Friday, December 16, 2011

Visiting NYC - part 1

Let me make a statement before I get into this blog post: It is not my intent to brag or rub this experience in the faces of those in queryland--believe me, I remember how tumultuous that period can be. With that said, I ask you, dear blog reader, to read this post with an empathetic eye and put yourself in my shoes--pretend it is happening to you. It will make the post morph into something more for YOU.

Onward.

Ever since Christina Lee got me to stand in front of the Simon & Schuster building for an impromptu photo op, 10:30 at night, at last year's SCBWI Winter Conference, I've wondered what it was like inside the building.
 
After a few emails back and forth between my editor and agent, we hammered down a date--I was headed to NYC! Got the husband on board and booked a room at Hotel Lola (You have to check this place out. It is seriously awesome, and I highly recommend it).

I was finally going to meet my editor, Annette Pollert...and see the inside of the S & S building. An exciting itinerary developed and the date couldn't get here fast enough.

A week before, my husband had to back out because of a sudden work commitment. A boo.

One phone call to my mom, and just like that, I had a new traveling companion.

My mom and I took the train Wednesday morning, with fifty freshly baked Philly pretzels in tow for the S & S people (my small thank you for their time and dedication to CRACKED). We arrived at around noon, and apparently the entire planet was in New York City. I have never seen anything like it. Hundreds of people waiting to cross at every corner. Packed sidewalks. It was absolutely wild.

Schlepping twenty pounds of pretzels through the streets of NYC while trying to hail a cab probably wasn't the best idea. As the bag slid off of the top of my rolling suitcase for the 900th time, I looked up, and there in a sea of people and cameras, was Ludacris - THE Ludacris. He was about five feet from me.

By a stroke of luck, we made it to the S & S building on time, where we were buzzed past the lovely security guards (my mom was friends with all of them by the time we got to the elevators) and allowed into the building. Yes, inside. The elevator doors opened, I stepped out, looked to my right and there were a WALL of my books on display. My eyes bulged and I said, "Oh my god, Mom, look!" (side note: I took not one photo while in the building, which will remain one of my greatest regrets).

Annette soon appeared, and she was as spectacular as I imagined she'd be. Gracious and kind, brilliant and witty. The three of us met my agent, Sarah Lapolla, for lunch. We shared stories, laughed and ate delicious pasta. As I looked around the table at those three women who mean so much to me, I realized I better take it all in, because there was magic happening--treasured moments.

Tune in Monday for part 2 of the adventure, in which I will share what happened in the Inner Sanctum (that is an actual place in the S & S building - and I was in it!!).