Monday, September 1, 2014

Part two: Infinite Sky goes to North America


Not so long ago I posted part one of Infinite Sky's visit to North America, so here is part two about the Summer Lovin' 2.0 Tour of California, which I did with fellow Simon and Schuster writers (and ubermensch) Sarah Ockler, Suzanne Young and Jody Casella.

We hadn't met before, and I was a little apprehensive about spending six days on the road with New People. I worried that I would get exhausted from constant bra-wearing and around the clock professionalism - I've never been good at multi-tasking - but I needn't have been anxious.

Jody, Sarah and Suzanne turned out to be wonderful people, as well as talented writers, and I recognised them immediately at LA airport, where they were waiting to collect me with our lovely media escort, Ann. We hugged, feeling like we already knew each other a bit from our electronic interactions, and we were all travel-tired and tour-excited as we drove to the Beverly Hilton where we would be staying.

Arriving we saw lots of journalists and people in headsets rushing around, and discovered that the Daytime Emmy Awards in full swing. Our first book signing wasn't for a couple of hours, and so we spent some time in the foyer getting to know each other better, googling who might be at the Emmys, and plotting to get our books photographed on the red carpet/snog a famous person/eat all the canapés at the party.

Our first event at Mission Viejo Library was great, and I loved hearing Jody, Sarah and Suzanne talk about the writing process behind their books and their journeys to publication. They are all so funny and warm and intelligent, and I felt very happy to be sitting beside them, with six more California days ahead of us.

Suzanne signing copies of The Program

After telling our stories, we answered questions and chatted with readers, signed lots of books and ate pizza that Simon and Schuster provided for each event. We were also given lots of lovely cakes by the librarians at Mission Viejo.

We tried to use these as Emmy invitations but the doormen were not fooled.

By the time we returned to Beverly Hills, our hotel lobby was full of thin, shiny people in high shoes. It was hard to tell who was famous and who was interloper, and I went upstairs to put on high shoes and see if I could expand this mystery.

We decided to have dinner together in the hotel restaurant, and were delighted to find the Emmys after-party playing out around the blue, glowing pool beyond our window. We watched Sharon Osborne and lots of other famous people that mainly Suzanne recognised as though they were zoo creatures, while we chatted about books and life, and drank wine.

It was a glorious first night, and Sarah, Jody, Suzanne and I were well on our way to becoming The Ultimate Dream Team. We even managed to get our photos taken on the red carpet with our books (Jody is missing alas as she had to go to bed due to tiredness and pain medication).

Dreams can come true.
In the next days and nights of the tour, between meeting readers and booksellers across California, we would have our photos taken (and fall in love with) Some Guy from The Vampire Diaries, spot Mark Zuckerburg in his natural environment, and visit Nova Ren Suma and her workshop at the insanely beautiful Djerrassi Writers Retreat.

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