June 1st, 2007

more from the book expo

I milled around the F+W exhibit yesterday looking at some of the other nifty books they put out like "Bible Road" by Sam Fentress which is a really amazing collection of photographs of signs about god (not like people walking on water, but road signs, hand painted signs, church signs, stuff like that) all across the highways and byways of America. The hand-made ones especially I found captivating. And also the Domiknitrix book Whip your knitting into shape by Jennifer Stanfield -- the goth knitting book with a black cover. I was psyched ot see that Scott Francis, the author of the "Monster Spotters Guide" was there, with a huge stack of bumper stickers that says "I BRAKE FOR SASQUATCH" (yes i got some).

When it became apparant that I was more in the way than out of the way, I took my copy of Armed America and trundled off to B&H Camera. Those of you who are photographers will recognize B&H as the photo-mail-order Mecca -- so I was excited to see it in person. It's HUGE. Photo equipment as far as they eye can see. Like a giant candy store.

I got this crazy idea in my head that I should buy a Nikon D1 -- Nikon's first DSLR, it would be hip vintage cool! And they're only like $250 now because they have miserable resolution. So anyway, I trundled up to the used section, they didn't have any D1's, but one of the employees pointed to my badge and said "Are you an author?" And sure enough, my badge says "Author". I pulled out my book and all the camera nerds clustered around and we talked about how to light a living room and stuff like that -- it was a marvelous geek moment. And when someone asked what I was working on now I said "Military tattoos" -- and one of the guys behind the counter, a swell young fellow named Chris said "I got my I Ching tattooed on my arm to mark every important date in my career in the Air Force."

Hows that?

Chris and I went to the village and had dinner at a Ukranian restaurant and talked about writing book proposals and I wandered around New York.

Eventually I met up with my friend Bernard who works for the New York Times. We hung out at the bar at the Affina. I got to bed later than I should have. Big, fun day today.
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So ... things got underway today. When I returned to the convention that mountain of trash was gone, carpet was down everywhere, everything was gleaming. I "signed" for an hour and a half -- since we only had one copy of the book, I was signing BLAD's and post cards (they made four post cards from images in the book). Mostly I was just talking to people from the press who wanted to either review it or do something else about the book. I got pretty rehearsed at answering:

"How did you get the idea to do this?"


"So, where do you fall on this debate?"

which were the questions I heard most. Everybody seems captivated by the images though, which is the important thing.

One really cool thing was seeing that there was a back page ad on the INGRAM catalog -- those of you with nefarious bookstore employee pasts (such as myself) know INGRAM as the go-to place for book ordering. In fact, when I was working at [insert name of chain store], if INGRAM didn't have it, we couldn't get it.

After that, I went around and acted like a fan boi -- gettingg Susan Masino to autograph a copy of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock

There are so many authors and books here, you could get lost, in fact, everybody does get lost -- it's complete book overload. You could walk home with a camper van filled with free books if you wanted.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president and founder of PETA also has a book with F+W on how to throw a party for your dog -- they had her side of the booth all decked out with people in lederhosen giving out "dogtoberfest" swag, vegan treats for your dog and real beer for people.

She seemed sad that I didn't have a dog (she had some sort of boxer, which was also wearing lederhosen -- i should have taken a picture), but she sent roswell an autograph

And I met two of the coolest people, Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, who are the authors of Journal Revolution: Rise Up and Create! who were also signing at the F+W booth (they're also sisters). Their book is about making swank artsy journals and they were just so filled with enthusiasm, bubbly, happy, friendly people. I just got this surge of joy standing around them. When we packed up I was a bit sad to hear that they weren't going to the big author party tonight at the Empire State Building because they'd just flown in from L.A. so they're off to crash. They told great funny stories about Rosie O'Donnell becoming a fan of their books and wearing one of their T-Shirts in a Newsweek photo spread.

They were really interested in the Armed America photos and we talked about that for a while, and about how much fun we're having. "We're going to BLOG about you!" Linda said, "I'm going to BLOG about you first! I said. Tada.

Feel free to pop on over to their blog.
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