Talk about having to wait a long time for delivery of a book. How about 9 months? Yep, that’s the time elapsed between being the first person to pay for Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and actually receiving delivery. It was one of two big events on August 15th, 2013.
As I wrote last November, I had donated a copy of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity to the silent auction at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). The ink on the manuscript was still wet, at least figuratively, and the cover design and title were still not finalized. So the “book” took the form of a short brochure on a padded backing. That facsimile received five bids, with the final bidder paying that amount to SETAC for its fund to help students building their scientific careers. I get a donation, the winner gets a book, and students get some much needed funding. Everyone wins.
Ah, but the book hadn’t actually been physically produced at that point. So the winning bidder, Diana Eignor, waited patiently for nine full months to receive her book. She even attended my book launch party in July this year, only to find that a delay in shipment meant I still didn’t have any books. Yesterday we remedied that by meeting for lunch on the plaza near her office, which given that the SETAC meeting had been in Long Beach, California, fortuitously turned out to be only a short walk from my own office in Washington DC. After some great food and delightful conversation I signed and inscribed the book over to her. The longest waiting book delivery ever (at least for my book).
The second big event yesterday was even more astonishing. I made the front page of my hometown newspaper, the Ipswich Chronicle. Growing up in a relatively small town in New England was something I probably didn’t appreciate enough when I lived there but I definitely appreciate every time I go back to where my parents and much of my extended family still resides. It’s my detox place. A way to shed the high stress craziness of the Washington DC area and remind myself what is really important in life.
I did know that a profile article on me was in the works. A freelance writer named Beverly Perna had been contracted by the paper’s editor to interview me and write up a piece about a “local boy done good.” We’ve actually been waiting a month for a slot to open up so it could be printed. Yesterday (August 15) was that slot. What was surprising is that the article made the front page! With a photo of me holding my Tesla book. The very nice article continues from page 1 onto page 3.
I can’t wait to see it. Yes, as exciting as this event is I have yet to actually see it in print. I received a call from my parents and Facebook notes from friends, but since I’m several hundred miles away I haven’t seen the paper yet. They will post the article in a few days on the website version of their paper (Wicked Local Ipswich), and when it’s up I’ll be sure to post a link on my Facebook author’s page. After all, now I’m a celebrity. 🙂
All in all a nicely exciting week.