The line reads like this in my mind:Last night I dreamed I went to Manderly again…
…but goes like: Last night I went to Random House.
It was actually two nights ago, but who’s counting?
I am. The first time I got to walk through my new publisher’s doors will be imprinted on my brain, and all days will for at least a while be counted from it: Two days ago I was there; a week ago today I was there; one month ago…
When I arrived I waited outside to meet my agent (and for this event, hand-holder) and across the street I saw several silver hanging signs with one word on them.
Why yes, it is, I felt like saying aloud. My dream, that is. But how’d you know?
Turns out Dream is a hotel right near the lofty offices I was about to enter. Or at least it was there for that night, now two days ago. In the way of dreams (and eerie novels) I have the feeling it might’ve been plunked down to make the point and now if I called to make a reservation, someone might answer and say, “No, there’s no hotel called Dream in the city, and there never has been…”
The lobby of RH, which must be forty feet or higher, has wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookcases, with just some of the books all the imprints have published stored behind glass.
I used to spend play dates and birthday parties curled up in front of the host child’s collection of unknown books , and so you might understand how strong my impulse was to just sit…and read.
Instead we took the elevator up to the 25th floor. Dozens of people were milling about, mostly women, some in the kind of nice garb I never wore when I was part of the working world, and others (the romance authors for whom this party was held) in colorful frocks like a bouquet themselves.
The cocktail of the night was champagne with strawberries and rose water tinting it scarlet. Wait staff circulated with plates of finger tidbits that looked oh so tempting (beef with caramelized onions on toast? coconut shrimp with a chili dipping sauce?) except that I was too nervous to eat.
My new editor is one of the most gracious people I have ever chanced to meet, and she–who was something like the bride at this shindig and by now had maybe upwards of a hundred people to greet–managed to come over and speak to me at least three times during the night.
I met some lovely RH employees, and could’ve stood around listening to details about their jobs all night.
I even got to say hello to Tess Gerritsen, one of the shining stars there, an author who was kind enough to answer a letter and offer her agent’s name back in the days when I hardly knew what an agent was. It’s fantastic when someone you’ve had a mental image of for a long time surpasses it in person. Tess was interesting–and interested. A wonderful combination.
One of the best things to happen since I got my offer has been getting to spend more time with my agent. Now that the initial leap has been made, we can talk at least some of the time about other things, get to know each other on other levels. That made the night special as well.
It was, as the sign proclaimed, a dream.