Gorilla gorilla. Smiles all around.
Soon after returning from our east coast trip, Mickey Z asked me, “What are you going to do now that you have the monkey off your back?”
I knew exactly what he meant. After decades of frustration, I now have irrevocably crossed the line into published-authorhood. For me, having the real book in my hand wasn’t enough. I needed to have a publishing party in New York City, for reasons that date back to my first job at E.P. Dutton, annus horribilis 1977.
So here we are at Bill’s Food and Drink in midtown Manhattan on October 1.
Notice how proud and happy everyone looks. There’s Ellie on the left—also getting some exposure for Nevin and the Desert Fairies. Top right is Don Chew, hometown S. Jersey friend who hosted us in the big city. With him is Hallie Gay Walden Bagley, Ellie’s college roommate who used to edit a literary journal before she moved back to Kentucky. Bottom right shows me with publisher David Bernstein. How do you like my What-me-worry grin? Editor in chief Adam Bellow was also there, but had to leave early to help someone deal with a bedbug incident. Higher powers arrange these things to keep NYers humble…not sure it works.
Look how clubby Bill’s is! It was a rainy night but we had plenty to eat and drink and talk about. (Food was great, except there was no mortadella on the antipasto plate.) That’s my copy editor Jay Merwin on the right, who has just moved into an acquisitions role at Liberty Island.
Moving left to right, here’s writer David Marcus—a new friend—as is Karen Toulon, center stage, telling Don Chew what I suspect is a “man bites dog story” as she is a journalist. To the right is my college roommate Stu Rohrer.
It was a great evening and I wish more of you could have been there.
Now I’m home and, despite a bad cold, I’m feeling optimistic and percolating with all sorts of ideas. The big question, though, is the one Adam Bellow asked, looking me straight in the eye in this friendly but probing way that he has: “When are we going to see the manuscript for the next book?”
Great question! I answered the same way I did with Mickey Z: I have a lot of rebuilding to do in our business because Ellie’s been carrying the load this summer while I was spending time promoting The Violet Crow. But I’m going to try to deliver the first section of The Louse by year end.
For that to happen, I’m going to have to copy some of the time management techniques that my friend and fellow author, Kia Heavey, uses so successfully. This involves discipline, focus, and time management skills that I don’t currently have. And look–I still have that What-me-worry face on, don’t I? Hmmmmm….