Belated greetings from the Happiest Author in the World (well, except for maybe Jean Auel).

I just got back from Book Expo America, this gigantic convention for publishers, booksellers, and the occasional author, and oh, do I have things to report. Like seeing Amy Tan walk the convention floor with her little dog strapped to her chest in a Snugli (why, oh why, can't I bring Wendell to book events? Probably because the chances of Wendell sitting quietly in a Snugli are not so good). And meeting Elizabeth Berg, and getting a galley of Walter Mosley's upcoming book signed by Mr. Mosley himself. And sorry sight of the once-might Talk-Miramax staff -- including the very flack who was oh-so-snooty about not giving me an audience with Tina Brown, way back when -- trying to look as though they enjoyed being there representing only Talk-Miramax books, and didn't mind at all that they no longer had a magazine. Heh.

I went to a Booksense lunch on Friday afternoon, where there were about fifty authors, including Richard Russo, Barbara Ehrenreich and Barbara Kingsolver. After lunch, all of the authors present got to stand up and be acknowledged. Pretty much everyone just got up, gave a fast nod, and sat back down. Me, I figured, when am I ever going to have a chance like this? So when they called my name, I stood up, grabbed a handy copy of GOOD IN BED, and raised it over my head, a la Rocky. Everyone laughed (with me, not at me, I think). It felt pretty amazing.

That afternoon, I did a signing. The publisher provides the books, and you basically sit there scribbling your signature for a solid hour. I got to meet lots of booksellers who'd read the book and loved it, plus a few who seemed disappointed that it wasn't a how-to guide, and folks who were very firm about wanting "signature only, please" (why am I worried that if they won't let me inscribe it to them personally they're going to sell it instead of read it?)

And then I got to go to a fabulous Simon & Schuster soiree at Christie's, the auction house, where I saw Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Delinsky and Judith McNaught, and everyone was so nice and friendly (I also saw a lovely little Henry Moore sculpture for auction, if you've got $80,000 bucks burning a hole in your pocket). And everyone I met was so excited about IN HER SHOES -- which, as all of you faithful readers know, was supposed to be published in the spring of 2003, but is now coming out in late September. And it looks like I'll be on a twelve-city tour, plus hitting as many Jewish book fairs as I can, so keep watching this space for details.

On a less-thrilling IN HER SHOES note, today was the day to put together the sales pitch for Hollywood. Lucky for me, my brother Jake has relocated to the Left Coast. Somewhat unluckily for him, he's now stuck with trying to sell the thing as a movie.

Now, I'm pretty confident that IN HER SHOES works as a novel. It's got interesting characters, and humor, and pathos, and funny things that happen, and the requisite cute little dog, and all of the things that I thing readers are going to enjoy. But, as a movie...well, here at Casa Weiner we've been wracking our brains to think of the one-sentence pitch. You know, the pitch that says, "It's like Jurassic Park meets Pretty Woman!" Or, "it's like Steel Magnolias in outer space"! And it was, like, impossible to do for IN HER SHOES because IHS is a book about sisters. What's the last movie about sisters that made a profit? (The "made a profit," I've discovered, is an important qualification, because when you tell Hollywood that your movie is "like X meets Y," you'd better believe that if either X or Y lost money, your movie won't get made).

So there we were, crafting the pitch. "It's like Georgia, only it'll make money!" ventured Adam. "It's like "The Other Sister," only without mental retardation!" I said.

"It's like Practical Magic, only without the magic!" said Adam.

"It's like Hanging Up, only not painful to watch!" said I.

So I think we finally decided to say something along the lines of You Can Count on Me, only with sisters, and funny, or A League of Their Own, minus the baseball. And Madonna. And Tom Hanks.

Oy.


Jen