Am I the only person who stands in a bookstore, looking at piles and piles of books and thinks, "Jeez. There're just too many books! How could I ever get any traction in a place like this, with the little books I'm working on?" Sometimes, I'll go through a shelf and read the first few pages of every single book, just to get a feel for what's out there. But every time I put the book back on the shelf, I imagine a chill running up some author's spine somewhere.
And holy first person! I write MG, so I must have looked at 60 MG books, and I literally found ONE new book that was written in third person. It was weird. What's the deal with all these first person books?
As always, I looked for all my published friends' books in their respective sections. Sadly, I didn't find any. Which was a bummer. I make it a habit to face out books written by people I know and hide their competitors. No such luck yesterday.
Finally, I found a book called the Billionaire's Curse in the middle grade section. Get this ... in the book, a kid inherits a billion dollars from his eccentric grandfather and is sent on a quest to find a diamond to save his family's reputation. This is EXACTLY the same plot of the book I shopped in 2008, except mine had the added wrinkle of time travel. I know it sounds like I'm obsessing, but I swear I rarely think about that whole episode anymore. Still, every so often, something happens and the whole thing comes whooshing back and smacks me in the face. This was one of those things.
I ended up not buying the book I went there to get. I don't know. I had it my hands, and just changed my mind. I was feeling a little rattled at this point. So instead I picked up a paperback and left, feeling altogether less wonderful than I usually feel when I leave a bookstore ...