My eco-mystic romance novel deals with the plight of the dwindling wolf population on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. About two years ago, I had just begun sitting outside the Bookstore at Fitger’s Mall in Duluth, trying to hawk my wares to the holiday shopping crowd when a tall, thin, bearded man approached.
It soon became apparent that he was deaf and could not speak. Through a combination of gestures and lip movements, he managed to convey that he didn’t have any money to buy a book but that he liked the topic. Then he pointed to the part of the description on the back of my novel about the wolves on the island being in trouble. He put his hands over his heart and made a breaking motion. Clearly, it broke his heart that the wolves were dying out. He shook my hand twice, thanking me for writing about the issue, and left.
Thinking about the short encounter during the rest of my signing caused mixed feelings. The cynical part of me wondered if he was just trying to get a free book. The innocent part berated myself for not giving him a free book. In the end, my heart fell out of my chest and writhed around on the hallway floor in a fit of sentimentality, but it was too late to do anything about it.
I’m hoping the sequel to “Eye of the Wolf” will be published in about a year. If I see that guy again, I’m giving him a free book. Maybe one of each.