TorontoóI should have packed last night. It takes longer than Iíd thought. Iíve filled a box with clothes and books I wonít need in Toronto to send back to New York. Rush rush rush...my plane to Toronto departs at 8:50. I canít miss it!
As soon as Iím in the car Vicki tells me the bad news. Iíve been bumped from the Rosie OíDonnell show, scheduled for May 21. Vicki says ďpostponedĒ but we both know Iíll be heading west and the show will be going on hiatus soon. This is bad news for the book. Iím disappointed. I like Rosie. Sheís emotional and honest.
This morningís author escort wants to talk on the way to the airport. The problem with author escorts is they want to be friendly and chat with you and when you donít feel up to it you run the risk of being seen as difficult. So this morning Iím difficult.
At the airport an American Airlines employee takes my carry-on bag away from me. I protest. Iíve been carrying it on for a couple of years. Itís made to carry on. She doesnít care. Worse yet, I donít have my passport and am on my way to Toronto. She scolds me, saying I wonít get back into this country. I tell her Iíll take my chances. (But the minute I get to Toroonto I call home to have my passport Fed Ex-ed.)
Vicki has flown back to New York and in Toronto Iím met by the publicist from the Canadian division of BDD, Adrienne. Sheís taller than Vicki, who is at least 5í8Ē, and equally beautiful.
We do the noon news which goes well then Adrienne drops me at my hotel where Iím shown to an opulent suite. As soon as I call down to order a sandwich, the phone rings. I am told there are two women downstairs from the CBC, to tape a radio interview.
I donít know anything about this interview so I try to get Adrienne on the phone but I reach only her Voice Mail. I call back and ask for her assistant but itís lunchtime and sheís out of the office, too. I call a third time and ask for any human...explaining the situation and asking what I should do. How do I know these women are really from the CBC? They could be anyone!
I decide to let them come up anyway. They seem okay. By then Iíve reached Adrienneís boss at the publisherís office who explains theyíd cancelled this interview to give me time for lunch and I should just send them away. But I canít. Itís easier to do the interview than try to explain. So we tape for fifteen minutes. I still have a few moments to chow down my sandwich
3-4PM. A taped one hour TV interview with Pam Wallin, national evening talk show host. Itís a real luxury to talk to someone for an hour and Pam is well informed, intelligent and articulate. Iím now wearing two coats of makeup, one from the noon news and one from Pamís show.
As much as I enjoyed the show Iím wiped out. Iíve been going since 6 am. Back to the hotel for ďrestĒ before tonightís event - the Harbourfront Reading Series. But I havenít yet prepared my reading and I spend the next few hours mangling my book, trying to put a twenty-five minute piece together reflecting the friendship at the center of Summer Sisters, as well as capturing the change in tone as the characters go from twelve to thirty.
I order a bowl of pasta from room service. Itís delicious but I gobble it up and wind up so bloated I canít button my slacks. Oh well...my jacket will cover my middle.
7:30. We join the other readers, whoíve had dinner together, at a harborfront restaurant. I hope they understand why I wasnít able to eat with them. Iím not sure they do.
The Reading Series takes place in a room set up like a cafe. The audience sits around small candlelit tables facing a stage. The readers are called in alphabetical order so I am first.
Iíve never actually read to an audience from one of my books. I stand at the podium and look out but the rest of the room is pitch black, except for the flickering candles. Itís an eerie feeling. I know the room is filled with people but I canít see any of them. Iím reading into the darkness. Now and then there is laughter. I actually enjoy myself. Find that I like reading from this book.