this is a proper post-BEA post. (part II)

Part II of the post-BEA musings. (Part I is here if you missed it.)

Wednesday! My first scheduled event was the second of my two interviews, this one held at the Standard Hotel. Diane Keaton walked into the lobby right behind us. She wasn’t wearing shoes. Also, the Standard Hotel has spectacular elevators with video art on the walls.

Having had a rather straightforward audio interview the previous day, I was not quite ready for the setup that awaited me upstairs in the suite that had been converted to author-interviewing space, but that was probably good because if I’d known it was coming I would have had more time to make myself nervous. I half-expected a couple of chairs and a webcam, only in a classy sort of way. This was fancy lights and multiple cameras and a whole crew of very nice people and I had to creatively run a microphone down my dress (that was a first) and a makeup lady would swoop in to powder my face when I was apparently getting too shiny under the fancy lights. I remember very little of what I said but apparently I sounded coherent, I was asked excellent questions so that made it easier. There was a lot of stopping for technical things or because there were sirens outside or whatnot. It was very fancy. They even had a clapboard for the cameras on an iPad, I cannot even say how much that delighted me. Really, it was a surreal sort of experience but everyone involved was absolutely lovely.

After that I was whisked back to the Javits for my signing.

I was around the Random House booth for a bit before it started, meeting people and chatting with other people that I’d met the day before, and then people started coming up to tell me about the line. There were hand gestures and waving and use of walls to describe just how far it went and I truly thought people were exaggerating. And then came the tales of how they were having to turn people away because they didn’t have enough galleys.

My future brother-in-law happened to be at the Javits for a different event and he managed to get into BEA and took some footage of the line, I don’t think I really believed it until I saw it.

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who stood in that line. I am sorry that I was somewhat delirious by the time I got about midway through and I know my handwriting was rather atrocious by the end, not that my handwriting isn’t always rather atrocious. I was scheduled to sign for half an hour and I know it went long but I’d lost all concept of time. I’m told it went over an hour.

This is me post-signing (I had to take my jacket off, no one warned me signing was such an athletic activity,) with my incredible editor, Alison Callahan, and my amazing agent, Richard Pine. They are both just as delightful as they appear. Also included in this photo is a Sharpie that is very nearly out of ink.

A lot of people commented on my necklace, it was made for me by my absurdly talented dearest darling Clovia Shaw. Her Etsy store is over here. She does custom work. I’m just sayin’.

After the wonderment that was Baby’s First Book Signing, we of course ran into Margaret Atwood again, because it was like a theme. That’s the encounter that there are pictures of. There are a bunch of pictures from the signing & post-signing over here on facebook.

Then I had meetings and drinks and then I was done with all my official proper author responsibilities. I stayed in NYC for a few days afterwards, more on that in a future post. (Yes, I went to see Sleep No More again, for the seventh time.)

I am eternally grateful to everyone at Doubleday, they are truly wonderful people who made what could easily have been an overwhelming couple of days a fabulous and enjoyable experience. They’re all really cute, too.

I didn’t manage to accumulate many books, I didn’t have much time to hunt and my to-read shelf is overflowing anyway so I felt guilty adding to it, but this is the pile of things that managed to make their way home with me:

So I have lots to read, when I find the time. I’m still not sure how I managed to be back from NYC for more than a week already. More miscellaneous NYC stuff forthcoming, though unfortunately I did not take nearly enough photos.

this is a proper post-BEA post. (part I)

Okay, it’s all starting to feel like a dream but here we go, not sure if I’m going to break this into multiple parts or not just yet. (Yeah, parts. This can be part I.)

Monday! I left for NYC. I took a train from freezing rainy Boston to rather warm Manhattan without too much trouble. Here’s a lapin on the train:

While I was settling in at my hotel, my editor was presenting THE NIGHT CIRCUS on the Editors Buzz Panel. I know she was fantastic even though I wasn’t there because you can watch it over here. You probably won’t blush as much as I did while watching it, either.

Monday night there were remarkably sedate alarms going off in my hotel at 1am, followed by mysterious announcements about investigations, and then declarations that the alarms were in fact, false. That was interesting. I’m just glad I was still awake.

I hardly forgot anything, packing-wise, except for a pen. Which made me feel like a sorry excuse for a writer, but how often do you really need a pen? However, I am never forgetting pens again, I might even invest in one of those sassy pen necklaces. I borrowed a pen (well, stole a pen because I still have it) which was wise because I had to speak to breakfasting librarians first thing Tuesday morning, and while I had very nice notes typed up on my laptop I didn’t want to drag it there, so I scrawled barely legible notes with my stolen pen on tiny sheets of hotel stationary (the hotel pen didn’t work, of course). This is the point of the story where I would normally say “I need an iPad” but I have one! I just wasn’t clever enough to pack it for this purpose. Now I know.

Breakfasting librarians appeared to like me though I was terribly nervous. The other authors were marvelous, I’m sad I didn’t actually get to meet any of them, particularly Craig Thompson so I could tell him how much I love the lines of his artwork, and I do wish I’d thought to grab an ARC of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One but it was 8am and also Baby’s First Book Event so I wasn’t really on the ball with my galley-grabbing.

And then it was hot out and my hair was going all curly, so I changed into something a little more weather appropriate while cursing the fact that I had been *this* close to packing my sandals but I decided not to. This is what happens when you’re freezing while you’re packing and then all of a sudden it’s incredibly humid at your destination. So if you’ve seen any photos of me all curly-haired in my Trashy Diva dress, that was unplanned but it seemed to work. Truly, my one BEA regret is that I did not pack sandals.

In the afternoon I actually got to see the wonderment that is BEA proper at the Javits center, which was a lot of space filled with a lot of books and several sections of surprisingly squishy carpet. Doubleday had marvelously tuxedoed, red-scarfed reveurs handing out cards promoting my signing on Wednesday and they were delightful.

I had an audio interview which was pretty good considering it was only my second interview ever, and afterward I discovered that when you walk around BEA with your publicist who is also Margaret Atwood’s publicist you actually end up talking to Margaret Atwood and her fabulous agent and then you try not to faint because it’s Margaret Atwood and you want to tell her how you learned everything you know about rhythm from the Modern Women Writers class you took in college where your professor had you read the opening pages of Alias Grace aloud around the room one sentence at a time but you can’t because it’s MARGARET ATWOOD and she is HOLDING YOUR HAND and you are busy trying not to faint.

There are pictures of me with Margaret Atwood over here (along with a bunch of shots from my signing, more on that later) and that is actually my second encounter, because, you know, shared publicist and I still managed not to pass out but I was not particularly articulate.

After that there was the Knopf Doubleday cocktail party, at which there were lots and lots of lovely booksellers to meet and my Doubleday team was impressively adept at maneuvering me around the crowd and facilitating introductions.  At one point I remember standing outside talking to people (including Joan Didion) about how my circus has no clowns because no one likes clowns and my dress got all floaty Marilyn Monroe style in the breeze. I’m not sure any other moment topped that for pure surreality.

Post-party I went to dinner with my wonderful editor, which was the perfect way to wind down after a long and somewhat crazy day, complete with blackberry souffle.

And now this post is rather long and rambling, so I will post the Wednesday recap separately.