I shit you not...
The following is an e-mail I received last week - although the store contacted me over a month ago requesting and scheduling the appearance. I've omitted the identifiers.
Referral: From a Friend
Subject: Your Race
Message: Greetings, my name is [--] and I'm the director of [--], you are slated to do a book signing with us on the 18th of March. I want to know if you are a black/ African American person.
OK. Now. I have two questions for my blog audience. 1) Do you think this is an appropriate e-mail? 2) Author or not, if you receive this type of an inquiry, what's your response to it?
1) Heck no. I don't think it's appropriate by any stretch of the imagination. Just what exactly happens if they get the "wrong" answer?
2) I'd cancel the appearance.