Hmmm, so–is this going to be another self-serving post about my book? Probably. Loosely anyway. The impetus for this deep-dive into just how quickly my brain takes the most pleasant news and constructs a nightmare narrative to accompany it is, in fact, the news that my book My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel broke into the Amazon Kindle Top 100 Best Sellers lists today for Thriller/Suspense and Romantic Suspense. Awesome news right? Yes. I won’t pretend to be anything less than thrilled to have entered that list. It’s awesome. A year ago, when I first began to pen what would be come my debut novel, I can guarantee you that making a list, any list, was not on my radar.
So, this morning after a huge surge of adrenalized elation for having achieved such a thing, I became immediately preoccupied with what it could all mean. My focus, as happens often with my super-sized ego, was on the notion that it would eventually lead to a ill-fated meeting with a stalker of some sort. Why is that everything I do leads me to believe some crazy person will come for me? I don’t know. But, I do know that as I walked to the train I began to think about what that situation might look like. I stopped off for an iced coffee at Starbuck’s, and dismissed my thoughts as those of exactly what I am–a Level 9 paranoia ego-maniac. CFD, I said to myself. Which is code for Calm the F Down between me and the Mrs.
I took my beverage to the milk bar, and as I was pouring a little half-n-half honey into a cup of coffee I most definitely didn’t need, a woman’s voice startled me. “Are you Peter Rosch?” it said.
Holy Crap. Word travels fast. My picture was on the Amazon page with my book. My fears were dead-on, and I’ve dropped my guard.
I turned around with caution. I didn’t know this woman. I scanned quickly for blunt force objects in her hands. Nothing. “Yes… hi, have we met?” I uttered.
As you can imagine, we did. Through work. Through a regular connection we all make. She had met me in a meeting, and had remembered my face, name, and the project. Totally normal right? Or, as my brain surmised just mere moments after accepting the normalcy of the encounter, was she just that damn good at stalking? Had she tricked me? When we said good-bye and parted ways, was she actually still behind me. Perhaps. At least if she takes me out tonight, I’ll go out having been on a best sellers list of some sort.
I always feel like somebody’s watching YOU! Don’t be scared, be careful.
It’s ok. I’m sure Kathy Bates won’t be holding you hostage in the woods any time soon.
Oh, the stalkers are there. Never fear. But they are advanced life forms, not willing to let themselves be known. They are the ones selling you coffee, watching on hidden cameras, monitering your internet and cell phone usage, and dropping off your mail. ~And if you’re reading this and haven’t bought the book, do yourself a favor and get it now.
Melinda Jane Kellogg: stalker!