Okay, all week I've kvetched about the book touring - the plane screw ups, the paltry showings at signings, the overwhelming feeling that one is a failure. But today is Friday and so I have a little treat - what those Celebrity Authors are really like. Info you really can't get anywhere else but on book tour.
How do I know? Well, I don't really. I'm just going by the gossip I get from the media escorts who drive around everyone from the Rolling Stones to, well, me. Aside from meeting fans, squeezing media escorts for dish is my favorite on-the-road activity. Usually the escorts hold their proverbial cards close to their proverbial chests. The car rides are long, however, and as a genetic pest and a former reporter I'm ruthless. This is what I've been able to find out over the five years of touring. You'll have to guess who the unnamed authors are - hey, maybe we can run a contest!
David Sedaris - Probably the escorts favorite passenger. Takes copious notes in a little wirebound notebook he carries in his shirt pocket. Has a "tip jar." Writes thank you notes on his lap in the car as soon as he leaves a signing. Believes tobacco is a vegetable of which he consumes copious amounts.
Unnamed prominent politician - Once made a pass at an escort after she refused to corral nubile women up to his hotel room. Travels with a posse. Despite that, made the escort carry in tons and tons of books by herself. Tried to French kiss her afteward in front of gang before hopping plane.
Unnamed drunken big author - So blotto that escort realized she could not put this woman on the air. When she was instructed by the publisher to just "pack her up," the escort was pelted by expletives and ashtrays thrown by author who continued to drink from mini bottles, watching through slitted eyes as escort collected underwear and PJs.
Julia Child - Gracious sweetheart with a blue vocabulary. When young chef accidentally tripped while bringing in a beautifully prepared sea bass that flew across the table and landed in Julia Child's lap, Julia chortled, "That's why I never cook the f*^#ers."
Richard Simmons - Voted most fun/most bizarre. Given to taking limos and stopping at curbs, inviting strangers in for rides. Carried large Barbie-ish make up case and referred to himself in the third person as "Dicky." Totally uplifting.
Unnamed fantasy writer and husband - Claimed to be devout vegetarians who only consumed filtered water and whole, organic food. Demanded that escort find such at midnight. When such could not be found after a 90 minute search, ate cheeseburgers and drank Coke lustily. Matching purple fingernails.
Unnmamed "sensitive" male author of women's fiction - A ten hanky tear jerk. Strapping and fit, called escort at her home on the other side of the city and demanded she to take him from his hotel to the gym. When she pointed out that the gym was across the street from the hotel and that the hotel ran on-demand shuttles to and fro, Ten Hanky Tear Jerk remarked that he "didn't do shuttles" because he was simply too famous. Often asks readers to guess what he prefers - boxers or briefs.
Most favorite authors - Nora Roberts hands down. Candace Bushnell. Harlan Coben. Laura Lippman. Sue Grafton and many others. (Generally - they are nice.)
Least favorite authors - Comedians. Any author of a self-help book. Cornwell. Evanovich.
John Grishman - So unknown at the beginning had to carry around his own books which he sold out of back of car.
JK Rowling - At first signing sold 9 books. Same store one year later, 10,000.
Weirdest Request from an Author - Nonfiction author of "exposes" staying in a European five-star hotel called her contact in the states demanding that said contact call the busboy in the lobby of her five-star European hotel to get him to come up to her room and collect her bags. I kid you not.
Hey - Now I'll never get any dirt from the escorts. Oh, well. If you're in Houston, why not come on down and see me at Rice Epicurean Markets on San Felipe tomorrow. Should be fun.