They were closing in on me.
I felt it.
I felt it the moment I introduced myself at the Fifth Annual Readers and Authors Get Together Friday night. I heard it in their murmurs to each other. I saw it as they moved forward, toward the two of us.
I had forgotten that some of those people are obsessed.
Maybe even a little crazy.
And so I got out of there--fast.
It was a dynamic I had not anticipated.
I thought I would waltz into the Marriott 20 minutes from my home, drop off my donation for the raffle and say a quick "hello" to the other Lori Foster, the hostess of the event and the one who really gets paid to write.
I had never met her before, though she lives nearby and folks often mistake me for her.
Not the right folks, I'm afraid.
According to Publishers Marketplace, the "other" Lori Foster recently signed a 7-figure deal for her next romance/erotica series. The people she signed with seem to know where to send her paychecks. They are not at all confused.
It's the others.
My son's former teacher was certain that I was the famed romance writer. She was under that impression for more than a year before she finally got up the nerve to ask me. A literary agent once apologized for not getting back to me on her request for the manuscript for my novel. Her assistant had moved my email into the "other" Lori Foster's file.
A few good friends emailed me years ago, shortly after my first son was born. They had seen a novel on the grocery store shelves. It was written by Lori Foster and the title was the same as my son's first name.
Now really, would I write an erotica novel with a main character named after my son?
The other Lori Foster and I have exchanged a few emails over the years. I had thought about going to the get-together even though I don't read or write romance. More than 100 authors were scheduled to attend along with a few agents.
Writers are writers, and it would be nice to share their company, I thought.
But I couldn't go.
My daughter and husband had already planned a rafting trip with a YMCA group.
And I didn't want to spend money on a babysitter. My husband's company recently executed a round of furloughs and we have no idea what will happen when the next quarter begins at the end of June. I just couldn't justify the cost of the registration and the cost of a sitter for the three other children.
So I decided to donate a gift basket full of writerly things from my business, http://www.exclusivewritergifts.com/, instead. The woman who took my donation laughed when I gave her my name and pointed to the other Lori Foster, who was standing just a few feet away.
She was busy.
The buffet dinner was underway.
The fans and authors had gathered.
Things were hectic.
So I introduced myself and said a brief "hello" to this kind, petite woman with whom I share a name, a city and a passion for writing. I had to speak loudly over the din, loud enough for others around us to hear. I began to stutter a bit when I noticed the odd reaction.
I'm sure the novelty would have passed quickly.
I mean, what was there to say?
But it was too strange to be stared at that way.
And so I left, happy to have finally met her, but relieved that I had not registered.