It happens about this time every year . . . I get a phone call, an email, or a letter from a woman named Claudia in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She tells me how much she enjoys my books, tells me how many of my books she has purchased, or given away, and then wonders if she can buy more directly from me (with my autograph, of course). She especially loves Candles in the Dark, the one book, so far, that I have worked the longest and hardest on, but which went out of print the fastest of any of my titles. This book was translated into Chinese and Korean editions, and for all I know, I might be a best-selling author in Beijing or Seoul, but what good does that do me in Browntucky, Indiana?
Now, I'm not sure how people like Claudia find me, and I'm even more perplexed by my god-like status in Calgary, Alberta! (And why Calgary, of all places? Are there no bookstores there? Do Canadians read more out-of-print books by unknown and unsuccessful authors like me? Why form a Todd Outcalt book club and have my face tatooed on her forearms?)
Anyway, of course I wrote her back yesterday informing her that, yes, I would be most happy to send her a few of my books (as I do have the only remaining copies in existence) and I would even toss in free postage to Canada. Heck, that's the least I can do for my groupies. Gotta keep the fans happy.