There are certain first times that I suspect surprise all writers, no matter how often they may have fantasized about them.
Emily and I went camping last weekend at Chain O’ Lakes State Park, where several scenes in Storm Chaser were set. At the gatehouse the lady who checked us in asked all the normal questions, including, of course, my name.
“Hunter,” I replied. “First name Mark.” (Which for me was the logical answer to that question.)
She gave me a startled look. “The writer?”
I’d like to say I responded with something witty, but the best I could do was stammer, “Yes …” In addition to having never been recognized by a stranger, there was a lingering fear that park employees might not like the way I portrayed their workplace.
“I have your book on my Kindle!”
Turns out she claimed to like it very much, and took my business card with the promise of telling her coworkers about Storm Chaser. She even got my autograph. By that I mean she got my signature on the check-in paperwork.
That was the first time someone who didn’t already know me recognized me as a novelist … and yes, it did make my day.