Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Sorry But I'm Very Excited

The great thing about BookShopWorld is that publishers are quite keen to promote their wares, and invite you to all manner of events. These range from the humble stand-up pint with a first-time author (Cheesey Wotsits and Twiglets provided) - which is always a huge laugh because they're just as much in it for the free beer as you are - to the swanky invitation-only do for the established literary lion, which means you don't steal the cutlery or drink too much and pass out in your soup. These latter ones are rare though - the last time I went to one was about 5 years ago. They were promoting not one but three authors, so they rotated them throughout the dinner. Cool for us, indigestion ahoy for the authors... I sat opposite Howard Jacobson (who was totally charming - we discussed Esther Williams and salt beef), Rose Tremain (we were both quite drunk so I don't remember what we talked about but she was really nice), and a very young author/academic whose name I won't mention because he was a total arrogant arse and I'm too poor to get sued; I was delighted when we had to return his novel because it hadn't sold. And had frankly appalling reviews. Here I will just bung in a load of foreign words like hubris, schadenfreude, and poseur.
AAAAAAAAAAnyway - got my five-yearly glam invite the other week and am very excited - JOHN LE CARRE, whom I love, at THE IVY, a place I am unlikely ever to visit or eat at in normal circumstances unless I start dating AA Gill, a thought that fills me with fear and loathing. I'm so excited I will probably do what I did when I met PJ O'Rourke, which is blush, clam up, and find myself unable to speak. Although I am practising pithy phrases like "The swallows fly north over Moscow" and "Pass the salt or I will report you to Head of Ops".

13 comments:

Reluctant Blogger said...

oh wow, yes no wonder you are excited. I'm sure you won't clam up (have a drink - but just ONE - beforeheand). I'm sure if I met and chatted with authors I would embarrass myself horribly and talk about the wrong books (ie ones I thought they had written but were in fact written by someone else).

Have fun.

lucyfishwife said...

Managed to embarrass myself in front of Tamsin Greig (innocently shopping in my old workplace)by telling her I really enjoyed "Twelfth Night" when in fact she was in "Much Ado". She looked at me as if I was a complete idiot. I re-categorised my favourite Black Books character as Bernard, not Fran...

Rol said...

You're such a name-dropper.

Hubris, indeed. ;-)

lucyfishwife said...

It's a greek word, innit? I thought you spoke greek like a native now! Tchuh. You dilettantes.

Rol said...

I'm far too proud to use a word like hubris, Greek or not...

lucyfishwife said...

(Snort of appreciative laughter)

mantua maker said...

A few years ago I lodged in the same house as Susannah York for a week (it was a house used by visiting actors) - although I never saw her (even though she was in the next room) as we had completely different hours, when she was working I was sleeping and vice versa. I did manage to catch her just before she left and got her to sign "In Search of Unicorns" (her beautiful children's book, published in the 70s, couldn't be produced now as the amount of colour used in the printing would make it too expensive) - cheesy of me I know but it had to be done.

What are you going to wear? Something louche and mysterious. Shame you can't smoke in the Ivy, will it have a "covered heated area" I wonder.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I get horribly starstruck too!

Met Nathanial Parker the actor twice and managed to completely embarrass myself by getting his surname wrong the first time. Luckily I managed to apologise for the first occasion on the second occasion I met him.

A charming chappy.

Good luck with your g-literati do!

I went to a great launch at The Travellers' Club in Pall Mall the other week in a Library dating from 1815. Then dined with the author in the amazing crystal-chandeliered dining room! I could get used to that!

lucyfishwife said...

Blimey Laura, that's quite exalted! I went to an OUP do at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall ages ago but it was under false pretences - a friend was an editor at OUP and sneaked me in - and it wasn't dinner, just drinks. Another great Empire edifice with lots of marble and chandeliers. Must be a bugger to dust...

Cars Cars Cars said...

have adrink we reached the top of excitment

Steve said...

As an amateur writer 140,000 words through their first novel I am totally jealous. I can be an arse too!

lucyfishwife said...

Steve - Congratulations! That makes your as-yet-unfinished novel at least three times as long as a novella(I am having to do some research on short stories vs. novellas at the mo so I know whereof I speak)! In the days when I could still stand the sight of my own written fiction I managed 20,000 words once, and then chucked it. Points for tenacity and drive! When can we read it?

Cars cars cars - Welcome! My first random drunken late night commenter!

lucyfishwife said...

Mantua Maker - I found a first edition of "The Phantom Tollbooth" in a junk shop a while back but have never lived with Norton Juster... Would indeed wear something louche and mysterious but have a dread of ending up looking like Rosa Klebb... Will smoke outside and get papped. As I am of course a dead ringer for Scarlett Johanssen...