Aspiring writers longing for a national book tour should read this hilarious account by Cynthia Ozick in the New York Times:
Morning, Sept. 27, 2004. Audience of millions! Author, who generally sleeps till noon, is at television studio before 8 a.m. Seated in barbershop-type chair in secret makeup chamber, she is powdered, painted, blow-dried. Sees in mirror Aschenbach in “Death in Venice.” In greenroom, Author is introduced to fairy godmother: Ann Patchett in glamorous black dress. Fairy godmother and Author are deposited on sofa under blaze of lights. Soon host materializes, perfect teeth, hair, skin, jawline, resembling movie star, or flight attendants when they were called stewardesses and were forbidden to reach middle age. Host explains she was too busy all weekend to get through more than 10 pages of Author’s book. Hidden under white cloth, book is placed on something like cake stand for ritual unveiling. Suddenly show is on! Beautiful host asks Author to tell about novel. Apt moment to describe sensational plot of gripping page-turner! Or at least to remember to say name of novel. But Author’s tongue is all at once in possession of cat. Quick-witted palaver Author learned from media coach, gone!
Host flashes Movietone smile at fairy godmother. I’ve heard, beautiful host confides, indicating Author, her stuff is really hard to read. Good-hearted fairy godmother, loyally brandishing best-seller wand, cries out, “No, no, I don’t agree!” Painted old Cinderella sees coachmen turning back into mice, audience of millions melting away.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22309110@N03/27882460113