Friday, January 26, 2007

It's been a wild week. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive during my book release. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

I had some flaky moments this week that could have ruined a couple of interviews, but somehow everything worked out.

On Wednesday, as I mentioned below, I had two interviews in LA. One was at 1:30, the other at 7. That left a good amount of time to bum around LA in between, so I did just that after my fun interview with Connie Martinson (Bernard Cooper, who was on the faculty of Antioch when I was getting my MFA, and is absolutely incredible, was her other guest--it was so great to see him). I visited some bookstores to sign their stock, I wandered about the Farmer's Market, I went to a movie (Children of Men). The ticket guy told me it would get out at 6:14, which seemed like plenty of time to get across town to the radio station; when the movie got out, I found out it was quite a bit later than the guy had quoted. I ran to my car to try to get through LA traffic to the studio in time.

I found my phone on the floor of my car; it must have fallen out of my purse--I hadn't checked it for hours. There were several missed calls, and a frantic voice mail from the radio host, Josy Catoggio. I had emailed her that morning to tell her how much I was looking forward to our chat (she interviewed me when Fruitflesh first came out. It was my first radio experience and she made it so much fun, so comfortable.) It turned out that she didn't know I was coming to the studio that night. I had thought my publicist was going to confirm the interview, and she thought I was going to confirm, so no one had confirmed, and Josy hadn't read the book yet and wasn't expecting me at all. She said in the message that if I showed up, we'd wing it, and if not, we'd reschedule. I couldn't get through at her number, and no one was answering at KPFK, so I just drove in a heart pounding, traffic dodging rush, taking a short cut through twisty turny Laurel Canyon and hoped I could get to the station in time. I arrived a couple of minutes after the show started. The producer invited me to sit in the production booth; I listened to Josy and her first guest, and let my breath calm back down. The worst thing that could happen, I reminded myself, was that I wouldn't get to be on the radio that night. That was not so bad in the big scheme of things.

During a recorded segment of the show, Josie stepped out of the studio and we had a great time reconnecting. I quickly filled her in on the shape of the novel, we talked about some questions she could ask me, and then it was time for the interview. Josy did a beautiful job winging it--she asked great questions, and our conversation went to some wonderfully surprising places (she introduced me to the word "clitzpah"--a female version of "chutzpah"!) So it all worked out, and I even got to eat vegetarian tea smoked duck afterwards!

I made another embarrassing, but ultimately fortuate, slip today. I had planned to go to another self storage auction, this time with a reporter (my friend Pat O'Brien) and photographer from the local paper in tow. We showed up at the self storage place and it was disturbingly quiet. I checked my list of local self storage auctions, and noticed to my chagrin that I had misread the list and the auction had taken place there yesterday. I felt like a complete dodohead. I quickly checked the listings, and learned that there was another one starting in half an hour in Perris, a town about half an hour away. The paper people were game to go there, so we made a mad dash, and got to the auction shortly after it had started. It turned out to be the best auction I've ever attended--the most lots up for bid, the biggest crowd, the greatest energy. So that all worked out, too! A very nice couple even let me buy some boxes from the lot they won so I can open some up at my local readings, which is exciting! Plus Pat and I went out to lunch afterward at a cool restaurant next door to the storage place--La Sirena, The Mermaid--which felt fitting because both of us are very into mermaids (and into drinking coconut water, which was on the menu.) I may share more details of the day when I am more awake (over the course of writing this post, I've realized how tired I am.) And I will post a link to the article when it comes out.

Another funny thing...I am quoted very briefly in this LA Times article about a fraudulent essay contest I had entered (you can read more about my experience in this essay). I used to have an irrational complex that the LA Times was consciously avoiding me, but now I've been in their pages three times in the last two months, for different reasons each time. Pretty cool!

I hope I'll be less flaky during the rest of the promotion blitz (or if I am, I hope I'll continue to be as lucky as I was this week!)

Sweet dreams...

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