Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Post Nearly as Long as the Tunnels in New York

(In fact, I've heard that if you were to take this post and lay it out letter by letter, it would stretch all the way from Long Island to Orlando. Incredible!)

So this one time, last weekend, I went to New York. And it. was. amazing. So amazing, in fact, that it can only be told in pictures. For the sake of my oft-failing memory, I'll take you chronologically along with me. It'll be like you were with me the entire time. Only you won't need an umbrella. Also, you won't have to wait in any lines. Or spend any money. Or smell the subway elevators. Pretty much your part of the trip rocks!

In order to get to New York I had to fly across the entire country. And in order to accomplish this, I had to stop in Memphis. Which is very green, very flat, and shockingly sexist. Evidence:

Sorry men--in the event of a tornado, you are out of luck.

Also, I may or may not have gotten strange looks taking pictures of the sign outside of the bathroom. The things I do for you. After a brief but entertaining stop, it was straight on to the Big Apple. I don't recommend flying in at night, since you can't see a darn thing. But I do recommend taking your first taxi ride, complete with driver muttering to himself in another language the entire time. What did he just say? Am I supposed to respond? Is he talking to me? Is he talking about me? Am I going to make it out of this alive?

Good times.

I got to the hotel just in time to go to bed and dream sweet HarperCollins dreams. (Another word of advice: don't invite my mom and little sister along if you ever go to New York. They hid in the hall waiting for me to get there and then jumped out behind me screaming, "WE'RE GOING TO MUG YOU!" That myth about New Yorkers being rude? Completely untrue. That rumor about my mom and sister being horrid, horrid creatures? Absolute fact.) The next morning I took my very first subway ride, which I neglected to take pictures of, mostly because I was completely paranoid about ALWAYS BEING ALERT AND AWARE so as to avoid having everything I owned stolen. Or something like that. I took those posted subway warnings very seriously. (However, I ignored the warnings not to look on the rails and did, in fact, see a rat wandering around. I was strangely delighted by this. Emphasis on strangely.)

Subway successfully conquered, I walked out onto the street to realize that, without mountains or the ocean, I am directionally clueless. North? East? West? South? THERE IS NO HORIZON. Fortunately I had Editor Erica on speed dial and it was a few short minutes until I was standing in front of this:

Yes, yes it was beautiful.

I was tempted to take a picture in front of it, but, well, I just couldn't bring myself to. I already stuck out like a sore thumb, my cheerful pink sweater adrift in a sea of black. New Yorkers are very stylish, but really--COLOR. Come on, guys, it's fun! Trust me! Almost as fun as giggling while you take pictures of the HarperCollins Column. And almost as fun as getting to meet your incredible, delightful, adorable, beloved editor for the very first time. And almost as fun as crossing paths with the President and Publisher of Harper Children's AND the CEO of HarperCollins as soon as you walk through the door with said editor.

What can I say, Erica and I have good timing.

So, sufficiently starstruck (look at it this way: in an [admittedly imperfect] analogy where authors are the movie stars of the publishing world, people like Susan Katz and Brian Murray are the brilliant directors authors drool over the chance to work for), Erica and I continued on our day, which included:
  • Filming an interview to be edited (yay film editors! I love you!) and posted on several websites sometime in the future, helped along by the fabulous Erin and her purple shoes of cheery brightness. She didn't even get mad at me for being a habitual fast-talker. Best part of the video? The fact that my feet hung a full six inches above the ground from the chair I was sitting in. Hopefully they didn't do any full body shots.
  • Meeting my seriously-so-awesome-I-can't-even-believe-it agent, Michelle Wolfson, who also happens to be a) very pretty and b) very short, for a yummy lunch where we bonded over stories of sleep lost to children and may have accidentally convinced Erica to never, ever have kids. Sorry, no-longer-future-grandparents of Erica's no-longer-future-babies. My bad.
  • Attending a Meet and Greet with fifteen women so impossibly intelligent and friendly I can't believe I get to work with them, from subrights (YAY POLAND!), marketing (such innovative and exciting ideas), and publicity (awesome author publicity being one of the reasons I always wanted to go with HarperTeen), to sales, editors, and publishers (Susan Katz gave me her card and I am looking into having it framed). Seriously, they are all rock stars, and I feel ridiculously lucky that I get to work with them. We talked about a lot of things, from questions regarding my writing to my thoughts on blogging. (I mean, I'm such a spotty blogger, clearly I don't really care that much...oh, wait. Look at my hundreds and hundreds of archived posts! Except don't, unless you have a dozen free years.) What impressed me is how good they all are at their jobs, how passionate and dedicated they are to children's literature, and what a positive, exciting working environment Harper has. (Sorry if I melted your screen with the sheer power of my love for Harper. It knows no bounds.)
And I apologize, but I didn't ask for a group picture. Once again, that whole trying-not-to-look-TOO-dorky thing going on. Plus, just because they like my blogging doesn't mean they want to be featured. Next time, maybe? But Erica, Michelle, and I did pose. Erica was highly pleased to be the tall one for once.

