Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A bizarre day in the life an author

So yesterday I was due in Dublin again for the launch of the Eason Christmas Catalogue to their third party buyers (As Eason also supply a lot of independent book shops). Deciding I could not face the drive again after the last notorious vomit incident, I decided to be tres swish and book a flight. (Not that it was swish, it was one of those wee jet prop planes which seat about 40 people and move about a lot in the wind... more of that later).
So I arrived in Dublin just after 9am.. feeling rough. Managed not to be sick in Dublin airport (huzzah!) and calmed my preggy tummy with a Cranberry juice while waiting to meet my agent for tea and scones.
By the time she arrived I was thankfully not green around the gills and we had a lovely hour or so chatting. Boy that woman knows how to pamper my ego!
So then, as she leaves, I turn around and there is fecking Cecelia Ahern sat about four foot away from me. What, I ask myself, is yer wan Ahern doing here? And then it dawns on me (yes, I'm thick at the moment, blame the baby) that perhaps this "do" isn't as casual as I thought it would be. That is confirmed when Sheila O'Flanagan walks in, and Collette Caddle, Amanda Brunker, Martina Reilly and a host of other "names" from the Irish writing scene.
Dinner is nice. I'm sat becside some of the head honchos from Eason and a couple of lovely booksellers from Cork. I'm relaxed. Cecelia Ahern seems very lovely, although all the while I'm thinking I once said in a magazine I greatly disliked her book 'A Place Called Here' and at a second's notice she might come over and lamp me.
But then, I realise she hasn't a clue who I am (and the fact my name badge says 'Clarie Allen' might help in my cunning disguise.)
But dinner soon ends and the lovely people from Eason get up to have a wee chat and they decide to thank all the authors who have attended. (Now this bit is important) In. Alphabetical. Order.
Immediately I suss what this will mean. Yer wan Ahern is up first. They list off her (many) achievements that would make many a grown writer weep with jealously and they ask her to stand up for applause. I smile and applaud nicely.
Then, because of the alphabeticalness of it all, I'm up next. Claire Allan (or Clarie Allen) has written two books. Da Dah!!! (Well in fairness, Eason were lovely - they said RD&T was one of the strongest debuts they'd had for years and the second book was selling brilliantly and I was a bright light yadda yadda... but compared to Yer Wan, it really did sound a little "Claire Allan has written two books".)
And then I had to stand up... in front of Cecelia Ahern - cover blown. But she did clap (and not in a vicious way) and no books came hurtling towards my head.
When dinner was over, I went and chatted to the lovely Chris Binchy (fabulous and very tall male author who has a very famous auntie) and we had a great old gossip. I also chatted with Noelle Harrison, who is also very lovely while all the while avoiding Yer Wan. I also had a lovely chat with Martina Reilly and Kathryn Thomas (off the telly), although she was much too glam for my liking.
But all in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet some lovely booksellers (all hail the booksellers) and lovely writers and have a great story to tell about Cecelia Ahern.

Now since the last time I went for dinner with the people from Poolbeg I managed to end the evening in a fit of projectile vomit, I was delighted to have made it through the dinner unscathed. I made my way back to the airport, feeling grand and looking forward to the short flight home.

Mistake. Big Mistake.
It was windy, you see. And turbulent and being that it was now evening (being that my morning sickness gets worse in the evenings) this was not boding well.
I deep breathed throughout. "I'll be fine," I said. And I almost, almost was. Just as the plane came into land I wasn't. Thankfully the air steward at Air Arran (a very cheerful American called Troy) was absolutely lovely and didn't bat an eyelid at my projectile vomit. I managed to clear off the plane before most people walked past me, but the smell of sick hung heavy in the air as I traipsed back to the car.

So, a morning of ego boosting, an afternoon of schmoozing with the stars and an evening of puking on myself in a public place. My life - are you jealous?


Keris said...

You flash bastard! Yes, I am jealous. Apart from the vomming, obviously. Also, I'd love to meet someone named Troy...

Evie said...

"..a morning of ego boosting, an afternoon of schmoozing with the stars and an evening of puking on myself in a public place."

It's a very rock and roll lifestyle you lead! x

Anonymous said...

Blimey you are quite the celeb huh? ;o)
Sorry about the puking part - at least you didn't puke during the dinner - it could have been worse (see how I did that?)
Very jealous about the famous Auntie - one of my faves I have to say :o)

Fionnuala said...

I am jealous. Its official. x

Anonymous said...

Oh Claire, that is absolutely hilarious!! Every bit of it, the alphabetical order bit and the projectile vomiting, just everything. That has really made me laugh at the end of a hard night of printing submissions!!! Shirley xxx (Gonna just post this as anonymous as I can't be arsed going through the whole account setup thing)

Anonymous said...

PS I hasten to add, I am not laughing at your misfortune, but with - just had plenty of those projectile puke incidents myself when preggers, so it's good to hear I wasn't alone! Thanks for sharing! (The story, not the puke) Shirley

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