Diana Wilson had never been to a book signing before. She wasn’t quite sure what the point of them was. She supposed it was a great ego boost for the author to see so many people at his event, and it likely helped with sales, but what was in it for the fan? Chances are the writer before them would not turn out to be the Shakespeare of his generation, and it was just as unlikely that a life long friendship would be formed after he heard the words, “Could you make it out to…?” But there was just something about this author that drew Diana to a signing at her favourite local independent bookstore.
Cuddy Boone had been a movie star long before he became a wordsmith. Equal parts handsome, charming and talented, he seemed to have it all going for him. When word came out that he had written a book about a trip he had made to Africa to help build schools, Diana knew she just had to have a copy.
Nothing about Diana’s life screamed adventure. She had always imagined it would be full of excitement once her own writing career took off, but a lack of self-esteem got in the way, so she never put pen to paper. The best she could do was teach the classics to high school students and live vicariously through others.
The reading Cuddy gave that day was fantastic. The words and his delivery felt so genuine, Diana could imagine being chased by the same hungry lion Cuddy had been.
“I have to get back to my own writing,” Diana said to herself as she slowly made her way to the front of the line.
“Hello, it’s nice to meet you,” Cuddy warmly said to Diana upon her arrival. “Thank you so much for coming. What is your name?”
“Diana,” she said shyly.
“As in the Princess? How lovely! And what do you do, Diana?”
“I’m an English teacher by day, but I like to do a bit of my own writing on the side.”
Why did I say that? I haven’t written anything in years! I must sound like a total dork to this man!
“Fantastic!” Cuddy said right before signing the inscription that would lift Diana’s spirits higher than they had been lifted in years…From one writer to another. All the best. Cuddy.
Cuddy Boone had just referred to Diana as a writer! No one had thought of her as one in years. She felt validated, she felt as though she still had a shot, she felt as though she had to rush home and finally start that novel she had been meaning to start for years.
Two weeks later, Diana turned on the news and heard a story she never expected to hear in a million years.
“Earlier today, Hollywood superstar Cuddy Boone was arrested on four counts of sexual assault,” the newscaster said. “The alleged incidents are said to have taken place over the past eight years. He is to appear in court Monday morning.”
“Oh my God!” Diana thought after the story was over. “I worship a sex offender! I just had a book signed by him. Gross. I need to throw that out. Oh but wait, that might be worth something someday. I might even make enough off of it to finance my own writing career. But you’re still a pig Cuddy Boone!”
It would be another year before Cuddy’s case made it to trial. Diana would hold on to his book at least until then.