Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

Dreaming of Harlan Coben–and My Own Stupidity

Grrr. I’m in a ba-ad mood. It started with a bad dream about…are you ready? Meeting Harlan Coben.

I know! I can imagine what you are thinking: “Joanna, have you lost it?”

Um, Coben’s coming to St. Louis on Monday, and he’ll be appearing at the Mad Art Gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. (Go to for details.) Which you would THINK would make a long time HC fan like me really happy. (Ask me how much I loved Myron Bolitar. Go ahead, ask!) Exceedingly happy. But you see, I have this problem when I meet folks I really admire. I get stupid. Criminally stupid.

Years ago, I met Garrison Keillor. He gave a presentation, during which he recited the sonnet by Shakespeare which begins, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”

True confessions: I only know ONE sonnet by heart and that’s it.

So in a fit of trying to prove myself worthy, I waited to have my book signed and then, with stuttering voice, I recited the whole poem. Except, I guess I got part of it wrong because he only stared at me sadly and said, “Almost.”

And I nearly died. Of embarrassment. Of shame. Instead, of dying, however, I merely slunk off the stage where he continued signing, probably wondering what they put in the water here in St. Louis.

So in my dreams last night I met Harlan Coben…and I think I recited that same stupid sonnet.

Some people never learn.

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