Sunday, October 22, 2006

Literary Feast


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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful!

Liz said...

I would totally watch a bookstore reality show! You could have scenes of hot folks making out in the stacks and the writers that work in the bookstore start spying on them. But would the employee that doesn't sell the most get eliminated every week?

circuitmouse said...

Are you kidding? There are more writers working in bookstores than there are viewers who watch the NBC fall lineup. Heaven forbid ABC gets its chops into it though; Bravo or Showtime, maybe would be a better bet. Maybe it's time for the BookTV channel on cable to have its own reality show...

Glad you had a good time at the dinner. If those walls at the Biltmore could talk...