Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Knight Agency Hits the Big Apple! A Tour de Farce

Well, as usual our days in the city whirled at a breakneck pace, and had us sprinting in five thousand directions. This time, however, I endeavored to make a little photo documentary—which, ultimately, turned out to mostly be a documentary about the LONG journey home. Nothing like sitting on the runway for any length of time, especially with a reported 28 planes ahead of you awaiting take off. But more on that in a bit.

Day One saw us meeting with Simon and Schuster children’s editor, Julia Richardson (no photo, drat!) at Dean and Deluca in Rock Center.

Pamela had just closed a deal with her that AM for Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s ANGEL’S CHOICE, and so we were all feeling celebratory anyway—and then came THE CALL. Karen Marie Moning on my cell, letting me know that she’d swept the bestseller lists in the first week’s release of SPELL OF THE HIGHLANDER! I squealed aloud, then covered the phone and proclaimed, “Our author just hit the NY TIMES hard cover list!” Another moment later, and her editor called with the same joyous news. A slightly less loud squeal that time, since by then I’d recovered myself just a bit.

From there, I headed over to Trattoria Del Arte to have dinner with my NAL editor, Rose Hilliard. We’d never met before, and what a blast we had!! I know I’m in terrific hands despite my original editor, Louisa Edwards, having left, because Rose is fantastic!! It was one of those times where you feel a real “click” and know that everything has turned out just like it needs to do. Plus, the food rocked: fried artichoke hearts for appetizer, and then the World’s Biggest Pizza. Ohmygosh! They should have given us a warning that the pizza was that big. I suffered from embarrassment, and also eavesdropping dinner patrons on both sides who seemed equally invested in my pizza gaffe. Well, not really a gaffe—they sold it to me as a one person pizza. How could I have known it was the size of a freaking flying saucer, huh??? After dinner, rushed (walked very briskly) to meet Kerri Buckley from Bantam Dell, familiar to many blog and TKA yahoo members from her chat two weeks ago. Kerri edits the fabulously talented, Diana Peterfreund with her SECRET SOCIETY GIRL series. We had a lovely time with Kerri, and finally collapsed into bed after 11 pm, hoping not to snore too loudly and keep Nephele and Pamela awake. Apparently was successful, or so was told the next day, but then again that might have been the group presence of iPod headphones covering ears?

Next morning we had a breakfast scheduled that, unfortunately, cancelled because the editor was sick. So we headed upstairs to the concierge level for coffees, pastries, and massive email time. We were the dueling blackberryists for a couple of hours there, making deals happen, and handling issues back in the office. Then off for five minutes shopping time, since as you all know, it’s tough for southern ladies NOT to shop in NYC. No shoes this trip, just a secret gift for a client bought at Saks Fifth Avenue because it was the world’s most appropriate gift ever. That, and a watch acquired from street vendor after I stood and looked appropriately dissatisfied with his pricing—and he lowered his price. Can’t. Stop. Agenting.

From there, to a fabulous lunch with Pocket editor, Lauren McKenna. Can’t recall the name of the place but it had lobster in the title. Great time, lots of good business talk since Lauren edits both Cara Lockwood and Gena Showalter, and also some about a current submission she has in from Nephele. The seafood rocked, too, and had salmon with lobster on top. From there, buzzed down to the Harlequin offices in the old Woolworth building, and finally remembered to start taking pics. I love the ceiling of this building, but my picture is too dark to post.

Pamela Harty, Ann Leslie Tuttle, Mavis Allen

(By the way, you will notice that I don’t appear in many shots—this is because I took the pictures OR I conveniently cropped myself out of pictures when I didn’t like the way I looked.)

At Harlequin, as you’ll see above, we met with Ann Leslie Tuttle and Mavis Allen. Both of these women are wonderful editors and fun people too! Ann Leslie edits our Jenna Kernan and Mavis edits both Jacquelin Thomas and Adrianne Byrd. She’s overseeing a new, dedicated African American program there, and that’s what her sign in that picture advertises. We stopped for a quick picture in the lobby, and hopefully you can get a sense of how ornate the architecture of the Woolworth Building really is. Well, now that I've uploaded it, not really. Sigh. Another day!

From there, we cabbed it back up to midtown where we had a going away toast to my former editor, Louisa Edwards, then off to dinner at Molyvos with Hyperion’s Kelli Martin, who is acquiring for their Jump in the Sun African American children’s imprint. We went into that dinner not knowing what Kelli would be like—as is always the case with a new editor acquaintance—we came away three hours later feeling like we’d made a new friend, along with having forged a valuable professional connection. Kelli is an editor I’m now dying to place an author with!

The fun thing about Molyvos is that it’s a Greek restaurant, and our Nephele Tempest is Greek American, so she had us ordering all the top secret stuff, like flaming cheese and great Greek wines—and, of course, we finished with Ouzo (well, I didn’t finish my Ouzo b/c I’m a whimp!) After, we trotted back over to the hotel where we met our marvelously talented and funny client Leigh Wyndfield. Love her! Loved her hubby, too, who we’d never met.

Next day, breakfast with Cindy Hwang, lunch with Kate Seaver, and several important YA meetings in between at both Viking Children’s and Razorbill (I’m shortcutting now to get to the silly part of this tale!) Finally, that night, we parted ways with Nephele who was staying longer, and Pamela and I headed home. And waited. And waited. AND WAITED on the runway for a very long time. That was when we encountered the stewardess who shall be named:

Handheld Electronics Usage Nazi.

We got in trouble because we kept sneaking to use our blackberries, since after all we were just SITTING THERE.

