Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Personality Thief

Tonight I enjoyed a little-known perk of bookselling: a gourmet dinner and all the wine I cared to drink, absolutely free. A publishing company paid for a few local B&N employees to have dinner with two of its new authors at one of the city's best restaurants. Until tonight, I'd seen pictures of, but never eaten, food presented so artistically that it takes an effort of the will to mar it with the first bite. But art be damned--tonight I ate duck that I thought might actually melt on my tongue.

And I was quiet most of the night. Not only because my mouth was full, but because I was surrounded by some of the most disparate personalities ever collected at one table. Personalities that excited the writer in me and will probably lend their quirks to future characters in my fiction. A proud retail manager wearing braces and an expensive-looking suit, a publisher who shook my hand but had already averted his attention before I finished saying my name, a New York Times reporter who sat to my right and made indecipherable notes in red pen throughout dinner. Shoved together at one table and lubricated with wine refilled too attentively for anyone to track their consumption, these people had interesting conversations.

I went to this event because it involved free food and it made me anxious (I try to do the things that make me feel that way). And I went to it because I felt like I should, as someone who hopes to write books one day. I'm not sure what I expected to get out of it (not the most useful things, like connections in the publishing business or sound advice from real authors), but I came away with some pretty valuable stuff. Some of the publisher's comments about selling books would make me bitter if I chose to let them. Instead I'll borrow his personality. Maybe try to pitch it to him some day.


Blogger Laura B. said...

Sounds like a really great experience, Amber. I'm happy you're getting to do these wonderful things while living down there---! Here's to inspiration :)

1/31/2007 6:09 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I think that a lot of things in life can create bitterness if we let it. Way to spin it into something productive.

2/03/2007 9:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home