Two days later I stepped off an elevator onto the top floor of a building on Union Square. I had been working with my agent, Stacey Glick, for the last two years, but our France-to-New York communication had been entirely by phone and email. Now I was about to meet her for the first time.
I stepped through the door labeled “Dystel and Goderich Literary Management” to see, instead of several uniformed guards sitting at the front desk, a woman dressed in something pretty who smiled and told me Stacey would be right out. I breathed a sigh of relief – this meeting would low-key.
As Stacey walked through the door I felt my hand rising for the corporate shake, but, like my editor, she too surprised me with a hug. I felt welcome right away, as she gave me a tour of the agency and introduced me around.
Along with the rest of the staff, I met Mirium Goderich, who had read my pitch letter for my first book and thought it had enough merit to pass it on to Stacey. (Believe me, I gave her a heartfelt “thank you”!) Jane Dystel, the agency’s president, stopped by to congratulate me on the book.
Lauren Abramo, the subsidiary rights director, sat down with Stacey and me to go over foreign rights. Lauren has managed to sell the rights to DIE FOR ME in six different countries, and she took the time to explain the way things work – not an easy task since every country has different rules and needs different paperwork.
And then we were off to a celebratory lunch – treat of Dystel & Goderich. Stacey and I walked a few minutes away to Union Square Café, where all of the VIP literary types are said to dine. Of course, Salman Rushdie could have sat right down on my lap and I wouldn’t have recognized him. I never do. I once scared Stephen Fry when I walked up and said “hi” to him on a New York City sidewalk. Since he looked so familiar I assumed he must be someone I worked with.
We had something gorgeous for starters, but I can’t remember now what it was because our main dishes were SO INCREDIBLE that they blocked out any other culinary memory. My softshell crab melted in my mouth. And I tried one of Stacey’s gnocchi. The only feasible explanation for its unparalleled airiness and deliciousness is that it was made out of a cloud.
We talked about life. Kids. Working from home. Books. My current book. And ideas I had for future projects. One in particular Stacey was enthusiastic about, so I put it at the top of my “post-DIE-FOR-ME” to-write list.
At the end, we kept looking at our watches because I had another meeting, but I wanted to stay chatting until the last possible second. As Stacey said, we could have talked all day. Finally I gave her a regretful hug goodbye and booked it to the subway. At which point I began shaking. Because, as I sped northward under the New York City streets, there was a camera crew waiting for me. And in just a few minutes, I would be shooting my first video interview. [to be continued…]