Friday, October 30, 2009

So, I get an e-mail from Dyana, my fabulous publicist at Random House a couple of weeks ago, saying that the Post & Courier, Charleston, SC's daily newspaper (and one of the oldest dailies in the nation, with a 207-year history), is looking for a male humorist to join the panel for its mammoth Fall Book & Author Luncheon on November 5. I write back, of course, saying, in essence, "Though highly subjective, I am often considered both a male and a humorist. So, yes, I'm interested."

I wind up getting interviewed by the head of the Luncheon, a charming Southern woman named Robie (of course) and then invited to be on the panel! Turns out the Post & Courier Fall Book & Author Luncheon, which doubles as a fundraiser for LowCountry Literacy, is the largest and most prominent book and author event in the Southeast, drawing some 750 avid readers (and over 80 books) to a signing, author talk and formal, sit-down Southern luncheon.

Could it get any sweeter?


The panel I'm a part this year includes icons Dorothea Benton Frank and Rita Mae Brown (one of the first "adult" authors I read and loved in my early 20s), along with novelists Jill McCorkle and JA Jance.

Still, I feel a bit of pressure both as a man and a humorist and a "northerner" to make them love me. So, I've been working hard on my 15-minute speech and picking out the right outfit ... if I could get away with wearing a Derby hat, I so would! (And still might)

Recent author alumni of the event have included Frank McCourt, Mickey Spillane, John Jakes, John Berendt, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sue Monk Kidd, Jacquelyn Mitchard, David Baldacci ...

I'll post pix after the event ... I've never been to Charleston and am so looking forward to the event and some Southern hospitality.

Next week is a blur: Chicago Public Library on Tuesday, and then to Northern Michigan to conduct a writers seminar at the great indy bookseller, Saturn, in Gaylord, as soon as I return from Charleston.

But, first: I must get in the Halloween spirit by listening to PARTY IN THE USA over and over ... I need to channel Miley. I'll be going out (in public) as Hannah Montana. And, damn if I don't look a little like the tween icon (with a lot of make-up, of course, and tucking to hide my great pumpkin, Charlie Brown)