September 22nd, 2011

Wowsers

Well, the event on Tuesday was just about perfect! So many of the people I adore and admire were there, and I got to talk to many of them. We had great cookies (thanks, Jane) and cupcakes (thanks, Kerry) and so-so muffins (I have a weird oven, ok?) I did a lot of hugging. And then–yes there’s more–came the formal part of the evening, where Kerry Clare showed that cupcake-baking is the least of her gifts, and conducted a thoughtful and fun on-stage interview with me. She also managed to cross her legs whilst sitting on her high barstool, a stunt I simply could not manage.

Beyond baking and balancing, Kerry is brilliant because her questions are so intimate with the text, so much the opposite of the stock, ask-any-writer style of interview questions (“How much of your work is autobiographical? Do you write in the mornings or evenings? Who are your influences?”) And the questions at any given interview (she’s done lots) are tailored to the form, content, and style of the writer, so even when the questions were hard (no softballs at all), I was very interested in answering them for myself.

And then, after Rupert from Ben McNally Books, who did a superb job running the whole event, fixed the mike for me, I did a brief reading. Now that some people out there actually have the book I can say it was the beginning of the story “Research” and expect that someone might know what I mean! And yes, I did read far enough to say the “orgasm” to a room full of friends, strangers, my colleagues and my parents. It was a milestone of sorts.

And then more talking, a lot of book-signing, absolutely no more baked goods because they’d all been eaten, and lots and lots of fun! By the end of the night, it was down me and Mark and Dan, my publisher, and a few very lovely friends who helped me get every drop of celebration out of the evening possible. I never wanted to go home, because then the party would be over and it was so so so fun!

At my first launch, my edited John Metcalf warned me that it would never be so wonderful again, but I do think this evening was, in a certain light, just as good. It wasn’t as new, but the benefit of that was that I wasn’t as insane. I’ve had 3+ years of book events and stage fright and making bookish friends and I have, in words no one ever said but I’m sure a few were thinking, finally calmed the hell down. Oh, I was totally wired before the event, and pretty well afterwards, but I was able to have genuine conversations with people and enjoy them, and be somewhat aware of my surroundings.

So yes, a thrilling night. My only regrets are the people I didn’t get a chance to talk to in the flurry, and that the kitten had to spend 16 hours by himself that day and was hysterical when we got home. Oh, and the big one is that I cavelierly handed my purse to my dear friend Scott and instructed him to take the camera out and photograph the event, not realizing that the camera had fallen out and would spend the evening under the table. I’m really sorry for making you rummage through all my stuff for naught, Scott–thanks anyway! And I did eventually *find* the camera, so I’m not out $200.

However, I have no pictures, so if you were at the event and took a few, could you send’em my way? I’ll post them here with credit, of course, and it’s definitely worth 100 bonus points to me to have them. (Also, 30 points if you id who the title of this post is stolen from.)

Thanks to all who attended, who hugged and well-wished and book-bought, and ate cookies and stayed late. And to those who couldn’t but sent faraway wishes nonetheless. I’m a lucky, lucky writer!

5 Responses to “Wowsers”

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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