Thursday, June 7, 2012
Ironically, I was the most excited about the events that were being held on Thursday at BEA – mainly because I was attending the Adult author breakfast and had Premium seating (which I had to pay $95.00 for). The featured speakers were:
Master of Ceremonies
The Art of Men
(I Prefer Mine Al Dente)
NW: A Novel
The Penguin Press/
Penguin Group, USA
I headed to the Javitz early because I had heard that even if you have ‘premium seating’ there was only 1 table that was well situated, where the others in the section were off to the side (not sure about the logic of doing this but this would turn out to be only the first in a long line of questions about the author breakfasts that I had!).
I was first in line and started talking with someone next to me – whom I had met earlier in the week. All the while, I kept hearing the events coordinator speak into his walkie talkie in a slightly panicked voice – ‘we don’t know where Kirstie is’…..aghhhh. She was the main reason I was attending this breakfast!
They opened the doors 30 minutes before the breakfast. Fortunately, I sat at the perfect table and was immediately dismayed to see that the ‘swag’ that was offered at this breakfast (which is included in the price of the breakfast) was horrible. I had hoped, against hope that we would be given an advanced reading copy of Kirstie Alley’s book – but apparently, this was not the case and we ended up with a pitiful postcard with cover art of her book instead .
Zadie Smith’s book was also not in the pile, but instead was replaced with a copy of The New Yorker magazine – which I am still trying to figure out the relevance of this _other than the New York connection. There was also issues with the books themselves with some people getting books and some not receiving them!
The breakfast consisted of bagels and/or muffins (compared to the spread that was offered to us by Random House the previous day at their blogger bash event, this adult author breakfast food was a complete letdown – yeah! Random House).
Finally, Jimmy Fallon came on stage. I have to admit, I don’t know who he is so it was hard to get enthused. He did a funny gig (something to do with notes) for about 5 minutes then left (not sure why he was actually there!). Then Kirstie came on. She was very funny and talked about how she considered herself a ‘real’ reader because she had read all of Stephen King’s books. She delivered her speech very well and then started talking about how she was also a ‘real’ author – just like the rest of the panel – all kind of tongue in cheek. I loved it.
Then Michael Chabon spoke. I loved the tone of his voice, it felt soothing. But since I don’t read his books, I kind of tuned out after a while. He was cute though when he called himself a ‘nerd’ who was in love with Kirstie Alley’s character in the Star Trek movie.
Zadie Smith was next and she has a wonderful accent – which kept me entertained.
Finally, J.R. Moehringer spoke. In my opinion, he was the most interesting and had the most engaging manner. It was obvious that he was very use to public speaking. His subject matter was also very cool – writing a book about a famous bank robber and he ended his talk by showing us that there truly are no coincidences in life by explaining his very personal connection to his subject matter.
The breakfast was over – they immediately whisked everybody off the stage. I mean nobody even got to wave or stay behind or anything. One minute they were there, the next they were all gone!
I felt completely cheated. I had heard about other breakfasts where the authors had stayed behind to chat.
BEA – here is a huge suggestion – if the author of the book does not actually have a book ready to show (and read from) (and sign) at an event, then DON’T INVITE THEM TO THE EVENT. I felt as though the only reason Alley was there was to promote and push her book. I know this might sound petty, considering how many other books I got, but the author breakfasts are events that we PAY for and should therefore be considered as such.
Needless to say, I won't be attending any more author breakfasts.
This pretty well set the tone for the rest of the day for me. By Thursday, I was sort of getting tired and I was also getting worried about the pile of books I was bringing home with me – which had somehow morphed overnight. In fact, I found myself running around the streets of New York on Thursday afternoon in the hopes of buying a suitcase to bring them all back in (thankfully, finding luggage in NYC is easy).
I had initially decided to have the books shipped home, but when I was quoted $30.00US in order to ship just 6 books – I knew I needed a new plan and fast.
I ended up spending some quality time in my hotel room Thursday night with a delicious The Mentalist marathon. I was so tired from all the running around and partying that I needed a break, especially since I had a lot planned for Friday.