Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We Need to Talk!

Yesterday evening I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed, where I've been spending most of my time since last week's surgery, and took a cab to the Denver Press Club. There, after fortifying myself with Acapulco Anesthesia (i.e., a margarita--tequila* numbs me more effectively than any pill I've been prescribed) , I joined in the private meet and greet with artist Ralph Steadman (THE JOKE'S OVER: Bruised Memories: Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson, and Me), who went on to give a public talk in the nearby Denver newspapers' auditorium.

And how did these twinned events come to pass?

Because I PICKED UP THE PHONE instead of sending an email.

Yes! Back in June, I'd had a few back and forths with a Harcourt publicist on the West Coast about an author I wanted to get for an event at the Press Club. I had a bunch more questions, and decided that speaking with her would be more efficient than trading emails over hours...or days. Besides, I'd always liked her and it had been a long time since we'd spoken. So I called and we settled the business about the author (which finally turned out to be a bust due to scheduling conflicts).

Then I asked the publicist if she had any interesting titles coming for fall. She mentioned a couple of books, then said almost in passing that Harcourt was doing Steadman's memoir of Thompson in October.

"What?!" I shrieked. "That is the one book I'm waiting for! I even blogged about it in February, wondering when it would be picked up by an American publisher. This makes me so happy!"

I gushed a bit more, then asked the next logical question: "Are you sending Steadman on tour?"

"Oh yes," she said. "He's doing a national tour: New York, Washington, LA and San Francisco."

There was a pause while I tried to think of a polite way to point out that two cities on each coast doesn't quite exemplify "national." Funny how I notice that sort of thing now that I no longer live near a coast.

"How about sending him to Denver?" I said. "Hunter Thompson lived in Colorado; he even has his own shelf at the Tattered Cover. That would be a great event for the Press Club. I'll bet they'd get a good turnout."

The publicist said they hadn't thought of sending Steadman to Colorado (I was sure she could hear me rolling my eyes), but it was a good idea. She gave me the contact info for the NY pub who was handling the book, which I passed along to the Press Club events coordinator, who was just as excited as I was.

And the rest is now history.

Oh, and when I chatted with Steadman last night, he said he'd been touring all over the country. Next stop: Miami.

(More on the actual event in another post. Meanwhile, look on the right above to see what I started reading last night.)

*This marvelous audio, courtesy of Miss Snark's "Rx for Bella" of Nov 6, explains it all. Warning: Swallow before listening.

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