Sunday, October 22, 2006
I went to the Southern California Booksellers Association Author's Feast Dinner at the Biltmore Hotel (above) on Grand Ave. I wore a tie and blazer and sat among booksellers, authors, booklovers and talked books, books, books. It was also an awards dinner and we applauded those who got notices in fiction, nonfiction, children's books, and mystery. (My first novel was nominated several years ago along with Alice Sebold and TC Boyle. Mr. Boyle won.)
This is the best part of the book biz that I like. People there just seemed to love books and respect writers. I went as both a bookseller (for Skylight books) and as an author. (Of course, I had to mentioned that I have a new book coming out next year and please keep an eye out for it.)
What I like about being around book people is that they are so smart. I never think that I'm talking to a ditz (which is something I always felt when I went to entertainment industry functions). The conversations were filled with substance. I enjoyed talking with religous scholar Jonathon Kirsch about his new book on the end of the world as proclaimed in the bible. I was in awe when Historian Lilian Faderman talked about the contributions of Los Angeles to the gay world. I loved listening to novelist Susan Straight tell me that there's a hot new writer on the scene--Alex Espinoza--who wrote a novel that I've GOT to read.
In the end, I hung out with other independent bookstore folks from Vromans in Pasadena and Booksoup in West Hollywood. We sat around and talked about writing and writers. We shook our heads at the number of magazines who are cutting their book review sections. We talked about starting a reality TV show about writers who work in a bookstore. We laughed and said no one would watch it.
I enjoyed this evening. It was stimulating.