My whirlwind publication day
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday was my publication day, and it was an adrenaline-filled combination of heady excitement and sheer terror. Well, maybe not terror, but it's hard to go on a live national talk show such as Good Morning America, knowing millions of Americans are tuning in, without feeling a few very fluttery butterflies in your gut. What if I go totally blank? What if I spit out something totally nonsensical? ("The Russians are coming!") What if I really, really need to scratch my nose? But my GMA interviewer, Chris Cuomo, a kid who grew up very, very Catholic himself, put me at ease almost instantly. He was so enthusiastic about the book, and so collegial and chatty, that by the time the cameras rolled at about 8:45 a.m. I felt like I was sitting at a bar shooting the breeze with an old friend over a beer. Thanks Chris, for helping me get through the pre-show jitters. (To view my Good Morning America appearance, click "Media" at the top of this page.)
After the Cuomo interview, it was a short walk down the hallway at the ABC studios in Times Square to Good Morning America Radio where I did another interview. Then I took a few minutes to read the two great reviews that came out that morning -- one in the New York Times and one in the Washington Post. Whew! Actually, I need to confess that I didn't wait till mid-morning to read them. More accurately, I took a few moments to RE-read them. What Mr. Neurotic here actually did was rise at 5 a.m. to nervously surf the web for any pub-date reviews, and first saw them online then. (To read them and others, please click "Reviews" in the bar above.)
From ABC, my agent Laurie Abkemeier and I headed over to HarperCollins Children division to discuss with the publishing team there my kids books, including the newly released Very Marley Christmas. Then we walked down Fifth Avenue to the Barnes & Noble store at 46th Street for a 12:30 p.m. signing. Thanks to all who turned out to say hi.
My afternoon was spent back at HarperCollins working with Michael Barrs and the online team doing a real-time phone question-and-answer session with people who were calling in from as far away as Switzerland. Then I recorded a podcast that will be posted on this website. The day ended with a great dinner out with my William Morrow publishing team: deputy publisher Lynn Grady, my editor Mauro DiPreta, my dynamic publicity duo, Seale Ballenger and Ben Bruton, and Laurie the indefatigable agent and manager of all my business affairs. I guess it's a sign of our collective slide into middle age (with me way out in front of the others years-wise) that instead of tying on a celebratory bender (I knew I had to be up at 5 the next morning) we sipped individual glasses of wine and instead reminisced about drinking nights past. Maybe not too wild, but we all had a lot of fun. And the food at Anthos was great.
The next morning, Ben and I headed pre-dawn to a recording studio in Manhattan where over the next six hours I conducted brief interviews via satellite connection with 22 television stations across the country. And let me tell you, that's a LOT of jawboning! After lunch, I participated in an online author chat at the washingtonpost.com. And in the evening headed to Book Revue in Huntington, NY, out on Long Island where I read from my book and signed copies for a group of exceptionally nice folks. Special thanks to the DiPreta clan for showing up in force on a school night.
This morning I left New York on a 9 a.m. flight, and I'm writing this from the Boston Public Library where I found an open wireless connection. In a few minutes I'm walking down the street to a Barnes & Noble for a lunch-hour book signing. Then I have an early dinner with my sister-in-law Susan and niece Elizabeth and then an evening flight to Chicago.
My brother Michael just emailed to report that the staff at my mother's nursing home near my childhood home outside Detroit made sure Mom was front and center to watch me on Good Morning America Tuesday. Reports are she was beaming broadly. In case you're listening, Mom, I'm eating my vegetables on book tour and trying to get enough sleep. And, of course, I love you!
posted by John Grogan at 7:58 AM