Thursday, June 01, 2006
It's been a while since I checked in here at Marley Blogland. Let me bring you up to speed.
First, I'm happy to report that Gracie and I survived our appearance May 17 on Good Morning America. Gracie behaved like Miss Manners. She didn't try to hump Diane Sawyer's knee, didn't drool on anyone, didn't knock over any of the big expensive studio cameras. In other words, she was the anti-Marley. She was a perfect lady...which is exactly why I keep saying there's no book in this dog. She's so sedate and mild-mannered, she's....boring. Her biggest transgression was quietly wandereding off the set right in the middle of my interview. It was pretty funny: The opening shot shows Diane and me chatting with Gracie right between us; the next time the shot goes wide, you see that Gracie is simply missing. AWOL. Of course, that's when Diane decides it's time to talk about Gracie, who by now is halfway across the studio, sniffing away. The cameras flip around to capture her having a good ole time off in the shadows. Jenny helped wrangle her back on stage and the interview continued. Ah, you've gotta love live television.
Gracie's favorite part of the entire New York City experience: Why, the pigeons, of course. She nearly pulled me in front of a bus after a couple of them flew right over her head. It was too much for her to resist.
I'm finally back at home after my long, and mostly eventful, spring tour, which took me from Chicago to Portland to Seattle to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Fla., to New York and, finally, to Washington D.C. for Book Expo of America. Book Expo is the big annual publishing convention and schmoozefest, and features tens of thousands of new titles. A year ago, I attended as the author of this yet-to-be-released book called Marley & Me that showed some promise. It's fair to say I got completely lost in the crowd; my signing drew about 70 people. This year was considerably different. Marley is now in its 32nd straight week on The New York Times nonfiction list, 16 of those weeks at #1, so I got plenty of attention. As far as I could tell, my only real job duty was to drink, eat and shake hands. I did a lot of all three. Not a bad assignment! My one-hour signing was completely overwhelmed, and we had to cut the line off and turn people away, which I never like to do. I signed about 400 books before we ran out of time and I got kicked out. My publicist, Seale Ballenger, and I then carried the last two remaining boxes of books back to the HarperCollins booth where I signed and gave away those, too.
The highlight of the weekend for me was the HarperCollins party at the Smithsonian Castle, thrown by CEO Jane Friedman, who treats her authors very very well. It featured really, really good food and a really, really good jazz band, not to mentino an open bar, so I was happy. I got to hang out with my wonderful agent, Laurie Abkemeier, and got to meet my wife's all-time favorite television journalist (yeah, I kind of like him, too), Anderson Cooper.
It's good to be home and good to be back at my job at The Philadelphia Inquirer after a 10-week leave for the book tour. If you want to check out my column, you can find it at http://go.philly.com/grogan. But I warn you, some of the references are intended solely for Philadelphians. That's all for now. Ciao!
posted by John Grogan at 2:11 PM