Sometimes the weirdest things happen.
Several months ago (at least six), my partner sent a copy of my book, You are not the brightest of my four sons, to Dr. Lloyd Sederer, MD. Lloyd happens to be a pretty important guy in New York…he has served several administrations (think Bloomberg for one) and is, as you’d expect, a pretty busy guy. So busy that my book sat in a pile in the corner of his office, buried under the weight of dozens of other books hopeful authors like myself had sent him. You see, Dr. Sederer reviews books for the Huffington Post and some other publications.
I had no clue that my partner had sent Dr. Sederer a copy of my book until something weird happened: I was asked to speak at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health’s annual conference. That in itself isn’t unusual as I speak all over the country about how we can reduce/eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. However, I had never spoken at a gathering where the good doctor was also speaking.
I arrived at the conference just in time for my talk, thus missing Dr. Sederer’s. My associate, Tonya, and I had purchased a table where we could show and sell my book and by chance our table was shared with the good doctor. I had no clue who this man was: beard, slight, kind of shy guy who somewhat reluctantly shook my hand as I introduced myself. As I took my spot behind the table, pen in hand ready to autograph any sales we might make, I couldn’t help but notice that people kept coming up to “our” shared table and instead of wanting my book, they wanted to congratulate him on his talk that morning and to buy his book! I’m looking at all of this all the while asking myself who this guy was and what was so wonderful about his talk?
Things finally slowed down and my associate told me who the doctor was: he reviews lots of books, works for the state of New York, is an incredibly important person! Wow…I’m thinking maybe I should be more friendly (I had given him the evil eye for the better part of an hour as he stole my book sales!). Being somewhat reserved and shy (or so I thought), the doctor certainly didn’t relish my aggressive nature, but I began asking him questions about his resume anyway.
I was completely blown away…not just by what he had accomplished, but with who as a person he was…he is a great guy! Smart…caring…and of course incredibly well-connected (I don’t think he even has to call Bloomberg ‘Mr’!). I handed him an autographed copy of my book (not that he asked for it) and his eyebrows rose and an enthusiasm I hadn’t yet seen propelled his voice to shout, “Hey, I have your book! It’s sitting in my office someplace. Somebody sent it to me months ago. I guess somebody wanted me to review it.”
No kidding…WE wanted him to review it! Anyway, now that I had the good doctor within a foot of me, there was no way I was going to let him go. I didn’t shut up (mostly making him answer my questions about who, what, and where as it concerned him) and finally he agreed to go to dinner with us. What an incredible time I had! This man is the real deal! And, he promised me that on the plane back to New York he would read my book. He wouldn’t guarantee he would like it, but at least he would give it a go.
Read the review for yourself. I think he liked my book…a lot! We are hoping that his review will spur sales and create more speaking opportunities for our Foundation. We are in need of raising a bunch of money to complete our smartphone application for middle and high school students which we know will cut down the horrendous amounts of teen suicide we are experiencing in Kansas City and elsewhere.
So, thank you to Dr. Lloyd. I really appreciate his help and our new friendship. He has the neatest retreat in southern France that you will ever see. I’m hoping one day he’ll invite me over to visit him, but I’m not holding my breath. He told me he goes there to get away and that I would drive him crazy…he’s right! I guess I’ll just have to hope something weird happens again and we’ll share a table somewhere else!
Here’s the link to the book review: goo.gl/UoFRTi