And here my story in pictures begins….

Pamela looking tired, but happy, and notice--daylight behind her! We are sitting on the runway.

Then, sometime in here, we are told:

So we comply--after getting spanked by Uber Scary Stewardess (images of having my electronics items taken away flashing through my head--are we in third grade?)

And then time passes. And passes. And we sit there, on the runway, exhausted and ready for home...

So we begin sneaking handheld usage. We are doing very important business, as I'm sure you can imagine. We are, after all, literary agents! We can't be expected to sit there, uselessly biding our time on the runway, can we? (wink, wink)

This is important, life-saving stuff. LIKE:

Deal making!

Certainly nothing like:

So, as darkness fell over the runway....

We continued to avoid the Handheld Electronics Nazi... ducking down in our seats whenever she came. We had a narrow miss when:

Oh, indeed, she was a living terror!

I mean, you can see why we were so afraid, right? :)

That's okay, we decided to just have fun for a while. Make the best of a bad situation and all that.

We decided to make the best of our situation, and that was when this photo story for the blog was born. We finally took off in the air, and then, after 11 pm, we landed in the Atlanta airport, where there was an eerie hush over the place (flights were both half-full, btw, leading us to believe people curbed their travel due to Katrina.)

Women on a mission, we were starving. Decided to hoof it over to A-10 where Chic-fil-A was proported to be. Woo hoo! Sustenance!

Sign in site, we were certain of a good meal for two haggard agents. Only....
NOT! They'd already closed. Sigh. Looked like we'd have to hold out for Wendy's on the drive home. But first there was the long walk to baggage claim, where we passed something that truly convinced me that we were living in Buck Rodgers Era: the iPod vending machine. Wait! It's personal electronics again! Has the stewardess seen this thing??

Now, if you're thinking this looks suspiciously like a "punch B12 for a bag of Doritos" type vending machine, you are correct! Despite exhaustion, we had to take a moment to marvel at this new arrival on the candy bar/coke scene.

Can I get 50 dollars quick cash with this transaction?

At last, battle-weary and preparing for the nearly two hour drive home ahead, we found our way across the concourse. But not before one fast stop in the agent's MOST important place:

Another day at the agenting races, over and out. And we're still tired today!


Anonymous ZaZa said...

Wah! I want to be you. The heck with writing. Dean and DeLuca! Foodie heaven. Lucky you.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 5:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Great wrap up, Deidre. Sounds like a great time. I love NYC.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 7:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mel Francis said...

I'm tired just reading about the trip! But you guys look like you had a blast! Glad to have you back!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 7:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

The iPod vending machine is a SCREAM. Welcome back!

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 8:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edie Ramer said...

Your trip sounds like too much fun to be tax deductible. LOL about the ipod vending machine and the Handheld Electronics Nazi. Welcome back!

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 8:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Shelley said...

Sounds like a fun trip. Loved the blackberry revolt.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 9:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger moonhart said...

The best thing about going away is coming back home. Sounds like you had a fun and productive visit...except for the take off wait. :(

Ah well.

BTW, my chapter have been sent.



Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 10:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Temperley said...

Welcome back! I am so jealous of you--that close to that many...editors! *G* Glad to see that you made it back safely and hopefully, some publishing tidbits?*hinthint*

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 10:22:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Monique G. said...

Wow! It's so interesting to hear that view of the city! My family is from New York and I spend many weekends there, but to hear your POV and see your awesome pictures (LOL ipod machine *shakes head) is so different! Totally exciting! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 10:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Too funny!

My hubby designs airplanes and I asked him why they had that rule about no cell phones or electronic devices. Apparently the radio frequencies on some devices interfere with the airplane's communications systems and with the air traffic control tower. Guess it makes sense. Still, sounds like you guys made some great deals and you must be exhausted now!

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 7:08:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jaci Burton said...

An IPOD vending machine? You're serious? What a riot on the Handheld Electronics Nazi and what a whirlwind NYC visit! Y'all must be exhausted but sounds like a very fruitful trip! Welcome back and thanks for the entertaining pics! :-)

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 8:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Janice Lynn said...

LOL on the iPod vending machine and the stewardess. Your trip sounds fabulous and makes me want to take a trip to the city! The shopping & food has NOTHING to do with it. (yeah right!).

Enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing the pics. Thanks for sharing.

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 9:24:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lynn Daniels said...

Just reading your recap exhausted me! I just spent the week dealing with my mother second-guessing my child-rearing techniques...I'd rather have had your week.

I was just at the Atlanta did I miss the iPod vending machine (still flippin' over that!)? Maybe I shouldn't have spent so much time standing in line for coffee.

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 12:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bernita said...

Funny and sweet.
Thank you.

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 1:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tori Scott said...

Sounds like a great trip. I absolutely fell in love with NYC when I was there for the RWA Nationals in 2003. Can't wait to go back. But I bet y'all are glad to be home.


Monday, September 12, 2005 at 1:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marley Gibson said...

Well, that was thoroughly entertaining. Looks like you guys got a lot done and had a good amount of fun! Glad it was a successful trip for you. NYC is surely feeling the aftershocks. LOL!!

Marley = )

Monday, September 12, 2005 at 8:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mandymroth said...

I hate to admit but the iPod vending machine would have had the same lure as coffee ones do to me. I must be easy to please because I see them and know that the coffee isn’t exactly cream of the crop but I can’t hold back—must get cup. I’d have another iPod now due to the same compulsion. LOL! That was great!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at 7:25:00 AM EDT  

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