What an amazing 30 hours I just had! I'll blog more about content when I've had a chance to process all that excitement. But here's a taste of my time at the Scholastic Spring Sales Luncheon and overnight in Soho.
I arrived early Monday. See that tiny guy holding a sign. That would be my driver, Frank. The sign says SCATTERGOOD. My usual mode of pickup at Newark is Al or Kay or Jay slowing down at the curb outside, so this was quite something.
Sorry about the quality of the photo. I didn't want to appear too geeky so I tried to look like I was just checking my mail on the phone. I think he knew. Turns out the last time J.K. Rowling was in town, Frank picked her up. Big head alert!
My driver immediately asked where I was from and didn't buy either NJ or FL. Turns out he spent a year at Keesler AFB in Biloxi and loves Mississippi. I was already milking my revived southern accent for all it was worth. After all, my novel is set in the totally fictional Hanging Moss, Mississippi, and the next day I needed to be ready for my reading!
The Soho Grand is an amazing hotel! Although the weather drizzled a lot and poured down one day, it didn't stop me from walking all over the place.
I loved this sign. If you look closely, maybe you can see my reflection in the window, taking another picture. I've never felt like a tourist in the city, but this trip I sure did!
On Monday night, I had dinner with my amazing brilliant editor, Andrea Pinkney. I ordered what I always do when at an Italian restaurant back in NY/NJ - pasta. We talked for over two hours about my book.
On the walk back to the hotel, we ran into Linda Sue Park. She was there for a different Scholastic event. I adored A Single Shard, her Newbery book. I wanted to tell her that but I was pretty much speechless.
Fortunately, by the next day, I'd regained my ability to speak!
It poured rain later in the morning on Tuesday, but by the time the occasion ended, the sun was peeking out. Alas, I took no photos of the actual event. That would have been way too star-struck! The sales people from all over the country, the publicity folks, 4 editors and their debut authors were there. We had a fabulous luncheon, in a glass atrium at the top of the Scholastic building. I met so many enthusiastic people!
More to come on that.
After a pot of tea and a long overdue visit with my remarkable and fun agent, Linda Pratt, I saw that my driver was waiting. I could so get used to this mode of travel. He whisked me through the Holland Tunnel in record time. I got an early flight home. The sky was beautiful. I was on the left side of the airplane with a phenomenal view of the sunset.
As the plane landed in Tampa, a tiny sliver of a moon was visible from my window. Jay arrived at curbside to pick me up soon after I texted him.
When I asked why he wasn't waiting at baggage claim, holding a sign, he told me to be careful I wasn't getting a big head...
Now, reality sets in. Tweaking and polishing, a lot of hard work still ahead. But for those fabulous 30 hours, I felt like a celebrity. Floating on those beautiful clouds.