Monday, June 25, 2007
Yes, one day (maybe today!) I'll finally finish recounting my adventures at BookExpo. This past Saturday's coverage in the Rocky Mountain News adroitly leaves out the show dates, so the uninitiated would never know it was three weeks ago. If the Rocky can still cover the show, so can I.
On BEA Saturday (that would be June 2), I had arranged to have lunch with Kim Reid, a consulting client and subsequent member of the Denver Literary Ladies Luncheon--and author of the marvelous No Place Safe: A Family Memoir (due in October). But then I ran into Charlottesville (Va.) LLLer Jenny Gardiner, whom I hadn't seen since March, and asked her to come to lunch with us. Well, Jenny had a few others in tow, whom she'd met at the Backspace Writers Conference the day before: Carolyn Burns Bass, Kim Stagliano and John Robison (Augusten Burroughs's very big brother, as you'll see in the pic on Kim S's blog).
Proof once again that it's a small world indeed, Kim R had hung out with Jenny at the Backspace conf; I'd met Kim S through Miss Snark's blog and we'd corresponded a few times; Jenny and Kim S had met and bonded online through a writers' loop. Carolyn was a Backspace conf sponsor. John had been at the conf too, plus had signed galleys of his debut book, Look Me In the Eye, in the Crown BEA booth earlier that day.
Once assembled, we trooped into the lower level food court, but the lines were ridiculously long, and though we located a table, there weren't enough chairs to be had. So we scattered to various points to buy provisions (Carolyn and I went back upstairs for sushi), then reconvened in a BLISSFULLY QUIET corner of the ground floor atrium.
After a lovely respite of just munching and talking quietly--and complaining about how %@#$! hot it was in the Javits, especially in our greenhouse-like corner--we trooped back upstairs to get copies of Kim R's and John's books. As soon as we got to the Kensington booth, an impromptu line formed of people eager to get a signed ARC from Kim. Below is an enthusiastic fan with her much more subdued daughter (you have to imagine the mega-preteen sigh and eyerolling); John is adjusting his lanyard in the background.
After that, we went to the Crown booth, where a publicist kindly fetched me an ARC of John's book from a secret stash. As an Aspergian, John may not be great with eye contact (hence his book's title), or have much expression in his face or voice; but let me tell you, he sure knows how to close a sale. While the pub was getting me the ARC, a passerby buttonholed John, and he promptly sat down with her and gave her a spot-on pitch for the book. "Normal" writers should be so articulate and eloquent--and this was without having had any media coaching.
Stay tuned, folks: We're going to be hearing A LOT about Robison's book this fall, and not just because he got a $1 million-plus advance and his kid bro will be promoting it with him. I've read a few pages and it looks like a real winner.