November 4, 2007

I woke this morning feeling ill and shaky—clearly I’d spent too much time in the heat yesterday. I was snarly with Shane over breakfast in Denny’s when he kept trying to force his food on me. (A mother’s work is never done!) By the time we got to Palm Springs, however, I was in better humour physically and emotionally. It was Daylight Saving’s Time and most of us unworldly authors showed up an hour early—that was true of me as well as Armistead Maupin. It was just as well he got there early, because the crowds had been gathering all morning. He spent two and three-quarter hours sitting in a sweltering tent joking, signing, and having his picture taken with fans who seemed not to notice the rivers of sweat falling from everyone’s brows. It was truly inspirational! I’ve never seen an author receive that much adulation. I’m sure it’s something few writers see in their lifetimes—JK Rowling, probably, and maybe a few others.

I saw Michael Thomas Ford (Mike!) again briefly and we promised to stay in touch. I was also selling far more books than the day before, picking up Armistead’s spill-over. (Cheers!) I left just as Christopher Rice arrived, and gladly surrendered my seat to him. You wouldn’t know it, but it’s hard work sitting in the heat smiling and talking to people non-stop! Nice job, maybe, but I need my down time.

We said goodbye to everyone and spent the last evening with Chris and Andrew by their pool, then went off to have a Thai dinner with fellow author Carlos Mock (Mosaic Virus) and his boyfriend Bill. We’d met Carlos and Bill in New Orleans in May at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, and spent a pleasant couple hours catching up before going to Hunter’s for a last drink.

All in all, the Authors’ Village had been for me (and for Shane, too, I think) a stupendous event—fun, rewarding and inspirational.

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