Tuesday was rolling along at a steady pace. I had an author signing every 30 minutes. My feet hurt. I was giving passerby a very convincing "Don't mind me, I'm just randomly spouting off blurbs about this here FREE book. Not because I'm trying to pitch it to you, of course. You just happened to walk into my blurb. But, you know, if you want a FREE book, you could have it signed by the author, who is standing right there. Did I mention it's FREE" look.
Everything was going well.
Then I saw Rosemary Wells.
I began the conversation in my usual charming, casual fashion:
ME: Rosemary Wells...?
ME (thinking: AHHHHHHHOLYSHITZOMGZOMGZOMG): I love your books. My favorite one is out of print!
WELLS: (somewhat nonplussed by this) Someone should reprint it then.
ME: I know! It's Stanley and Rhoda. It's one of my favorite books. My Dad used to read it out loud. We quote it all the time. You know the one about the babysitter--
WELLS: (Without missing a beat or cracking a smile, she names the babysitter character, which is probably also the name of the story--there are three within the book. I can't even find the name now, using the power of the internet.)
ME: (babbling at this point) Yes!! And then when their parents come home and Rhoda says, "Don't be home yet!" And that is something my family quotes all the time...
--At this point, Rosemary Wells managed to sort of drift away without being blatantly rude but also without being gracious or saying good bye--
I guess I geeked out on her...more than a little bit. But believe me when I say that she did not make the conversation easy. However, I don't care. She is ROSEMARY WELLS. That book is one of the most memorable of my childhood. Plus, that book came out in March 1981. She might be sick of talking about her old books when she has new ones coming out. Or maybe she's just not super friendly to fans. Or, I scared her.
In my defense, I was chatting with a HarperCollins employee on Thursday and she said she had a similarly awkward experience when she met (and admittedly geeked out over) Rosemary Wells. So it's not just me, Reader.
Later, I dealt with a very very rude author and her publisher. When I tried to ask what the blurb was for her wannabe poor woman's Maeve Binchy novel (That's RIGHT. The gloves are off!), the publisher looked down her nose at me, shoved a postcard for the book in my face and said, "You're supposed to be helping us. Go hand these out."
And that is just one example of the rudeness of these people.
So I stood there, pushing postcards at people as they walked by. Not saying a word. And you know how they reacted? By avoiding me.
Thank you for the advice, rude writer and publisher. I bust my butt at BEA for the authors I work with. I have to say, I'm good at it. All the other writers/ publishers I've worked with have said so. I also want to add that this duo co-opted a fellow publisher's (under the Midpoint umbrella) intern for their own purposes and were rude to her as well.
Then I got upset. And I took a walk. And everyone at Midpoint could tell I was not happy because I am generally so smiley and I was NOT. (I do have a temper, you know.) This was towards the end of the day, so an incredibly kind and generous fellow Midpoint employee snagged me a glass of champagne from some party happening elsewhere on the floor. I even saw Flava Flav from a distance. That didn't really cheer me up, though. Flava Flav at a book expo?
REALLY, Publishing Industry?
Your BEA keynote speakers are always celebrities like Julianne Moore (I love her but don't even get me started on those Freckleface Strawberry books...) and Jon Stewart and then you've got Flava Flav, who can barely speak in complete sentences. And whose name is FLAVA FLAV.
Anyway, after the champagne, I felt better. Bubbly, even. HA. And then I was whisked off to the amazing, super fantastic Soho Press 25th Anniversary Party!!
But this post is too long already so there will have to be a Part III. Alas, there are no pictures. I need to start wearing a fanny pack.