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BEA Rundown, Part 1: Tolly’s Tale

POSTED BY doug ON June 11, 2012

As the great Western thought leader Natasha Bedingfield once said, “no one else can speak the words on your lips / drench yourself in words unspoken / live your life with arms wide open / today is where your book begins / the rest is still unwritten.”

This is probably what also inspired the great American author, Lauren Conrad.

But here at PR By the Book, our authors’ words are very much spoken. We got to speak about them to more people at Book Expo America last week, beginning with a Blogger Happy Hour we threw in Hell’s Kitchen! There, I had the delight of chatting with Pilar Arsenec for a while, who writes the blog Ordinary Servant.  She’s one of those people whose smile you instantly notice, nods warmly while you’re talking, and makes you feel like the most important person in the room.  This may be why Jenny Larson (aka The Bloggess, whose on a huge book tour right now), hugged her earlier that day!  Jenny, I don’t blame you — the woman is special.

We also had a ton of media and publisher meetings during BEA. Some highlights included Kristin Pisarcik from Anderson Cooper‘s daytime talk show, the Huffington Post: Books team (which, astonishingly, is made up of 3 people, and even more astonishingly, 2 former Austinites, and GET READY TO HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN, 1 former colleague!), and producer Sam Briger from Fresh Air, whom I think we successfully convinced to come down to Austin. Judging by his awesome red sneakers, he’d fit right in here.

I also got to see Patti Smith interview Neil Young on stage, which as you can imagine, caused me to die, revive myself, and die again.

Patti Smith and Neil Young, music-turned-literary icons. Photo courtesy

They talked about becoming artists, Neil’s new record, the experience of reading each other.  As if the whole thing couldn’t get dreamier for a rabid Just Kids fan like me, I happened to be sitting next to Greg Ruggiero, an editor for City Lights Books!  Guys, I know. Total English major fantasy. The only thing that could have topped it would be the spirit of Charlotte Bronte descending on me right then and there, and it’s a good thing she didn’t, because everyone was so happy after all, and sometimes Charlotte, Emily and the gang can be a real buzz kill. (Love you, Jane.)

All in all, it was a fantastic BEA!  I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the team has to say …


1 Comment

Sweet Tolly, I just saw this now… I was snooping around and caught a glimpse of this. I am now in tears… of joy. You are incredibly special my dear and the pleasure was mine. I hope to see you all next year at BEA.

Pilar Arsenec June 19, 2012


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