Went to see author Tom Rachman (The Imperfectionists–buy it!) speak last night at Copperfields down in Petaluma. Before he began, I whispered to Richard to pay specific attention to how he formatted his talk so that when I become a world-famous (or locally-famous?) author, I’ll know what to say and how to say it when I stand before that sea of eager faces.
What a fine conversation! What was gratifying was his deliberate and thoughtful answers to questions asked of him. None of this canned response sense nor feelings that he’s said this all a hundred times before. A real class act. I really liked him.
So now comes the pitch part, the part where you’re supposed to get your name out there in whatever way possible: when I had him sign my book, I asked him to write, “Good luck with your book,” and how nice, he asked if I’d written my own book–yes–and further more, I had something to give him. I pulled out a page of paper folded in quarters, and how could unfolding turn into such a lot of fumbling? But I got it open, and it was the copy for the back cover of the book that IUniverse requires, plus my blog address. He seemed interested and promised he’d take a look, so if you’re reading this, Mr. Rachman, you are a righteous man and I thank you.
But back to his talk: Richard and I really had to laugh at his description of traveling to Cairo in hopes of fulfilling a fantasy of galloping on a black stallion across the vast desert sands of Araby, the pyramids in all their glory behind him. Of course, that was all it was: a fantasy. Someday, maybe, he’ll have a laugh when he reads of our encounter with the pyramids.
Same disappointing scenario. Instead of standing in majestic isolation in the vast and mysterious shifting desert sands, there are the pyramids within spitting distance of Cairo and its blanket of brown smog. There’s the entrance kiosk next to the Sphinx where you pay up to get near these wonders. And once you reach the pyramids: no climbing, no touching, no no no, and you being constantly accosted by raggedy-robed Egyptians tricking you into paying them for taking your picture with your camera. The author even recalled the KFC across the street from the pyramid parking lot, a sight we found photo-worthy.
But did he see the mighty Nile as we did?
Meanwhile, no word from my professional marketing consultant . . .