Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Expo America - Sightings

Last week I flew out to Book Expo in New York and spent some of the week meeting with authors, potential authors, agents and publishing colleagues to talk business, and swap advice and information about the latest trends in publishing.

Later this week I'll post on some of the trends, prognostications and informational seminars I heard, but for today, just a quick list of author and celebrity sightings. I don't do the celebrity sighting thing, and typically, I don't get star struck. But hey, it was a fun week.



First Night: A colleague and I, after a dinner with a designer friend from Random House went for a late night walk in Times Square. After seeing a few sights and crowd watching for a few minutes we turned down a side street. All of a sudden a bright yellow Lamborghini sidles up to a red light not five feet away from us.

I look right and notice that the man driving looks vaguely familiar. A group of guys standing nearby yell out "Hey Tracy!" and point at the car. The driver REVS the engine twice in ackowledgment. So I take a good look. Of course it's Tracy Jordan from the TV Shows 30 Rock and Scare Tactics, taking a young lady for a ride. I think he plays a ego-obsessed celebrity who drives around in a yellow Lamborghini on 30 Rock, and then, there he is, driving around in a yellow Lamborghini just off Times Square. Funny way to start the trip.

Next Morning: The next morning I shared breakfast with an author of ours at an upscale restaurant in Rockefeller Center. On the way to the breakfast spot at about 6:55 a.m. I spy a stage and a bunch of lighting set up on a side street near Rockefeller Center. But it's New York! No big deal, right? Then I hear a voice casting over the cool morning. A man's voice singing the Tear for Fears song "Mad World," very high, pitch-perfect and with incredible range.

If you watched American Idol this season, you might guess the singer's name immediately. Adam Lambert. Apparently Lambert and Kris Allen and others were doing an NYC concert for a pretty sizable morning crowd. I listened for a moment, only to turn away to go into my meeting. I didn't want to be late.

BEA: Walking around BEA from meeting to meeting, and popping into a few of the panels and sessions I saw China Mieville (I am currently reading The City & The City), Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, James Ellroy (wow, this guy's is a spitfire!), Steven Tyler (yes, the lead singer of Aerosmith is now an author!), Sherman Alexie and Chris Anderson (of The Long Tail, and now Free).

Also, in terms of book news, I learned that Dave Eggers has three books releasing this year including The Wild Things (October), the screenplay for his new film called Away We Go (which I hope to see the moment it goes into wider release) and another one called Zeitoun (July), which is about a man in the aftermath of Hurricaine Katrina.

There was a lot more fun at BEA, but I'm hopping another plane for Texas this week so I must leave it at that for today.

As for you, what celebrities, writers, singers or TV stars would leave you starstruck? If any at all?

11 comments:

J.R. Parker said...

I can't think of any that excite me to think about meeting. But in the times that I've actually seen a celebrity, it seems like it's the surrealism that intrigues me. Suddenly this person who had always appeared part of another world is standing/driving before you in the flesh.

Anita said...

I am not easily starstruck...for me, only the Pope or Jerry Seinfeld could do it.

Enjoy TX!

T. Anne said...

Living in so cal I se them once in a while but never really forgot to exhale, so I guess none for now... Sounds like you had a fun time at BEA. I went last year and really enjoyed it.

Samuel D. Smith said...

Glad you had a great time.

Starstruck? Maybe Tina Fey. Or Bob Dylan. Meeting Neil Gaiman would be cool.

Pixy said...

Wow, definitely Neil Gaiman. *I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy*

I got meet John Green ("Looking For Alaska") at SCBWI LA two years ago and that was pretty amazing. Not because he's so famous (cause he's not really) but he was just such a stunning speaker. I was a little star struck, I guess.

Orson Scott Card ("Ender's Game")is a really awesome guy. He's so amazingly smart. It's a little intimidating, to say the least.

I think that would have been pretty stellar to see Adam and Kris in concert (even if only for a few minutes). *faints*

I've seen several movie stars since I've lived in the LA area my whole life. Have you ever noticed how they always look really horrid in person? What is with the guys all growing those mangy beards? I like facial hair as much as the next girl, but trim, trim, for crying out loud. :)

Anita said...

PIXY: I have a JOHN GREEN interview on my blog...it happened in February. Just click on the arrow next to February and you'll see it.

Anita said...

PIXY: I have a JOHN GREEN interview on my blog...it happened in February. Just click on the arrow next to February and you'll see it.

Pixy said...

Oh! Must go check out....

Janet said...

I saw Ursula LeGuin in person lately and got two books signed. It doesn't get much better than that.

I hate to say it, but in your list I think Neil Gaiman is the only one I would recognize on my own. No, not even Adam... I don't watch AI.

Alexander Field said...

Yes, Gaiman drew quite a crowd at the show. I wouldn't have known Adam myself but we watched a bit of Idol this season, though we normally do not...As for the others, all amazing authors, except for maybe Steve Tyler! : )

Pink Ink said...

Wow, to hear Adam Lambert in person would be so cool. I followed his progress online and I quickly became a fan.

Thanks for the play by play of BEA for us that didn't get to go!

I try to act nonchalant about seeing celebrities, but I admit I drool like the rest of 'em!