Thursday, June 28, 2001

American Gods Blog, Post 99

There's nothing quite so unlikely as typing a blogger entry on a sofa in a TV studio, but that's just what I seem to be doing right now.

And for that matter, I want to make a point of saying that I am now, as of twenty minutes ago, no longer an author. Nope. Now I am officially a New York Times Bestselling Author. And I've learned where the apostrophe is on the libretto. (It's just above the 7 key.) Two good things in one day.

...there. TV over and done with, and Amacker Bullwinkle is driving me from the Tech TV studios to a dinner with Charles Brown, editor and publisher of Locus, and I'm typing a little as I go.

Amacker drives a little like a Brazilian taxi driver who took me and my editor from the Rio book fair to the airport last month. The traffic speed was maybe 40. He never drove at less than 70, nipping into tiny spaces, lurching manically from lane to lane. As soon as I was sure I wasn't going to die, it was kind of fun. Amacker would like that taxi driver. I think they went to the same driving school.

So today I signed in Booksmith's on the Haight - like the lunchtime signing at Stars Our Destination in Chicago last week, this one was also a drop-in signing that became a real one, but without a reading, which is a pity as Shadow and Wednesday walk that street in American Gods. I'll read that section - the Easter bit - tonight, I think.

It was a good signing - my third at Booksmiths. The best thing about signing at Booksmiths is this: they do a trading card of the author. I think they have a web site where all the trading cards are listed.

After the signing we drove to the Tech TV offices. My cellphone rang as I was greeting Roger, the show`s producer. I've not been answering it much on this tour - it usually rings when I'm talking to people or signing or reading or something, and I just let it ring, but this time I answered it. It was Kathy Hemming of Harper Collins.

"I`ve got a fax in front of me," she said. "You`re at number 10 on the New York Times list!"

And I phumphed and goshed and grinned like a lunatic and said thank you a lot and she said no, thank you and all things considered it was a Very Good Thing.

Then I went on Screen Savers, walking two inches above the floor. Leo, the host, had been reading this blogger and he wanted to see the Libretto, so I pulled it out, and everyone gathered around and they all wanted to know the same thing.

"$2,200," I'd say. "600mhz. No it doesn't weigh anything." and I wound up taking it onto the show. And starting this entry there...

The first time I was ever interviewed on TV was in 1987. John Lloyd (eminent UK TV producer and writer and stuff) was presenting a show called South of Watford and he interviewed Dave McKean and me about Violent Cases, in a pub called the Café Munchen (now The Conservatory, unless it's something else).

We chatted before the interview, friendly and relaxed. And then it was time to turn on the TV cameras. They were turned on, and John turned to me and asked the first question.

I froze.

I froze utterly and in every way. My mouth slowly opened and nothing came out. I forgot how to speak.

John said, "Stop rolling," to the camera people, and told me everything would be fine, and reminded me it wasn't live, and then he told them to turn on the cameras and asked me the question again.

I've never been nervous or tongue-tied on TV since, but I can't forget that time. It lurks in the back of my mind, a little adrenaline-kicker before every TV appearance.

(Sorry about that. I just fell asleep for twenty minutes. We must be nearly there...)

... and for the first time ever we're in Continued on Next Rock territory, as I'm going to have to post this so far and go to sleep. It's 1:30am and I' ve just spent an hour signing stuff back at the hotel room, after the Cody's signing... and I have to be out of here at 7.00 am and I am so tired you would not believe it, and I'm not sure I do. So I'll finish talking about Screen Savers (it's on until midafternoon on Thursday) and everything else, later.

Labels: , , , , , ,