It’s 6:04 am and I’m awake, been awake actually since 5, which in my world is unheard of. Today I’m doing a leg of my Morning Drive Radio Tour, as it is called by the company I’ve hired to book it. What it means is a series of interviews on morning shows. The first was at 5am with some station in Portland, Oregon—they’re on the west coast, too, why the hell are they up so early?
So, here I am, did a quickie interview that didn’t go that well, just okay, and since I’ve checked email (not much in that dept, even the East Coasters are just beginning to stir). I did notice my sister’s available on iChat, but I resisted that temptation and instead read news on the writers strike, which actually affects me since, of all things, I joined the Guild about a month ago! How’s that for timing? I’m trying to decide if I should haul myself—and my big belly—out to the picket line to support the cause. I mean, I know I should. Hell, I even have a job I’m not allowed to be doing right now, a second draft due of Audrey Rose, the script I’m writing for MGM. I finally got to work on it last week, started brainstorming and bouncing ideas around and renting psychological thrillers for inspiration and bam! There's a pens down order. Harlan, my husband doesn’t want me to go. He thinks I should be taking it easy. But my leftie friend Mae says she’ll go out there with me. Maybe I’ll just join for a couple of hours. What else do I have to do—I mean, besides radio interviews. Gotta go to yoga, call Citibank, bug my publicist about press for my book. There’s this cute trench coat I’m thinking of buying from a catalogue.
This weekend I went to Austin for the Texas Book Festival. It was awesome. I went to participate in a panel: I Love You, I Hate You: Writing About Love. A great title. I was accompanied by the writers Jesse Sublett, a scruffy rocker who was in a seminal punk band (shit, forget the name) and wrote mystery novels and a memoir about his college girlfriend who was murdered back when they were together; Marsha Moyer, author of a series of Texas-based romantic novels, most recently Heartbreak Town; and NPR commentator, memoirist and local celebrity Marion Winik, who was clearly the star of our event. She had the crowd rapt and laughing from minute one, and I think she’s the only one who sold any books. (Well, my mom’s friend and former neighbor Gayle, who recently relocated to Austin and hung out with us all weekend, bought a couple copies.)
As far as my experience in Austin, the panel was almost besides the point. Going to a book festival is an amazing experience for an author, especially a novice like me. My mom and I left Friday morning and arrived in Austin in the afternoon. We had a suite at the Doubletree with two fluffy double beds…
Alright, just broke for two more interviews. The first one was great, with Pete Nichols of WILI-FM in Norwich, CT. They’re even giving my book out as a free gift to people who call in with their worst dating stories! Nice! Next one with Jim Scott at WLW-AM in Cincinnati was also very lively except he made this joke about Harlan being the one that got away, he goes, “What do you call him—Fish?” And for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what he was saying, I thought he was saying, “What do you call him—Miss?” which didn’t make any sense. So that was a little awkward but at least it was at the end of an otherwise entertaining interview. I hope they edit it out! Yikes. At least he said he’d plug my website on the show. Gotta go do another one, this time with Judyth Piazza at Internet Radio. Hey, back. That woman threw me a bit, but I think I did okay. She asked me questions like, What’s a piece of advice someone gave you that you never forgot (forget articles, write books) and what’s one quality that successful people have in common (passion). I really had to wing it there, wish I’d come up with a better answer for the advice question, but I warmed up and did okay. I think.
Finally finished unpacking, had some love time with Jack and Maggie, ate a piece of toast, way to kill time until my next interview in 20 minutes with KNST-AM in Tucson. Lots of AM stations, I just realized, that’s not good! I need some more FM!
Back to Austin. So, Friday night Gayle came to pick up my mom for dinner at the hotel and they drove me over to the Four Seasons for the opening night gala, where I was my friend Clay’s date. He’s the literary director and the person who invited me to attend. He was dapper in his black suit, waiting for me out in front of Austin's finest hotel. We dumped our stuff in his parents’ bedroom and headed down to a dining room that was packed with 100s of people at round tables (“all rich,” Clay said).
Okay, watered the yard, checked in with Harlan, who just got home from another long day’s work in Mumbai, so excited that tomorrow he gets a day off! Wow, I just had my liveliest interview yet with Kathryn Raaker of WCVX in Cincinnati, a Christian station of all things! She was just so excited to tell me her own dating stories and stories about her 37-year-old daughter who lives in New York City and decided to come up with her own system called 50 First Dates, where she goes out with fifty guys one time and if she likes someone she adds him to the end of the list and sees him a second time after she’s gone through the fifty. Wow, that woman should write a book!