Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Friday, December 21, 2007

On being Mr. Terri Farley, husband of the author

If you live long enough, you'll accumulate your share of humiliating experiences, and if some portion of your life is semi-public, you'll occasionally run across people eager to remind you of them. A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a reader--a girl, or I suppose a woman now--who wanted to know if I was the same Cory Farley that Mike Dixon and Craig DuLac pantsed on the playground at Goodwin School in 1958.
No, that was some other Cory Farley. There were dozens of us in middle school in those days.
One you can't lie your way out of, though, is being the consort of the author at a Book Signing.
Some readers know my wife is a young adult novelist . . . that is, a writer of books for young adults; she herself is fully mature. She's done three dozen or so, and every 10- to 14-year-old on your Christmas list would love a couple of hundred copies.
We'll come back to that.
My part in that phase of Terri's life used to consist of taking the children to the zoo so she could work, then coming home to cook dinner. Now that the kids are grown and she's solidly in the Medium Time, though, I'm allowed to accompany her to signings. She introduces me to bookstore owners and managers as her husband, but what they hear is "roadie:" I'm the guy who carries the boxes, tracks down the extension cords, finds the circuit breaker when it trips and runs across the mall to buy new pens when the kids walk away with hers (tip to aspiring writers: Never sign with a pen you're not willing to lose).
Terri will be signing Saturday at the Barnes & Noble on South Virginia Street (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; that's as close as we'll get to a sales pitch), and I'll be in the background, mostly out of habit. She gets decent treatment these days: plenty of books on hand, people to fetch coffee, somebody to manage the lines.
Best of all, there are lines to be managed. I rarely have to sit across from her in an empty corner of a bookstore any more and rave in my LOUDEST VOICE about how my grandchildren just LOVE her books and is she POSITIVE there are only 30-odd of them because I SURE WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE FOR ALL MY FRIENDS' KIDS!
It was not ever thus. We did two hours in Seattle one time and sold two books. When we left, the manager gave us a bill for the coffee he'd provided. In San Antonio the signing coincided with the opening of a high-end men's hair place. Between 10 a.m. and noon, I and about 30 other guys got haircuts, but only half a dozen kids came to see the author. When I told the woman doing my hair why I was in town, she walked away from the chair, went next door to gape at the writer (who, she confided, "looks just like a normal person"), then came back empty-handed.
Terri did draw a crowd in San Jose, not all of them her mother's friends--but the store hadn't ordered extra books. The kids went home mad, some with autographs on the palms of their hands. In Hawaii we got bad directions from the hotel desk and went the wrong way around the island; the kids went home mad without autographs anywhere. In New Orleans . . . never mind New Orleans. I understand it's mostly dried out now.
But she'll be on her home turf Saturday. The pens are packed, the books are in stock (allegedly; we've heard that before), the author is primed. You can strike a blow for juvenile literacy and finish your Christmas shopping at the same time, and incidentally take advantage of our One-Day Only Special Offer:
If you buy more books than you can lift, the roadie will carry them to your car.


Blogger tuzoner said...


More precisely: Reading books.

It just seems to me that many prefer to watch TV to reading which makes absolutely no sense to me.

I applaud Cory for bringing this subject to this blog.

I'm not exactly the target market for his wife's books however.

The last book I read was "The Worst Hard Time" about the The Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.

A must read on how a well intended federal government policy went very very wrong.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I missed Terry's transition from romance writer to childrens' author, but I'm an old romantic, and was tickled pink to find her foot and a half section of books in the juvenile fiction section under *f* instead of *s*

9:42 PM  
Blogger mindervillain said...

With about 12 in-laws arriving from Southern California Saturday to spend Christmas with us, more or less in shifts - half of them will take up all of our bed and floor space until the day after Christmas, at which point they will go home and the other half will abandon their rooms at the Carson Valley Inn and reoccupy the recently abandoned spaces in our house - I really don't have time to make it to the signing on Saturday.

However, I do have grandchildren back in Michigan who are within the target group for Ms Farley's works. If we could be assured that Mike Dixon and Craig Dulac would show up and do an encore performance, it might be worth driving to Reno and buying some books.

11:25 PM  
Blogger dwoods48 said...

On being Mr. Rebecca...
It was great to go to B&N Yesterday and Meet "The Author" and ,Buy a Book. Rebecca and Her immediately hit it off and talked and talked, it was kind of surreal to me because I knew the answers to most of the Questions, She was asking.. So, We went for coffee and Waited because I wanted to Meet the "Roadie" [ I have been a Fan for 15 years ] So When He finally appeared , We went to See Him , as We approached , "The Author" Said "Oh, Cory ,This is Rebecca, and Her Husband , I just can't remember His name... But, It was Great anyway to Meet both of You. I am just glad She, lets me travel around with Her...

8:01 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I also had no idea your wife wrote books for children. I took your advice and ordered the first of one of her series for my granddaughter. She was previously hooked on the Heartland series, so this will be right up her alley.

Thanks for the tip.

7:41 AM  

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