Thursday, June 14, 2007

At Book Expo America, I Didn't Look Silly at All

"I'll look ridiculous, won't I?" I asked.

"No, come on. Do it," egged on my sister, Sharsh.

Huh. Easy for her to say. She wasn't the one donning the white pantsuit with her cleavage busting out. Not to mention a big button on her lapel with the words, "THE WEDDING WRITER."

And now, I'm supposed to plunk a glittery tiara on my head and prance around like I know what I'm doing? Act like I'm all that? Tout my books? Shah-mooze with my publishing reps? Rub shoulders with the publishing elite? All 300,000 of them here in NYC at Book Expo America?

"Yes, that's exactly what you're gonna do and you're gonna do it now," my sister quipped.

"Remind me again why I hired you as my author escort for the weekend?" I groused. Oh yeah, that's right. Because she is gorgeous, as outgoing as I am, and I can't carry 250 chocolate-bar giveaways all by myself. "Fine, I'll wear the dumb beautiful sparky tiara, but I don't hafta like it."

Within minutes, I forgot I had on the tiara and you know what? I also forgot how silly I felt. How could I? With couples running around in road map suits, firefighters in full gear, the "hug guy" in his attire, and a man in a gorilla costume flirting with me ("We'll be beauty and the beast!" I bet he says that to all goils!), I quickly felt right at home! Besides, I was too busy meeting an American Idol finalist, Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soup), and L.L. Cool J!

Book Expo America is a massive book trade show for publishing professionals to come together and network about future books. For me, the tiara inadvertently turned into an ice-breaker for people to come up and say hello! Apparently, many folks (first timers like me) were just as overwhelmed, and so it was fun to have a blingy conversation piece on my head to chat about. For more spectacle, check out this story about others trying to stand out at the book show, in the article in
the C.S Monitor.

So after putting on the tiara, I didn't feel silly for long. But don't get me started about attaching myself to the headless naked runner...a photo that's going up on the ESPN Books web site however. Gosh, it seemed fun to do at the time. And it sure did draw a crowd. Groan...what was I thinking?