June 04, 2005

Swag the dog

So in case anyone was wondering at the dearth of entries yesterday, it was because I spent all day plugging Holy Tango of Literature at the Book Expo at the Javits Center. (Also the reason behind the even-more-hastily-drawn-than-usual Six Things yesterday.) I had thought I was just going to be there for lunch, but it turned into an all-day affair, what with showing up early and signing signing signing afterwards.

Lunch was the Book Sense Author Luncheon, where I got to say hi to A.J. Jacobs (author of "The Know-It-All"), who was supposed to appear on the Joey Reynolds show with me but had the flu, and briefly meet/gush at Neil Gaiman, who I gave a copy of my book to. Now I can daydream that someday there will be an entry in his journal reading "I can't remember where the heck I got this 'Holy Tango' book, but Christ it's hilarious." Wanted to give a copy to Gregory Maguire as well, as a fellow literary deconstructionist of sorts, but he disappeared before I could grab him.

Also got to meet the very cool Verbatim editrix (and periodic Heaneyland! commenter) Erin McKean. Word lovers in my readership (of which there just may be a few) should check the magazine out. (PDFs of some back issues are online.) It's a bit reminiscent of Word Ways, but more about interesting articles and less about ten-page-long word lists.

I also spotted Matt Matros, who was another fellow guest on the Joey Reynolds show. Being on that show certainly inspires a sense of camaraderie among its guests, a kind of "whoa, we survived that together" feeling. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time on the show -- but you just get no preparation at all for what you might be asked. It was a little stressful. But now that I know what to expect, if I'm ever on again, it should feel much smoother. Anyway, he signed a copy of his book for me, and I look forward to checking it out. I don't play poker (gambling stresses me out), but I do find the game kind of fascinating. As I do most games, I suppose.

I didn't go craaaazy on the free books -- I did try to only take things that I thought I'd be likely to read -- but I did take quite a few. I was less discriminating on the books available at the Book Sense signing booth (where I spent a half hour autographing books for enthusiastic booksellers before heading to the Emmis booth), because I figured -- heck, they're other Book Sense picks! They're probably pretty good! I'll report on my favorite Book Expo freebies here later.

Sadly, they ran out of copies of the Men in Hats book at the Keenspot table before I could snag one. But maybe I should just, you know, pay for that.

Posted by Francis at 12:44 PM

Ooh! Thanks for the shout-out!

Oh, and I forgot to add that you should look for abandoned galleys and swag in the cafes and public areas at BEA. Folks get eyes bigger than their backpacks, and abandon things like covered wagon settlers fording a stream, or like the Krakatoans in The Twenty-One Balloons ...

Posted by: Erin at June 4, 2005 01:05 PM

Be sure to remember the "little people" when you become incredibly famous.

Since my bookshelves are already doubled and tripled up, I avoided this event (also, no one offered to comp me), and also stayed away from the Housing Works street fair and book sale.

Deidre C. said she was going. Did you run into her? Speaking of which, not being hired back at Millionaire gives me a better chance to read more of my overlowing collection of books (just finished "Model" by Michael Gross. Bleechh. It goes back where it came from - the book exchange shelf in my laundry room).

Posted by: Ellen at June 4, 2005 07:12 PM

I know Matt from poker. He's a very nice guy. Small world.

Posted by: Andy at June 5, 2005 10:07 PM

Hey Francis,

Please excuse this roundabout means of communication, but I don't have your email address. I looked at the "Richard's Poor Almanac" page on Amazon for the first time in a month (the sales number became too depressing to contemplate regularly) and I was extremely tickled to find a very kind review with your name on it. I've returned the favor on the Tango page, with the similar caveat about how we're really just logrolling, or whatever they call it. We almost met at the doomed Smithsonian event in March. Some other time, at another venue, I hope we will.

And, awesome blog. I love the Six Things.

Best regards,
Richard Thompson

Posted by: Richard Thompson at June 5, 2005 11:53 PM

It was really fun running into you there. Sorry I couldn't pay more attention to the rules of the game you were describing--the Expo was kind of a madhouse (as you know). How can I reach you by email? Send to me through my web site if you don't want to post your address here.

Posted by: Matt M at June 6, 2005 03:29 AM