I've never had a stereotypical New York cab driver before, but the bloke who drove Rachel from the SMP publicity department and me to the Black Orchid party last night was perfect. He didn't really know where he was going, was on the phone part of the time, and drove like a man possessed. And not possessed bby t he ghost of someone who could actually drive either. Some sort of suicidal ferret would be my best guess. He even expected Rachel to pick the route -- "You wanna go up First or Frankin? Up ta you, Lady." "Whatever's quickest." She replies. "Yeah, but does you want I should go up First or Franklin?" There's a small pause as she thinks of how else to say it. "It's up to you! Whatever's quickest." Another pause as this doesn't sink in. "Yeah, but does you want I should take First or Franklin?"
We nearly crashed about a dozen times on the way up there. Very entertaining in an 'Oh shit, we're going to die!' kind of way.
The party was cool -- or what little I saw of it anyway. Being an idiot I opted to doodle in all the hardcovers Bonnie and Joe had, because it was such a cool shop and they were so bloody nice. But it did mean I spent most of the time at the signing table. Mind you, some people even came over and bought copies as I was signing them, which is always cool. I also ended up scribbling my filthy moniker in about two dozen copies of Damn Near Dead anthology, along with Jason Star and Sarah Weinman, and today I was sent a link to a review which bigs up Naughty Old Mr Dave (Tighty) White.
He was there last night too, though we only just met and no more, due to the aforementioned doodle and signathon. But he seemed nice and didn't try to cop a feel or anything. Plus I was gifted a copy of Carol O'Connell's JUDAS CHILD, signed for me by the lovely author herself. Mmm, books. I'm kinda stuck this trip for books as I've already packed my suitcase to overflowing with junk food from Iowa. Seriously, I can barely carry the damn thing it's so full of hot sauce, Twinkies and all manner of other unhealthy, chemically-flavoured rubbish. Lovely. Otherwise I'd be on a buying spree!
So -- I got to hang out with a bunch of cool crime writers, crime readers and lovely bookshopists. All in all, a damned fine night. Even if I did get back to the hotel and inadvertently drink a tiny bottle of water that turned out to cost $5.00 to go along with my supper of 'Pirate's Booty!' There was a bag of that in the minibar too, but I was damned if I was going to have St Martin's pay another $5.00 for a bag of popcorny-ish stuff*. I got a bag round the corner in a late night deli for about a buck fifty. And it tasted like cavity wall insulation. And not the nice kind either.
And tonight I start the tour proper with like, you know, talking and stuff. God help us all!
* They've been very, very silly and given me minibar privileges! Bwahahahahaaaa. ahem. I've never raided a minibar in my LIFE! Honest.