It was the day I’d anticipated for weeks: meeting the Ballantine Books team that’s working on my first novel. I couldn’t wait to meet them all–including my editor Kara Cesare whom I’d worked with long distance for months and grown terribly fond of via our internet exchanges and phone chats. But would I be able to string a coherent sentence together? What to wear? I settled on a sheath dress and new black suede pumps.
On the short walk there, the shoes started to pinch, but I ignored them, too excited to stop.
Once I made it to the Penguin Random House offices I stood across the street and gawked, then entered the building and gawked some more at the lobby. It’s cathedral-like, the walls aglow with backlit books.
Upstairs, lovely Kara whisked me off on a tour of the floor, practically running in her chic, comfortable-looking, black Repetto heels. It was a dream come true to meet everyone who’d read the book and hear such nice things from them, but by the end of the tour my feet were in distress.
“We’ll run over to Trattoria Dell’Arte to meet the rest of the team,” Kara said.
We grabbed Deputy Publisher Kim Hovey and made it to the restaurant to find the rest of the team waiting–four more wonderful women, so welcoming, including my agent, the fabulous Alexandra Machinist. Once seated, I slipped off my shoes under the table and what an inspiring lunch it was, talking about the novel’s characters and discussing the book’s future with people who really know and love books. It was a true out of body experience, which concluded with a Rock of Gibralter-sized hunk of heavenly tiramisu.
As we left and said our good-byes I eased my painful pumps back on, Kara ran back to work and I hailed a cab, glad to sit and slip off the offending shoes. I made a note to invest in some Repettos and basked in the afterglow of meeting the incredible team. Even the blisters couldn’t dim that.