Friday, August 11, 2006

LA STORY: Book Signing, talk about Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster and more.

The SCBWI Conference this year was Golden. Here are some nuggets from my LA visit.

Friday Day #1
Media Escort Book Signing:
Media Escort Lisa Becker drove Tina (Justina Chen Headley ) and I all over LA to hit as many bookstores as is humanly possible given LA traffic and the local speed limit. Lisa Becker was well prepared and she had the bookstore reps. hopping. If a bookstore didn't have our books in stock, Lisa looked them right in the eye and said. "You need to get these books," in a very polite 'make them an offer they can't refuse' sort of a way. She also told us great Hollywood tales gleaned from working in the movie business. Some of the scoop: Meryl Streep is not only the consummate actress we all know she is, she's also a great human being. Ah, good to know. Lisa also talked up Jodie Foster (smart, with it, great mom), Keanu Reeves (the only actor who ever asked her if he could be switched to a SMALLER hotel room)and George Clooney who asked if he could pitch in some cash and pay for the film crew's accommodations (that's about 600 people!) when Lisa was getting flack from everyone about the sucky hotel. We loved her behind-the- scenes stories and we talked non-stop in stop-and-go traffic, so travel between signings was a breeze. I found a new respect for all the unsung heroes in the crew who work in the movie industry. Try 12-14 hour days day in and day out. Bravo to the unsung, hardworking crew!
We singed lots of books -- Tina's NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH AND A FEW WHITE LIES, and my THE BEAST OF NOOR. Last stop was Storyopolis where we viewed stunning framed picture book artwork covering the walls and, I almost forgot, signed books. A great day.

Friday night:
Dinner with friends and editor Krista Marino -- lots of laughs and good eats. In a fit of "healthy living fanaticism" we all decided to walk back to the hotel and had to clamber down a dirt hill covered in netting to cross LA night traffic -- totally nuts but no one was harmed.

See more SCBWI LA conference Nuggets in the next blog.

Until then,
Be well,

Until the next blog,
Be well,

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