New York Reading: presented the book to a very kind and interested group at the McNally Jackson store in Manhattan. They gave me a coupon for a free book which I forgot to use. Hey New Yorkers: email me a great peep story or link and I’ll send ya a free book coupon. The great thing about McNally is that they do events in their cafe which is open not only to the rest of the bookstore but also very visible from the street. Even in New York, passerbys were tempted by my big screen video of, among other things, a fleshy pair of buttocks getting a spanking and a man skulking over to his neighbor’s driveway and stealing his newspaper.
In New York I also managed to stay up till 3 in the morning 2 nights in a row, something I haven’t done since before the kid was born. Among other things my friend Sax hooked me up with an invite to a cookbook launch party featuring free beer, heaps of fried chicken and buckets of boiled peanuts (in my opinion, boiled peanuts taste like…uh…but everything else was great).
Speaking of the kid, she was pretty happy to see me back at home, even if it was only for a day or two. Originally I was going to just go right from New York to the rest of the tour (I’m writing this in the airport about to board a flight to Chicago) but I decided to come home for a night and a day instead. I’m glad I did. Got to pick up E. from day-care, play with her and do some Daddy stuff. A nice reminder of what really matters.
While in New York I did two things that were surely the top two most surreal author-type experiences of my career. First off, I was a guest on late night talk radio show the Joey Reynold show. Joey (who is ageless and timeless ie. old in a very indeterminate way) sports giant sized yellow tinted sunglasses and wears a leisure suit. His producer, who wandered into the interview quarter of the way through and made herself comfortable at the mic next to me, is a 76 year old bubby inclined to say things like “Oh Joey!” and, in my case, “Blogging is stupid! Stop being stupid!” (She’s probably right….) Also along for the ride were a middle aged couple who were promoting the release of their Fantasy audio book series, the Goddess Forest (or something like that anyway). Meanwhile, out in the main office a group of people including what I think was a midget in a wheelchair with a violin on her lap, were scarfing down a platter of tongue sandwiches. You can see how the whole thing felt a bit strange. Anyway, producer Sally got video of the whole thing so hopefully she’s going to get snippets of it online – bizarre doesn’t do it justice. This is Joey…
And then it was on to surreal moment #2: the Jewish Book Council annual pitch session. Every year, all the Jewish book event coordinators from around the world gather in New York. There, Jewish authors with books coming out in the summer or fall each have 2 minutes to pitch their product in the hopes of getting bookings in the fall at Jewish Community Centers all over the land. So there I was amidst the Holocaust memoirs, cooking-like-bubby books, and political tracts on the Middle East. I was a bit nervous – taking the podium to pitch my book was like getting called up for my Bar Mitzvahs. But I think it all went well and afterwards at the post-presentation dinner and speed dating shmooze fest, I got a lot of positive response and interest. Will I be seeing you at the Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Austin, Texas Jewish book festivals? Time will tell.