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Pay it Forward


A guest post from fellow Newfoundland author, Charles O’Keefe. Enjoy! -Scott

Note: Thanks to Scott Bartlett for posting this and for helping me promote my book, also please check the end for a prize! :)

If you’ve seen the movie, or read the book, you’ll know what the title means right away (and a hint at my anecdote) but the meaning will become clear regardless. In September I did a book signing (in fact two in the one day) the first at a local Chapters and the other at a Coles in a mall. The first one went fairly well, I sold 3 copies and I went on to the next. The second book signing also was going good, a Twitter follower introduced himself and we had a nice chat about the internet, Twitter and writing in general. It was the first time a Twitter follower had come up to me in person and I was feeling good. Four more copies sold and I had about ten minutes left, I had done some writing, a little reading and played some video games on my iPad.

Before my time was up I noticed a young woman who had been sitting close to the book store entrance, near the escalator. She had been there a good hour or more and did some reading, played with her phone and occasionally looked at me and smiled. I’m a friendly guy so I smiled back and didn’t think much else of it. Then just before I left she came up to me and said, “I noticed you’re selling your book. I’m sorry I don’t have any money on me but I wanted to wish you luck and I wrote this note for you.” I said “Well thank you.” She smiled, waved and left and I was left with the note. I kept it and will share it with you now it said, “Every writer starts off with one word, one phrase, one book. Then builds their success on passion and love for their stories and imagination. Don’t be discouraged at what people say if negative. Write for yourself.”

It touched my heart and I smiled broadly, I wanted to thank her but she was gone. Instead what I can do is pass this note along to anyone who reads this blog and hope that maybe somehow she’ll see it. Simple words of encouragement from a stranger meant more to me than her money, someone who would be nice expecting nothing in return and only wanting to help is worthy of praise. It is comments like that make me want to continue to write, to see the benefit of it. Not everyone (besides my friends, family and wife of course) is apathetic; there are good people out there who care. Maybe she got it from a book or the internet but it doesn’t matter, it’s the thought that counts and it’s one I very much appreciated. I can’t repay her but I’ll pay it forward, I hope another reads this and takes heart. Writing is a worthwhile activity that a chosen few (or many if we’re lucky) enjoy and appreciate, I encourage others and I hope you’ll do the same.

The Prize: You’ve made it this far so here’s your reward. Today (November 21st, 2012) my book “The Newfoundland Vampire” is free on Amazon Kindle. I hope you’ll check it out and if you do read it, I’d love a review. Feel free to get in contact  with me through here. Thanks and have a great day/afternoon/evening!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/21/2012 9:52 PM

    Hey, I’m impressed just by the fact you have your stuff together enough to get published. I’m lucky if I can write a coherent comment, and now my blog-buddies have pushed me into writing whole posts! I’m not sure I’ll EVER be ready to write – which is good, ’cause I don’t think the world is ready FOR me to write! :D
    Keep the spirit strong, and go for it, Charles. To parse my wife’s favourite phrase, you serve as a good example. I’ll serve as a terrible warning! ;)

  2. Andrea permalink
    11/22/2012 7:21 PM

    What a lovely experience! It’s refreshing to hear about genuine human encounters like that. And that sentiment is beautiful.
    I’ll be passing on the link to my Kindle-owning friends and telling my aspiring writer friends about this post. :)

  3. 11/23/2012 7:43 AM

    Hi John and and Andrea :) Thanks for your kind words. I wouldn’t be too impressed John, it took me 8 years to get my book written and another 2 to get published but persistence pays off.

    Andrea, thanks for passing it along! I hope you’ll buy a copy of my book (if you didn’t get it for free). I love feedback and would be happy to talk with you about it. I’ve gotten good advice and encouraging words from other writers, friends and strangers, so I figure the least I can do is try to do the same myself :-) Have a great day and I’ll talk to you soon.


  4. 11/29/2012 6:50 PM

    I love this post. I don’t know a lot of people that are still in Newfoundland, but I’ll share it with my peeps.

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