impressed, O'Neil. 95 cousins and it looks like they all showed up. You're very lucky that your family is so supportive!

janice law said...

It's lovely to have even one really sold out signing!

Steve Liskow said...

I love this.

95 first cousins...My first elementary school probably wasn't that big. And three hundred paperbacks sold. Wow! No wonder you remember it.

Great pix, too. I had pretty much the same glasses frames, Buddy Holly on aviator steroids.

Thanks for sharing this.

B.K. Stevens said...

So you ran out of books. No big deal. The important question is, did you run out of beer?

Great story, O'Neil. Did you know all your first cousins by name?

O'Neil De Noux said...

B. K. Stevens, yes I knew them all by name (many are gone now).

Elizabeth said...

What a fantastic day it must have been! No wonder you remember it like a first kiss.

Me, I have a grand total of two first cousins. I've never even met one of them.