Authors often travel many miles to get their books “out there.” Sometimes we have unexpected adventures along the way.
Recently, I had a book signing back in our home town, Tupelo, Mississippi. Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore, a long-time locally owned, independent seller, hosted me as their featured author. We had a great time, greeting old friends, family members, and former colleagues. Robin and I lived in Tupelo 32 years before moving to Arkansas, so this occasion was more like a happy reunion than a business event, although my book sales were quite brisk too.
Sunday morning after breakfast in the hotel, we stepped onto the elevator to return to our room. Another gentleman stepped on with us. We pressed our numbers and began to rise. Then we stopped—between floors! Out went the lights. We stood there in pitch black darkness!
A moment later, the lights flashed back on, but the elevator still didn’t move. What to do?
Robin pressed the Emergency button on the numbers panel to sound an alarm. We pushed a bell ringer too. Surely someone would hear us. “Help! Help! We’re stuck in the elevator!”
Finally, we could hear distant voices. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, we’re fine, but we’re stuck!”
“Hold on, we’ve called the fire department. They’re on their way.”
Nothing to do now but wait—and pray that we didn’t fall to the bottom of the shaft!
We struck up a conversation with our fellow passenger. The man was from Natchez, Mississippi, and he was in town to help old friends celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. When he found out I was in Tupelo to sell my new book, he told us he knew Greg Iles, a best-selling author from Natchez. We talked about books, other Mississippi authors, and other places in Mississippi.
Fifteen minutes later, the rescue crew arrived. They must have tripped a switch because our elevator began to move. I held my breath. At last, we returned to the first floor, the doors opened, and we were saved! Hallelujah!
Of course, we still had to hike up and down three flights of stairs to carry our luggage from the room to our car. But we were free! The air was fresh! Life was good!
This “Southern Story Lady” even had another adventure to write about. Fun!