A long, brisk walk from Grand Central Station. I’m dressed for June but the air is stuck someplace between March and April. Checking the UPS Store at 44’th and Broadway to see whether my package is in, a sign on the door informs me they’ll open at ten. I’m meeting my entourage, several blocks away, at nine. I have fifteen minutes. I turn away from the store, join a mass of people crossing through Times Square, and feel a surge of pride that the thirty pound load on my back doesn’t feel like such a burden. A taste of warm air as I pass over a grate reminds me of how cold I should feel.
The exhibition floor is crammed, though the show is barely underway. I’m glad to have three of Suzy Q’s finest to make sense of the whole thing. I want media opportunities. Suzy gets me on a podcast for Tuesday afternoon, and books me for an interview on Sirius XM for Wednesday afternoon. I want to meet distributors who will take an interest in selling my books. Shawn gets me talking to a heavyweight from a big wholesalers who rattles off some bookstores, and wants to stay in touch. Isn’t the cover great, and covers do sell books, don’t they? Let’s sell some books, because when books sell, everyone wins. So the conversations go.
It’s almost time for my book signing. I’m up against a couple of very well-known authors, and while their lines are queing up, my line is… er… making me nervous. Smile, just smile. Everything is going to be okay. And then, it is okay. My line is never more than four or five deep, and there are times during the hour that I’m waiting a minute for the next person to walk up. But never more than a minute. I am having fun, asking each person something about themselves, and how they want me to sign. Most want their picture with me, and we have a photographer to handle it. Fellow DC-area author Pavarti Tyler is in line, and when we realize we know one another from the blogosphere, we are hugging and hamming it up for the camera.
Then a guy named Joe Pizza is in line. You better believe we wanted – and got – that picture! ( I hope to post many of them soon)
It’s mid-afternoon, and we’re finally grabbing a bite and regrouping. How do you think it went, Suzy asks? What are we going to try to do with the rest of our day? I’m interviewed by a media firm that’s putting together podcasts. I meet the Marlboro Man, President Obama*, and Willie Mays Aikens, who I recognize from his days playing major league ball with the Kansas City Royals. He’s so nice. We are all so nice!
My team has been shlepping my stuff around the exhibition floor all day, making me feel almost as special Olumpic ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, who is holding court several feet away. It is 5 PM and many people have beer or wine in plastic cups and glasses. Our day is over. I am hungry. I’m staying with my cousin in Bronxville, and I have a train to catch.
* Would you believe, a very convicing impersonator?