I'm in New York on the last day of my visit for Book Expo America, an industry convention on a scale I've never quite seen before. I'm here as a guest of my US Publishers, Penguin, specifically to promote the hardcover release of Wereworld: Rage of Lions
and paperback of Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf
I'm staying in the W Hotel off Times Square which is next door to an old friend, the Edison, where my wife and I stayed on honeymoon. It was a big geekfest getting to stay at the Edison, like many places in NY the scene from many a movie. I'd say the most famous one would be the death of Luca Brasi from The Godfather. Plus Dominic Chianese, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, sang in the piano bar too every thursday. No regular hotel...
The Penguin authors got to meet the whole of the Penguin team on Tuesday evening at a party on the Highline, high over the city, the view from which was breathtaking.
My hat of geekdom was back on as I spied fellow author Bob Balaban across the room, actor from sooooo many shows films that one would recognise - Gosford Park, Seinfeld, Close Encounters. I was hoping to get a chance to chat with him but the event was quite overwhelming (in a smashing way) as we got to meet everyone who had played such an active part in promoting Wereworld in the US.
Wednesday was possibly the craziest working day I've had in a long, long time. In the morning it was off to the media suite at Penguin HQ to be interviewed for their website. Lots of questions were whizzed my way from the fans who'd answered the call on Facebook and Twitter, so keep your peepers peeled for that footage.
At lunchtime it was into Book Expo itself, to take part in the Speed Date event. 19 tables full of the nation's top booksellers, educators and librarians - each author participating had 3 minutes alone to pitch their book to them. My spiel consisted of doodling of Bob The Builder transformed into a Werewolf and rapid fire series description right to the gong, with a liberal dose/helping of cheeky banter and double entendres. As you'd expect. I thought it would look quite sophisticated and dapper to appear for this event in my gorgeous tweed jacket - y'know, the eccentric Brit author, what what. Turns out rapid-fire speed-dating and tweed don't make the best combo - when I took my jacket off at the 7th table, I quickly put it back on again as it looked like someone had thrown a bucket of water over me. Hindsight's a wonderful thing.
In the afternoon it was back to the Penguin Booth in the main hall for my official signing, which had a very healthy queue disappearing round the corner and went on for longer than the alloted hour, all the copies of the HB Rise of the Wolf being snaffled by the fab folk who turned up for it - hope they can go on to 'spread the Were-word' now.
Met up with my US editor Kendra Levin and UK editor Shannon Cullen in the evening at the lovely Home restaurant down on Cornelia St off 4th.
The greedy hobbit had steak, naturally. Rude not to really. Then it was back to my hotel for an early night, not before a cheeky wander through Times Square.
Off to a school in Brooklyn today, Visitation Academy, to do my first ever school author talk in the US. Hope they understand my language. Oh, and I did bump into Bob Balaban again yesterday, and I wasn't half so shy second time round...