Saturday, September 26, 2015

Geraldine Brooks: A Bookshop 'Motivated Me So Much'

Shelf Awareness

Geraldine Brooks
"When I was writing my first book, Nine Parts of Desire, I had a lot of trouble staying put in my study and getting on with it. I was living in Hampstead, London, at the time and I would procrastinate in every way I could think of. 

One of my favorite ways was to go to the local bookstore and just stand there, surveying the shelves, smelling the scent of new books, fingering the covers. Thinking, 'I'll have a book here soon.' Then I would realize, 'Hmmm, if that's the case I'd better go home and get on with writing it.' I fell in love with that store because it motivated me so much.

"The oddest thing that's happened was after that book came out. I was in New York City, standing in line at the register. The woman in front of me was saying, 'Do you have Six Portions of Pleasure? Oh, no, wait: maybe it was called Five Shares of Lust?' I was dying inside, wondering which was worse, outing myself, or letting a potential sale go by. The bookseller, bless her, didn't even look up. 'You want Nine Parts of Desire,' " she said, and pointed the woman to the relevant shelf."

--Author Geraldine Brooks, in a q&a with Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.

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