See? I told you Michelle was short! Also, aren't they CUTE?

After a wonderful day at Harper (including seeing a VERY SECRET cover [sadly not mine] that is awesome, and that I may or may not have slightly jumped up and down over seeing because really, how cool is getting sneak peeks?), Michelle and I bid Erica and her cubicle-of-cute-puppy-pictures a very fond farewell and walked a couple of blocks to meet my film agent, Jon of CAA.

We had a great chat with him (not hard, considering he's smart and charming). In fact, the three of us together created such a dangerous maelstrom of awesome (or is it Maelstrom of Awesome? I can never figure out the capitalization rules for hyperbolic statements) that the FDNY showed up, just in case the place spontaneously combusted:

Thanks, guys. Next time we get together we'll give you more warning. Also, your outfits are very shiny.

After a great chat during which he marveled at my youth (twenty-six is the new twelve!) and asked where I got my ideas (sheer and utter boredom), we all went to the subway. Hopefully Michelle and I didn't give Jon a complex, considering he had about fifteen inches on either one of us. Thus, no picture, because I don't think there's a frame wide enough to cover the distance between our heads. Still, he's wonderful and I'm lucky to work with him and my other film agent. Yay agents!

After a quick trip back to the hotel to pick up my mom, sister, and adorable nephew (who, it should be mentioned, recently won the So Good It's Ridiculous award in the six-month-old category), we met back up with Michelle, where she was her delightful self and forced delicious food on us until we were fit to burst. I was tempted to ask if I could bring her back with me--after all, we could probably share a seat on the plane and no one would be the wiser. Sadly, I decided her adorable kids would miss her too much. Kids, honestly. What's with this whole needing-their-parents thing? So, one last shot with Michelle, an agent made entirely of awesome:

Aaw, so cute again!

Finally, I went back to the hotel, exhausted but thrilled with all of these amazing people that have become part of my professional life. I still can't believe my luck and the series of events that led me here.

And you probably can't believe you've been reading this long and it's only day two. So, in the interest of preserving your precious eyesight, I'll split up the strain and post about my futher New York adventures tomorrow, including but not limited to Attack Squirrels, Famous People, and Polite Signage.


AM said...

That was a fun read. I was smiling the whole time. Thanks for taking us with you.

candicekennington said...

What a thrilling trip! The kind every author dreams of. :) I'm glad everything went so well!

Lady Glamis said...

Kiersten, this is incredible! You rock. Your agents rock. Your story rocks (at least from what Natalie tells me, but it's a given by this post...)


I hope we get to meet when you come out here again. You super-star! I think you're awesome for wearing pink in New York, by the way!

Jessie Oliveros said...

That looks like so much fun, Kiersten!

Kasie West said...

So fun! I'm loving your pink sweater, btw, it looks so soft.

Patti said...

Looks like you had an amazing trip, can't wait to read about day 2.

Heidi Willis said...

What a great post! I am so excited for you! New York is addictive, isn't it? :)

Andrea Cremer said...

Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. Strangely enough I had the same reaction (weird glee) the first time I saw a rat in the NY subway...is that just a paranormal teen author reaction or does it happen to everyone who isn't a New Yorker?

