Publicizing a book can be hard work. When you’re on a national tour, you get up at 5 a.m., do two-or-three pre-breakfast broadcast interviews, then another half-dozen during the day, before heading on to the next city for an overnight in another hotel and then a repeat of the previous day.
Those who conduct the interviews are usually flying blind. Just before you go on air the host invariably drops his or her voice and says, “I’m sorry, I haven’t read your book. We get so many, you know.” I always nod and smile sympathetically as if this is the first time this travesty has ever happened.
Such was not the case yesterday on CH Morning Live in Hamilton, with co-host Annette Hamm, who had not only read “Fantasy in Florence” thoroughly but also brought in from her home library “The Eatons,” which she’d also read, for me to autograph. What an unusual treat it was to talk to her and hear her praise for the book.
Of course, you never know who’s going to be on these early morning shows with you. Yesterday I followed two young models who were demonstrating summer make-up tips, but on other occasions I’ve appeared with chefs, animals up for adoption, steel bands, macrame instructors and magicians, all the folks that comprise local news and public affairs.
Highlight of the day, however, was speaking about our time in Florence to Guelph Rotary at that most perfect of locations, the Italian-Canadian Club. Sandy and I were both at the head table and it felt like old home week in the city where we were high school sweethearts. Among the familiar faces in the gathering of 120 were local real estate broker Murray Taylor, former teachers Bill Scott and Keith Conrad, former Member of Parliament Bill Weingard and Anne and Paul Pennock of St. Andrew’s Church. Mayor Karen Farbridge was also on hand. The Bookshelf had a table of books available and we sold 27 copies, all autographed, of course.
I never eat much before giving a speech, so afterwards we stopped at Rocky’s for a hotdog. The original Rocky is now dead and the place is run by the next generation, but it could have been 1963 as we sat outside on the deck with our soft drinks, fries and twelve-inch hotdogs with the works. All of which proves you can go home again.
In 1999 my dad wrote to me in London England to tell me he was reading a book entitled “Eatons” quoting a quote in it from Conrad Black which light-heartedly denigrated the famous school UCC and the kind of graduate it produced. Mistakenly thinking the book was written by Conrad Black I went searching for it on google and of course found nothing but books by CB. My dad died before I could ask him about the book further. Today, after noticing my dad, in his letter, had actually said CB “has a paragraph in it” I changed my search and was successful! If for anything I’m going to read it for that paragraph and delight in CB’s lambasting of the “waspy, snotty playpen for Rosedale and Forest Hill” as I know so many of its alumnae. (I lived in Rosedale but went to Jarvis Collegiate. Ha ha.)