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The Gene Thieves
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One of the best reviews for The Gene Thieves came from an unknown reader, because actions speak louder than words.
What follows is a true story! CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE BEST KIND
So here I am walking to the post office smiling to myself, not paying too much attention because I’m revisiting the lively debate that cropped up at the crowded launch party for The Gene Thieves. Who should play Dancer in the movie, Hugh Jackman or Simon Baker? Seemed that every one of the hundred or so guests wanted to put in a bid, even though only six people in the room could possible have read the book, as it was just hitting the shelves! Okay, Simon Baker is already a blue-eyed blonde, but there’s always bleach and coloured contacts. Mind you, I knew I was breaking one of the golden protocols of a good screenplay, when I specified Dancer’s hair, eyes and tallness (never restrict the casting possibilities, a dark-haired star might walk away from the script!) but hey, I was writing the novel. Now I’m tackling the screenplay.
So, as I said, I wasn’t really watching where I was going.But then, neither was the man who walked into me. That’s because he had his head in a book…my book! As I walked past the station entrance he walked out, turned right and we bumped shoulders. The astonished look I gave him was mistaken for annoyance and he stopped, slammed the book closed and apologised.
“Sorry, silly of me, reading a book while I’m walking. I was reading it on the train and just had to finish the chapter.”
“Must be a good book.” I smiled ingratiatingly, using all my willpower to resist the impulse to fling my arms around him and land a great big kiss on a rather nice young face. “Terrific.”
He turned, anxious to get away from this chance encounter with a nosy, talkative stranger.
“That’s me.” I prodded the cover of the novel he’d now tucked under his arm.
“I beg your pardon?”
“The author, Maria Quinn, that’s me.”
He pulled the book out and scrutinised the cover, then looked up at me.
“You’re kidding, right?” “Look inside, there’s a picture.”
Now the picture is in black and white and I tend to be pretty much in colour, remnants of red hair and big, bright earrings. Not the world’s best likeness but good enough for a police line up; at least he obviously thought so.
“ That’s amazing, I love this book!”
We stood, blocking the footpath, while scurrying commuters muttered threats. He scrounged around inside his suit coat and pulled out a slightly chewed- looking biro.
“Will you sign it for me? ‘Make a back.”
... ‘To Sam, truth is stranger than fiction, even science fiction.…’ (name changed to protect the innocent reader).

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