A weekend in New York
As you are (perhaps) aware, I spent this past Saturday in New York City attending the Indie Book Event. It was tremendous fun, I’d met some people I had only chanced upon previously when online, there was press coverage, and I got very little sleep. It’s this last thing that makes writing a straight-through narrative of the weekend essentially impossible, or worse, possible-but-dull-for-all-concerned. Instead, I offer some random musings.
*Note: random musings can go on for some time. I’ve split this up into two blog posts. Read part two here
Always take water
I had shopped around for cheap options to get to New York. Option one in my mind was the train, which turned out to be very inexpensive if you were willing to throw in your kidney, but otherwise unreasonably costly. Car was an option, except I’d have to valet park it at $35 a day, which would have brought the cost up to about what the train was, with the only real advantage being I could leave whenever I wanted to.
Bus was the last-resort option. I’d heard nice things about the Bolt bus to NYC, and the prices were very reasonable (round trip was under $40) and it was supposed to be air conditioned, with roomy seats and plugs for laptops in every row, and nubile women serving frozen grapes, and it took as long as the (non-Acela) train, non-stop.
Except it didn’t, because buses travel on roads and other people travel on those roads too and if one leaves Boston at Noon one hits rush hour traffic in New York at 4:30. And the bus was a Yankee bus instead of a Bolt bus, for reasons I am not clear on. So no frozen grapes.
Or water. I didn’t consider this until it was too late, but getting on the bus without water, coffee or food was a tremendously bad idea. By 4 PM– and the bus didn’t arrive until 5:30 PM– I was tweeting that drinking the blood of the guy next to me was under serious consideration. And I wasn’t entirely kidding.
Question of the day
For the event I had a table set up with about 30 copies of Immortal laid out in an attractive fashion, plus a powerpoint presentation on a loop that showed a description of the book, quotes from Adam, and review excerpts. And I sat behind the table for the better part of the day, trying to look friendly and approachable and non-rabid.
I’m fairly certain I succeeded, as I sold books.
I also got a couple of deeply fucked up questions. Here are the two worst:
“Are you a publisher or an author?”
‘I’m an author. Here’s my book.”
“Okay, I’m looking for a publisher.” (walks to next table)
(while holding a copy of Immortal) “Is it for sale at Borders?”
“Not right now! Just Amazon and as an ebook.”
(puts book down) “Okay, cuz Borders is having that going-out-of-business sale down the street.”
Try your fries
There are two stories I don’t want to include here, but which I will have to or risk being called out for self-censoring. This is one of them.
We all had dinner together on Friday. (“We” in this case being a number of publishers, writers, bloggers and what-have-you, all of whom came in a day early to set up the hall for the event.) Dinner was initially going to be at a nearby restaurant, but the sky opened up at just the wrong time, so it transpired in the hotel’s restaurant instead. I found myself sitting next to Indie Book Event matriarch Melissa from Foozago books, and the writer C M Smith, which is only important to know because these two refused to let me eat my french fries.
Oh, they’ll tell you otherwise. Melissa, if asked, will insist just the opposite, that she practically demanded I eat my fries.
“Eat your fries,” was the first thing she said to me when I sat down. (The food had been delivered while I was in the bathroom.) And I was happy to, until she suggested it again three seconds later.
“Is there something wrong with my fries?” I asked, now concerned.
“No,” she said. “You should eat that one next.”
This went on for a while. I asked what was wrong with them and was told by the two giggling women next to me that there was nothing wrong with them and also, I should really eat them.
“Did you roofie my fries?” I asked. “Or is this some sort of phallic joke?” (Note: was the only one at the table with a penis. I’m pretty sure.)
I never finished the fries. Or any other fries for the remainder of the weekend.
No really, you’ll like it
It is never, ever a good idea to push a book on a reviewer who doesn’t read your genre. Despite this, on Saturday I found myself trying to convince Girl Who Reads to give Immortal a try. (The reason this is a bad idea? They might finish it and pan it because, again, it’s not their genre.) So everyone keep their fingers crossed that I’m right when I tell people that the book has cross-genre appeal.
But that’s not what I want to really talk about. I want to talk about how Girl Who Reads keeps getting hit by porn sites, and why it was so important to her to have those dashes in her blogspot address and the underscores in her twitter handle (@girl_who_reads). Turns out if you mash the words together as one does with Internet handles and addresses, you get girlwhoreads.
Let me help you with that.
See it now?
And now that I’ve told that story I’m almost guaranteed to get panned. Oh well. Never pass up a good story.