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Sunday, March 10, 2013

AWP 2013 was a party and a half

I had never been to AWP before, and I have still never been to the MLA conference, so I really didn't know what to expect. But the Bookfair part of AWP, at least, was hugely fun and a little bit overwhelming.

I signed books for an hour, along with some fellow Red Hen Press writers, and got the chance to shmooze with a few peole who were genuinely interested in what I do. This was gratifying to say the least. I also met with tons of Red Hen press people, who were without exception enthusiastic and vociferous in their love of books in general and An Age of Madness in particular. So that was mighty exciting also.

Sorry about the blurry pics. It was indoors and these shots were taken with a phone (thanks Uzee!). Plus, y'know, I'm sort of jittery and dont stand still much.

More important is Red Hen's unique take on book promotion, to wit:

That's right, it's a candy bar. The David Maine An Age of Madness candy bar to be exact. Buy a book, get a candy bar. Red Hen does this for every new release and I have to say, it's a stoke of genius. And also tasty. And also popular. how popular? Well, I got the last one, so there you go.

Plus as a SPECIAL BONUS for making the trip to Boston, I was able to meet up afterward with the lovely and rather frighteningly brilliant Fizzah Sajjad, a former student of mine (from 10th grade!) who is now a Fulbright scholar getting her Master's at MIT. Holy shit. There was a time, once, when I could say with confidence that I knew more things than this person, but those days have long since passed.

It's been eleven years since we'd last met, so it was quite the reunion. Fizzah joined me, Uzee, and Uzee's editor, the lovely and talented Hilary from Clockroot Books, for lunch at a Greek place in Boston near Newbury Street. (See photo below, in which we are toasting our day with empty water glasses. This was my idea and it made sense at the time.) We then strolled Newbury Street to the quite awesome Trident Bookstore, which besides selling books also has a pretty killer restaurant offering a quite tasty (ahem) apple cobbler. A fine time was had by all, trust me. No pics of the cobbler, unfortunately. But I highly recommend the shop.

So, a great big SHOUT OUT to Red Hen Press for being such a great publisher with such a lively stable of talented and compelling authors, and also for takign the time to ask me to appear at AWP. It was, frankly, loads more fun than I had anticipated (much less stuffy and "academic" than I'd feared).

And I haven't even mentioned Traveling Marla -- but will do so soon. Promise.


Fizzah Sajjad said...

Honoured to be on your blog! Thanks for all these nice comments :) It was so great to meet after more than a decade. It will definitely not be 11 years before another reunion. Super excited to read my new signed David Maine book!

David Maine said...

Believe me Fizz, the pleasure was mine. Yeah, let's make sure it's not another 11 years...