I recognized the expression immediately because I'm certain something of the sort has passed over my own face.
It's the look you adopt when someone who's heard you're a writer and lets you know they have a book coming out, too.
See, when a guy at my end of the grey spectrum (who isn't immediately identifiable as Jay Leno or Richard Ford) says he has a book about to be published, it's natural to assume it's either a bad Scott Thurow knock-off, a family history or an account of raising show dachshunds.
So naturally the author I met at a recent reading adopted a vaguely encouraging expression that conveyed something like: Congratulations. I'm sure iUniverse will give you your ten-thousand-dollars-worth. Please tell me more, just not too much.
But I got a glimmer of respect when I mention that Monument Road was picked by booksellers as one of ten fiction titles to be featured in the ABA's Celebrate Debut Authors with Indies fall promotion.
At 64, I appear to be the oldest debutante in the mix.
There are a couple MFA grads and more than half were born or live in other countries. In this company, my novel about a Colorado rancher could qualify as exotic or a diversity pick. Anyway, I wish all those writers well and look forward to meeting them in New York at the end of the month.
It's weird being a "debut" author after a lifetime of writing. But it's cool, too.