Monday, 13 April 2015

PENGUIN BOOKSELLER DINNERS, USA

Sign inside a shop on 5th
I am slowly getting back to 'normal' after my trip to the States for bookseller dinners, organised by Penguin USA. Basically, I was flown over to meet with booksellers at meals in lovely restaurants. You couldn't say no to that! The dinners took place in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in Boston, Mass.

I stayed in New York for two nights and Boston for one so, while it was a tad hectic, it was enormously enjoyable and just what I needed after a recent low. All of the booksellers and the sales people from Penguin have read ARCs of the novel so we were able to talk in-depth about various aspects of the story, the writing of the book, our mutual hopes for its success etc.
The Empire Hotel - that statue behind the clock is Dante
In NY I stayed in the Empire Hotel on W 63rd and, moments after I arrived I saw the lovely Iris Apfel in the bar next door, a branch of the famous P.J. Clarke's. What a legend - I had literally just pinned her picture to my Great Women board.
Super Grover - my companion on trips I take alone - with 8th Ave and Broadway, from the hotel
Libby, self, Kathleen and Kelly at l'Escale, Greenwich
Tara, my editor, and me (tired)
The restaurant in Greenwich (about an hour from Manhattan) was called l'Escale and it served French cuisine and was on the harbour. Absolutely beautiful. My editor at Penguin, Tara Singh-Carlson was with us and it was so great to see her again and catch up. We took an end-of-the-night selfie and 'jet lag' is written all over my face.

Prada men with Prada women - 5th Avenue
Reflections on 57th Street
Bronze woman in Columbus Circle
I had some time in Manhattan to walk about, during the day. I had an urgent message to get at Build-a-Bear (bunny shoes) but, apart from that, I was free to wander, take the subway and soak it all in. I also managed lunch with my lovely agent, Gráinne Fox. We went to The Odeon in Tribeca - notorious for a cocaine-filled scene in Jay McInerney's novel Bright Lights, Big City. G and I made plans and had a giggle, and I ate the most divine chocolate mousse cake ever.

Columbus atop his plinth
Yapping in l'Escale (or maybe actually listening!)
I took the train from New York to Boston - what a treat! I'm not a huge fan of flying at the best of times (I get sick of airport shenanigans and cheek-to-cheek contact with strangers) so to rock up at Penn Station and step onto the train was dreamy. And the views en route were fabulous.

NY to Boston train view
NY to Boston view
NY to Boston train view
Seriously appropriate marmo at my Boston hotel, the Loews
Karl Krueger, New England sales rep for Penguin, met me at my Boston hotel and accompanied me around the corner to Mistral, the gorgeous restaurant where we ate that night, in fine company. Once again I signed copies of Miss Emily and had convos about the book. Chris Rose of The Andover Bookstore was particularly sweet about the novel - he normally reads non-fic so I love that he enjoyed the story and the prose.

Signing copies of Miss Emily at Mistral, Boston - John Hugo to my right, Tova to my left
I also had a chance to catch some of the sights around Back Bay, where my hotel was. I'd only ever been to Cambridge before so it was good to get a taster of Boston itself.

The library in Boston. Wow.
Trinity Church, Boston
I got lost looking for a book shop but found Poe and the raven '... never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting'!!
The People's Park at Boston Common where Emily Dickinson once walked
I felt a little like this Back Bay lady (though not as slim, ahem...) after my busy few days...
...but I was as happy as Super Grover always is too. It was a fantastic trip!
All thanks to the team and to the booksellers for coming out to meet me.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Gosh, what a lot packed into such a short bit of time! As always, sounds suitably fabulous, especially the food :)

irishwritingblog said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip, Nuala. Very jealous of all the perks your hours and hours and hours of hard work and persistence has brought you.

Shane

mm said...

Welcome home, Nuala. Rest easy, star.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Emily, the food in the USA is abundant and fab, always. Nom.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Shane, heh heh, yes, travel has always been my fave perk.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Thanks, Mary. Ah, you know me, rest is not my fave option . I've novel #4 to finish asap 😊

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Thanks, Mary. Ah, you know me, rest is not my fave option . I've novel #4 to finish asap 😊

Elizabeth Baines said...

Wow, wonderful! And all that attention is so well deserved.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Thanks a million, E. It's a different world ;)