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May 19, 2008

Dear Book Expo, have you lost weight? You look great in those jeans!

Last year I got invited to my very first ever Book Expo America (people in the know call it "BEA" and I swear I went around for two months thinking they were saying something in French everytime I heard it, then I clued in) (Laurie: not a fast learner) anyway! Last year I was just a big ol' mess. I was scared and nervous and painfully afraid of public speaking and I had a flop-sweat problem. A very serious flop-sweat issue. I was assigned a media coach and I felt bad because I wasn't any better at speaking by the time I arrived in New York, I think I may have been even worse actually, and if you ever see me in person ask me to tell you the story of the time I left the stage and burst into tears and my microphone was still on. And the audio guy saw my spanx, but not in a good way. It is a hee-larious story, but only if I tell it in person because involves arm gesturing and dramatics. Also, nevermind, it's a painful story.

Anyway, last year I was terrified of everything, especially meeting selfhelpy-supastar Jack Canfield and spilling my drink on him and/or knocking over the entire booth on him. And my parents were there and I said the "F" word in front of them accidentally. Then I did it again FOUR TIMES. And one of the waiters in New York City made fun of me and called me Scarlett O'Hara and how come he didn't know HE WAS THE ONE WHO TALKED FUNNY. And we couldn't get a cab, ever, and I almost mugged a guy on the street for a cigarette (luckily my parents were there and how I managed that weekend without smoking is a miracle) and also I had a psychotic episode in the hotel and yelled at Faith. Really it is a true testament to our friendship that she still speaks to me.

HAVING SAID ALL OF THAT, it is that time of the year again. The Book Expo is coming. I am still a social nervouswreck but now I have medication. Thank you, Dr. Kurt! People on the book tour were like, "You're not nervous! You made it up!" and I said, "Had a nervous breakdown in New York, then got Beta Blockers." And people laughed like I would joke about chemistry. Weirdos.

This year I am less terrified about the book expo because I have realized so much about publishing in the past twelve months. For one thing, publishing is drunk most of the time and very self-involved and not paying any attention to me at all. It is a relief! Publishing is also crazy. You know all those ridiculous and completely nutty things that spring forth from my mouth with no filtering mechanism at all? The things that make me wonder if my day-job employer will develop a case of pink slip? Yes, well, these delightful verbal trip-ups may not go over with applause in the hallowed halls of finance but in publishing it just makes me another "author." Publishing does not care that I am ridiculous. Publishing INVENTED ridiculous.

And, best of all, this time the book expo is being held right here in my beloved Los Angeles!!!! It's on my turf, homey, so don't be telling me I talk funny or I'll drop you on the 405 without a Thomas Guide. Yo.

So I'm really excited about BEA (so in the know!) this year. I'm going to the cocktail parties and if I spill something on Peter Vegso I will blame it on someone else. Publishing likes blame. Also, I believe publishing enjoys conspiracy theories and that is exactly how I plan to explain the flop sweat.

Because you know, some things don't change overnight.


Book Expo America:
May 30- June 1, at the Convention Center in Los Angeles

I will be signing books at the HCI booth and in the main autographing area, so if you are attending and you get a chance stop by and say hey. I will give you a free book and a ridiculous drunken publishing greeting!

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 2:30 p.m.
In-Booth signing at the HCI Booth #2947

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.*
In-Booth signing at the HCI Booth #2947
* Ought to be delightful as all the cocktail parties are Friday night. Dear Convention Center, may I sleep on your floor?

SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2008 -- 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
(I'm at Table # 15)

See you there, fellow crazies!

Posted by laurie at May 19, 2008 8:33 AM