Mar 242012

25 May, 2011


The Great Treasure Hunt

I wonder if New Yorkers would laugh if I told them the city reminds me of cities in the Middle East – there’s a very earthy feel to it. Like Damascus. Like Amman. There are more white people and fewer flowing robes here, but the air, the smell, the traffic, the general feel and flow, the roller door shops, the produce carts, the dark eyes, the accents, the cat sleeping on the newspapers . . .

The big difference is that Arab strangers are alive to each other.

Of course, I’m telling stories. What do I know beyond first impressions scanned by Antipodean eyes leading aching, swollen feet on a great big treasure hunt.

Yesterday the adventure to find an international publishing deal began – with a one-day publishing rights boot camp with author, speaker and all round one woman whirlwind Jan Yager.

Aha! A map.

Then today I trekked off to Book Expo America, slugging it out with armloads of books and aching feet, criss crossing town on a spiderweb subway system, to wander the exhibition crowds and do my best to get sales folk to deliver my books and press package to editors and publishers.

They really don’t wanna know about authors. A salient fact I deduced from the entry fee – $350 for authors, $200 or less for everyone else. Fortunately I am also one among everyone else, being a publisher as well. It took a sharp inhale to fork out anything at all, until I remembered I’ve come a very long way and spent a lovely load of dough to come this far so what’s another 200 smackeroos!

New Yorkers are nice. The ones I ask for directions dunno much about what’s round the corner, but they’re helpful in their own way. Like the men who turned on their heels back the way they just came to carry my roller suitcase of books down the stairs for me. I was very very thankful for that, I can tell you.

One more day on this particular leg of the treasure hunt and I’ll be suitcase free. BEA will be over and I’ll be left on my lonesome to find that elusive publishing deal.

One book at a time.

And in between I’ll be soaking up the city.

By the way, did you know steam really does come up from grates in the footpath?

And don’t mind my picture. It’s the only one I had, short of me and Times Square getting all buddy buddy. I was trying to photograph the wonderful old building across the road, through the mirror in my room. I know, small things . . .  🙂

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