I was at the opticians the other day (I've been trying to get contact lenses sorted, but my stupid eyes don't seem to be compatible. It's extremely annoying. Are they supposed to be a bit itchy? A bit uncomfortable? Answers in the comments are welcome.) when something struck me. As in a thought. A sensible notion. With my novel being published later this year, naturally I've been thinking about how I might promote it. Most of my ideas have involved the internet. Nothing unusual about that. But as I sat there, opposite my optician, blinded by the light of his tiny torch just centimetres from my eyeball, I remembered perhaps the most obvious marketing action available to me. Say something. Just say something.
And so I did. I engineered a conversation.
'I only work just up the road, so it's no problem if I need to come back.'
'Ah, right. What do you do?'
'I'm a writer. I work for a design company.'
'But I also write fiction. I've written a novel.'
'Really? Fantastic. And is it published?'
'It's funny you should ask that. It's coming out 1 September this year.'
'And are you using your real name?'
'Yes. Iain Broome. That's me.'
'And what is it called?'
'A is for Angelica.'
Now, I've had that conversation before with people. Sometimes the recipient of this knowledge will be polite, feign interest and, well, that's about it. Other times, the person will lead the chit-chat on to a related topic, like their own novel, the one they've never written but definitely could and maybe, you know, one day, they might get a chance to. If it weren't for all the stuff.
But my optician did neither of those things. He simply turned to his desk, wrote something down and carried on with matters optical. It was only when he left the room for a minute, to find me yet another type of contact lens, that I was able to sneak a quick look at what he'd written.
Iain Broome. A is for Angelica.
A note for later, presumably. A future Google search.
And all I did was say something.