All of my friends know this story, but I think… Well, I want you all to learn from my mistakes, so I’m telling it again.
I am going to give a little word of advice to all writers going to Book Expo America (BEA) for the first time:
Are you really ready?
Here is my big sentence of wisdom: WEAR A SKIRT THAT FITS!
Seriously. That is the take-away from this.
That isn’t just a word of advice for writers, but for everyone except nudists, really. If you’re going to a big, important event, make sure your skirt fits.
I know this from experience because when I first went to BEA my skirt fell off (YES! PAST MY KNEES!) when I got out of the taxi in front of a bunch of people queuing in a line for the taxi. I was feeling all cool and jaunty. I was in New York City and not Maine. There were people everywhere. I was there as an author. A real live author person and my publisher was actually spending money to have me be there. I felt sort of posh.
I was so psyched.
I must never be so psyched.
Because I am not posh. I am not all cool nor am I jaunty. I am a woman who dresses up like a lobster in the Fourth of July parade.
Also, I should never be let out of Maine because people in the real world of cities do things like:
- Look posh
- Wear make-up on their face
- Actually purchase make-up
- Wear matching socks
- Do not have skirts that fall down
Yeah. Never let me out of the state because I do not fit in a the world where flannel and fleece and lobster costumes aren’t the go-to clothing choices.
Anyways, back to the story! I’m a writer! I should stay focused.
Book Expo America is this HUGE industry event that authors really get psyched to have their editors/publishers/marketing team send them to. It’s this super big deal.
And this is where I had my skirt malfunction. There. At the super big deal place. The place full of people who are posh, make-up wearing, with clothes that fit. The place full of people who could make or break my career.
I stepped out of the cab. The cab driver was super nice because he wanted a tip. I talked to him a lot because he kept asking me questions about the memoir he was writing because all cab drivers are writing memoirs.
I stepped out of the cab.
That was a mistake.
My skirt abandoned me like a filthy butt-head. Or maybe she was shy? Maybe NYC was too much for her and she’d just given up? Who knows. All I know is she fell. She fell all the way down to my ankles.
Spoiler alert: I was not wearing tights.
Fortunately, there was no paparrazzi, and nobody pulled out their cells so my shame did not go viral. Instead, the people who totally noticed were my cab driver (His eyes got really big and he stopped asking me questions about how to get published) and a father with his eight-year-old son (WHO WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!). The boy totally saw the whole thing. His mouth dropped open. He saw my underwear, seriously saw it. He was like five feet away. My bottom and his head were on the same level.
The same level!
*Hides head in shame*
This experience made me realize that I should not be let out of Maine. Obviously the people at Bloomsbury (my publisher) agreed with this since they did not send me to B.E.A. the next year.
So, anyway there I stood outside the taxi right in Broadway, right in front of the hotel trying to yank my skirt up while
a. Paying the taxi driver guy
b. Not falling down dead from mortification
c. Juggling three massive bags full of ARCS (That stands for advanced reader copies, non-writer people)
d. Realizing that hotel security cameras probably totally caught the skirt fall action.
e. Thanking God that I am not famous and therefore not worthy enough to have the skirt DISASTER image blasted all over the internet.
I bet you didn’t know that BEA stood for Behind Exposed to America.
Well, when you are me it does.
So, please, authors, remember that if you will be carrying free books, that it may cause you to lose a few pounds, so wear a belt! Please…
But where is the motivation in all this, you might wonder? This is supposed to be a Monday Motivation post.
It’s this – I survived.
Yes, I may have scarred that poor child and the taxi driver, but I went on and survived and nothing went viral and people still bought my books. And I got a story that I can laugh at a lot when – you know – I’m not crying.
That’s what matters. Cats know that. They fall off the counter? They bounce back up, shake it off, and glare at anyone who dares laugh at them. Cats are resilient. We should be more like that.
But also, we should make sure our skirts don’t fall down.
Random Marketing and Book Things Since I am an Author and Need To Make Money.
I KNOW! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO ADMIT IT.
My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy was all official on March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can order it!
Kirkus Review says: A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.
This podcast is weird, quirky, and totally authentic. I mean, you can tell we are goofy people just trying to share some writing tips and life tips and we are not sitting in the NPR studio. I mean look at us. We’re total dorks.
And finally, I made a little video for my TIME STOPPERS books.
Time Stoppers’s third book comes out this summer. It’s been called a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but with heart. It takes place in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. I need to think of awesome ways to promote it because this little book series is the book series of my own middle grade heart. Plus, I wrote it for the Emster. Plus, it is fun.