Mireyah Wolfe said...

Awww, it's Attack of the Short Cute People!! LOL

Can't wait to read the rest--this had me cracking up!!

Kiersten White said...

Glad you all came with me ; )

Andrea, we should do a poll...

Marsha Sigman said...

Its like you and Michelle were made for each other.LOL
Thanks for giving us details, it feels almost like I was there!

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh my word, you weren't kidding about the short thing. Destiny!! You all look so cute!

You are such a rock star. You have *people.* As in, "Let me call my people."

Marybeth Poppins said...

Sounds entirely incredibly exciting and dream like! Glad you had fun!

writtenwyrdd said...

Definitely an awesome day.

Renee Collins said...

When I went to New York last year, I just stood outside the Harper Collins building with my nose pressed to the glass. Ah, to go inside. Must have been mind blowing. :)

Love this post. Love the pics. So so so fun.

Anita Saxena said...

What a fun adventure!
Thank you for sharing!

Kristi Faith said...

*gushing* I don't even know if I would have the sense to carry on a conversation or if I would simply be slackjawed over the whole trip!! Congrats, I love your enthusiasm!!

sraasch said...

So. Much. Fun! You are quite literally living a charmed life, my friend.

I think cab drivers talking to themselves is just a NYC thing; my cab driver talked to himself in a foreign language too. Though he did cuss in English. Thanks, cabbie, for at least giving us that.

H-Duck said...

Wahoo! Can't wait to hear about those Attack Squirrels. I wonder if they are as bad as the ones in Boston?

Valerie Geary said...

Way to rock it in the pink sweater! I think you stuck out just perfectly! :) Can't wait to hear about Attack Squirrels!! And thanks for allowing everyone to live vicariously through you! :)

Mariah Irvin said...

I'll remember to wear a pink sweater if I ever go to New York to meet editors and the like.

Can't wait for part two!

Rebecca Knight said...

I love the play by play :D! Also, the pictures are the best. Can't wait for more of the New York Saga tomorrow! (thanks for letting us live vicariously through you.)

Myrna Foster said...

Pink and black look great together. Thanks for the pictures and stories.

Loved the "strangely reassuring" rat!

Kim Harrington said...

Sounds like a great trip!

lora96 said...

Thank u for sharing with us it sounds amazing.

And Michelle has a beautiful smile and you look so cute and Erica...wow...lovely and So. Incredibly. TALL. :)

Donna Gambale said...

So fun! The best line?
"Sorry, no-longer-future-grandparents of Erica's no-longer-future-babies. My bad."

Can't wait for the rest.

pinksuedeshoe said...

In love with the pink sweater. I think if more big city-ers wore pink sweaters the world would be a much happier place! So happy for you and your trip and your way awesome life.

Liam said...

Next time I go to my beloved New York City, I must hit all the major publishers' buildings. And surround myself with people who actually do care whether or not I fall on the sidewalk because I fainted.
Because, in case you didn't know, there are those that don't. Just sayin'.
Can't wait for tomorrow!

patdwhite said...

Hey, I think your posts are way too SHORT!! I love reading them, they are so fun and entertaining. Add the fact that I think you are the best writer in the world, have a wonderful sense of humor, are witty beyond belief and are SOOOOO CUTE and I could read your posts all day!

cindy said...

film agent?
taping for your harperteen
meals in nyc?
NOT getting mugged? haha!

utterly amazing!!! WOW!!
congrats, kiersten! it's only
more amazing from here!!!

CMOM Productions said...

How exciting! Thanks for sharing some of your adventures!

Whirlochre said...

I see great things ahead.

You, Erica and Michelle, in a pulse-pounding new TV series like Charlie's Angels. Only with better skirts. And no Bosley.

Snazel said...

This made me smile. Thank you for posting! ^_^ I look forward to the rest of your adventure. Oh, and does having a film agent mean that your novel is going to be made into a movie?

Also, when does it come out so I can buy a copy?

patdwhite said...

Just to clarify, I am quite sure we actually said "GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY", not "we are going to mug you". As a mugger, that is an insult to my trade.

And this is lindsey, not Dad.