Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WeHo Report: the West Hollywood Book Fair

I had wayyy more fun at the Book Fair over the weekend than I anticipated.

Of course book fairs are terrific, and when you throw in the grilled brats and live poetry you're pretty much guaranteed a delightful afternoon, but I was nervous. That's nothing new - I always get nervous before any event where I'm expected to say something smart. I have a strong conviction that I'll lose all my powers of speech.

This time was different.

First of all, several authors I've long admired were on site and I got to meet them for the first time. That, strangely, doesn't make me all that nervous. I'm not generally much of a fan girl; I don't simper or faint. And I figure if I *love* someone's work, we probably already have something in common, some fundamental understanding of the world and what constitutes a story.

Then, I met up with some friends I'd only known online. Now, Junior is constantly harranguing me about the dangers of all my online friendships - I think she's convinced I'll fall for that whole lured-into-chat-rooms thing - but once they became *real* my virtual friends were *still* charming and smart and fun.

with friends Michael, Debbie and PCN

And finally, my panel - which had the rather intimidating title "Take Back the Night: Strong Women in Fiction" - was populated with the most fascinating, warm, thoughtful authors and moderator. Our hosts were the WeHo Women's Advisory Council and they were over-the-top gracious. They gave me *roses*. Seriously - there are two beautiful pale-pink, crimson-tinged roses in a vase on my kitchen table. I was worried I wouldn't measure up - and instead, they made us feel like we were part of an important, soulful discussion from the start.

One of the highlights wasn't even at the fair...the night before, I had dinner with my friends author Sue Ann Jaffarian and woman-about-town/commentator Pop Culture Nerd. We sat down at 5pm....then there was silken mac'n'cheese with a crunchy crust, potato-chip crusted chicken (could there *be* a lovelier phrase in the english language? doubt it), sauteed corn with bacon...oh, it just went on and on. Well, five hours (!!) later I looked up and lo and behold, we had outlasted every other soul in the place. Which says something about our fortitude and conversational prowess, I think.

Sue Ann hinted at some shriek-worthy news. But, being the unflappable pillar of discretion that I am, I am going to make you all wait until she can announce it. Very exciting, though!

Still, I'm glad to be home. I got down to work today, and ground through much of the to-do stack that had accumulated in the 4 days I'd been away. I was so good, in fact, that I treated myself to a late lunch with my bad-girl writing friends J and R. Ohhhh....still laughing and blushing over that. You shoulda been there.

That's me at the Book Soup tent...okay I admit it, I just can't get enough of seeing my name in print!


le0pard13 said...

Well, I for one am so glad you came out to the WeHo Book Fair, Sophie. Especially since I did such a grand job of missing your summer book tour through SoCal. And your panel was one of its highlights. Besides your book, I picked up another one from a co-panelist, Pam Ward, too. Hopefully, it's not the only time for you (or me) in attending this book and author event. Thanks for adding to the festivities and making it a very enjoyable experience.

p.s., that's one lucky old geezer standing with all those wonderful women in the picture ;-).

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Dang. I tried my best to be creepy and drag you into seedy chat rooms. Got to work harder at that.

As you know, I'm still thinking about that potato-chips chicken. Had a dream about it last night, in fact, and woke up chewing on my husband's...well, never mind.