Later that evening, we held the final big book store event at the Borders on Columbus Circle. The event was promoted around the store with big banners which Mike and I dubbed “Big Head Kat” photos. Literally, my head was five times bigger than my real head. We wanted a special treat, as we did with our final official independent bookstore (Left Bank Books in St. Louis). So I spent the afternoon shopping for cheese, chocolate and wine for the audience. It’s hard to do this for a bookstore event. Will there be two people, ten or forty? We have a new favorite wine place in the west village called winesby.com Basically, it’s a guy who keeps 100 wines in stock, with 50 of them under $20 each. They’re available online but only for people within the city, as the wines are delivered by van. So far, he’s never steered us wrong, and he’s a nice guy. If you’re in New York, check him out.
Anyway, I rushed home, threw on makeup and went forth into the cold, foggy and slightly rainy night. Good luck with a cab right away, but then we sat in traffic for 40 minutes, arriving only minutes before the reading. The Borders people were great – loads of books, lots of signage and we ended up with an audience of about 45 people. I started right in with anecdotes, asking people why they had joined the reading, and then starting the backs story to the book, etc. I thought it was going well. But then one guy gruffly got up and walked out, griping “what about the book?” Hello, it’s a memoir – this IS the book, I thought. It was unnerving, and hard to move past, actually. But it was a great crowd, and about a third had read it already and had excellent questions. One woman asked “Now that you’ve achieved your dream, now what?” A good question, and I’m not sure that I have the answer. Another person asked about the paperback. I just learned the answer today. It’s coming out from Penguin next October, so we’ll be on the road again this time next year.
The evening ended, and the Borders crew started taking down all the signs. “Wait,” I said. “I want that.” It was one of the huge banners with Big Head Kat. My mom took that photo, and whenever I see it, I think of her. Now, I’ve got a eight by four feet banner with her daughter’s huge head on it. So, Mom, I hope you’re not reading this, because I’ve just disclosed your Christmas present.