The girl reading The Gentle Axe on the yellow line

It’s always been a fantasy of mine to spot someone on the tube reading one of my books. I don’t think I would ever actually say anything to them. It might be just a little too odd. (Though possibly I might have to say something, just to explain why I was looking at them like a stalker and grinning weirdly to myself.)

So far it’s never happened, but I learnt yesterday that the next best thing has. Maybe it’s an even better thing, I don’t know. You decide. Yesterday, the google web alert that I have set up for “Gentle Axe” (yes, I’m that sad) alerted me to this “Missed Connections” personal announcement that someone has posted in Washington, DC. A guy had spotted a “stunning brunette” reading my book, The Gentle Axe, on the yellow line (from King Street to Archives). He had struck up a conversation with her, asking her if she had read Crime and Punishment. He didn’t push it, not wanting to “be a bother”. So the conversation had ended without him asking her things he really wanted to. Like, how about lunch? Truly, a missed connection.

So he posted the announcement, hoping that she would see it, and they would be able to pick up where they had left off. Call me an old romantic, but the story really touched me. I hope she gets in touch with him. I love the idea of them getting together because of my book.

And if either of you literary yellow line commuters, by any chance, happen to stumble across this entry, please get in touch and let me know what happens. It might be too far for me to come to the wedding, but I’d love an invite!

8 thoughts on “The girl reading The Gentle Axe on the yellow line”

  1. Aw – that’s brilliant. I’d love to see someone reading my book on a train too, but haven’t a clue what I’d say to them if I did.

    When I was at Uni I overheard a couple practising a play I’d written sitting in a cafe – they were at a table really near me. I went over and introduced myself – and it didn’t go well.

    Your Missed Connections sounds much better. I hope they see this and get in touch with you.

  2. Well, at first they didn’t believe me, then they did and invited me to their rehearsal, on the condition that I sat at the back and said nothing. They’d cut out massive chunks of the dialogue, so a few of the scenes didn’t make any sense. When I pointed this out, there was an icy silence. The play got a terrible review and I stayed in bed for two days. I’ve never tried writing plays again, even though I’m tougher about reviews now.

    I’m sure it won’t work out like this for you though… 🙂

  3. Bloody hell! Sit at the back and say nothing!!! Bloody cheek! It’s funny isn’t it how writers are always put on the defensive (especially when it comes to performed works) – we have to justify what we do, but actors and directors think they can just mutilate a text without even having to talk to the writer.


  4. Hey, next time I take the train to Picton (New Zealand), I’m going to take my copy of Gentle Axe and read it again 🙂

    (Or better, I must get round to buying the follow up.)

  5. Mark, no obligation, you know!

    Hi Charlotte, I think you can set up google alerts from the google search engine page. It was a while since I did it so I can’t remember exactly how.

  6. Pingback: The next best thing to spotting someone reading your book… « R. N. Morris

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