February 21, 2008
Tuesday evening was as surreal as any I've ever experienced. Michael Malice is now a New York Times bestselling author, but he remembered what it felt like the first time he was published, so when he showed up at my hotel, he knew exactly where to take me: on a quick tour of Manhattan bookstores to actually see the book on the shelves and, you know, take photos of it. I'll be cool one day, and maybe even all jaded about the whole writing process, but for now, I can allow myself an evening of extreme dorkitude and enjoy the moment like a tourist in my own life.
(My favorite moment came when a security guard at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square told us we couldn't take photos. Michael explained that I was the author of the book. "I don't care," the guard said. "You can't take photos in the store." I thought that was awesome. My fancy pants did not dazzle him in the least.)
Not once but TWICE during the evening, I was actually recognized on the street outside two different bookstores. Imagine my ego as a giant blimp, filled to bursting with equal parts self-importance, terror and an appreciation for the absurd.
The book release party itself was great. I got to meet a lot of people I'd only known online previously, and the number of old friends who showed up was staggering. I can't tell you the last time I wore a suit, on that wasn't a rental, anyway. but I think I cleaned up okay for the occasion. All in all, it was an amazing way to kick off the book's release. I felt like the pretty girl at the prom.
There have been a lot of really nice things written about the book by my friends in the past several days. Here are just a few:
Pamie (for the Dewey Donation System, which I'm very happy to be contributing to this year, in the form of a signed copy of the book as a prize for donations)
Omar (who contributes to the expansion of my ego to near-critical levels on a regular basis)
Erin (who shares her own memories of a pivotal part of the book, and her feelings about Schuyler)
John Scalzi (whose writerly opinion means a lot to me)
Michael Malice (sharing his thoughts on our whirlwind tour of Manhattan bookstores, and on how how our friendship seemed unlikely but turned out to be almost inevitable)
(EDITED TO ADD) Chris Naze (one of the very early friends who I met online; we are either Old Skool, or just old.)
Now I'm sitting in the lobby of my hotel, waiting for a car to come pick me up, and I'm torn between the feeling that I just got here, so there's no way that it's already time to leave, and the very real absence in my life of my family, and particularly of a little girl whose presence I feel next to me constantly, even when she's so far away.