#writering: publishing disasters, part II

Beth Wareham is editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books, an independent publisher. #writering is a random blog about all things publishing, writing, and editing.

The first post on publishing disasters led to requests for part II. I aim to please. Enter Mary Carlomagno, former national events coordinator for Barnes and Noble. Mary was our “go to” person to get the ear of the then giant retailer. Mary had the power to assign your author to a plum store in New York for a signing or a strip mall ten miles outside of Boise.  Mary could make you look like a marketing genius or just another cube lurker. You didn’t mess with Mary.

In addition to brokering events nationally, Mary oversaw the big signings at the flagship store in New York.  Movie stars. Sports icons. Presidential candidates. These events often included a lot of cameras and lines that snaked around the block. NYPD had to manage the street with barriers. And there was Mary, curls flying, keeping it all in order.

Feels like those days are gone, but maybe not. Someone always comes along that seizes the imagination and a new line forms. Whether this event is about theater, art or celebrity, it doesn’t matter. It’s still a lot of fun.

Here are some of Mary’s favorite memories for her life working the lines:

“I went to the back of the store to see if he was ready. He was. He stepped out, a 7-foot basketball player, in a wedding dress with full make-up. He asked me if he looked pretty and I said, ‘of course you do, honey. Now go sell some books.”  The same man went on to attempt getting North Korea and the U.S. to be “Sister” countries. The project failed.

“Hunter S. Thompson required a bottle of 75-year old Scotch and Cabernet all day long. If it ran out, everything stopped.”

“I was working with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith when a woman approached me and rambled on for many minutes about the last time she saw me in the student center. Then she walked off.  Steven looked at me, laughed and said, ‘you have no idea who she is, do you? Happens to me all the time.’ Then he pulled me to him where he sat and kissed my side. I’ve not washed it since! I LOVED that guy!”

“A former First Lady, turned Senator, turned Secretary of State turned Presidential candidate needed something soft to stand on as she shook hands with each person in the line – she had signed her name on the books beforehand. I had to run to Bed Bath & Beyond down the street to find a ‘soft landing’ for her campaign-weary feet. I grabbed what looked best – a bath mat – and that’s what the New York Post wrote about the next day: the bath mat.”

“Whenever Whoopi Goldberg signed, she liked to answer the phones in the store for awhile. She was amused by callers reacting to her distinctive voice.”

“Cindy Crawford demanded hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in the green room. She wanted other things I’ve long since forgotten but I remember no one but the staff could touch anything.”

“I almost had to call 911 several times when women were fainting at the sight of L.L. Cool J.”

So, that’s Mary. She’s got a lot more but isn’t spilling. So I’ll throw in a few of my own:

I was pulling up my Spanx in front of my desk when Stephen King walked in and kissed me on the neck.

I went to the bathroom and there was Leonard Nimoy, lost.

I went to the bathroom and there was Yogi Berra, lost.

The cast of Jackass pitched me a book and the one who had been on “World’s Stupidest Criminals” asked me out.

Now that the cubicles have so taken over the business, all of this wild activity might be gone. I hope not. Publishing was and can be EXHILARATING, almost as good as a raucus party in hotel suite overlooking New York City.   There is glitter and thought and crazy and chaotic and I say it was just really good for the industry, all this “show business” of yesterday.

I say, let’s get our goofy on.  Throw some heat and create some energy. Everyone still loves a good performance. Get out of your cubicle and get it on.

Follow us on twitter  @shadowteams

Visit us on Facebook Lisa Hagan Books  

Check out our latest titles at Lisa Hagan Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing the “Woman Card” and Coming In Hot

th-2.jpeg

th.jpegwww.shadowteams.com

 

/beth wareham

I VOWED not to spend one second of my life doing anything but mocking Donald Trump. The hair, the Eastern European model wife, the name splashed so big on buildings it screams “I have a tiny penis!”  But then I heard two words: “woman card” as in playing the. I can even prove the two words came flying out of his sushi hole.  (Thank you, CNN.)

I snapped. What a dick. What a stupid dick to disenfranchise more than 50% of the population. It was a bad strategy. But he’s a red-faced blurter and that’s a really really bad thing. For anybody, but especially politicians. I am sometimes surprised he can even hold his pee in at the lectern.

Women have quite a card to play, Donald, and you need to shut up:

Rape and murder since the beginning of human time.

White slavery, prostitution and child pornography.

Pay inequity and unpaid child support.

No voice in politics or economics for centuries.

Got the vote after freed male slaves.

Live under threat of punishment for a medical procedure THAT IS COMPLETELY LEGAL.

Members of the GOP in our vaginas, the worse indignity of all

And despite all that horror, no one plays the “woman card.” They get up in the morning and climb in their fighter to fight ISIS and keep his big pink butt safe. They run for President and no doubt will win. (I want him to get whooped by a girl). These women are mothers and teachers and doctors and lawyers. They don’t play the woman card. The show up, and every day that they do, they are in effect saying “shove it up your ass, Donald.”

Follow on twitter @giantsweettart or @shadowteams

 

The Clinton’s Basement

images

http://www.shadowteams.com
/Beth Wareham

Poor Chelsea. All kids make out in their parent’s basement and she must have looked so unappetizing in the pulsating blue. Or perhaps she looked more beautiful, blue eyes bouncing back the shiny azure of the server light.

I never cease to be amazed at all the stupid shit the rich and famous need and want – air-pressure chambers, fish toxin injections, panic rooms (though I have one in my head), hair wranglers. But I must say, this “server-in-the-basement” thing is a fantastic new wrinkle in the game of the rich and powerful.

What would I put on my basement servers? Well, it wouldn’t be dick picks. Hillary probably got group blasts of those from congress. I’d put my financial information, most personal exchanges with people I loved and medical information. The stuff that matters.

Hillary is just too damn smart to not have good reasons to have servers in her basement. She has been a target of some of the most humiliating take-down attempts in the history of the Presidency. She’s got a right to be a bit more discerning than most. Whatever you think of her personally, she has served her country tirelessly and deserves our respect and thanks.

So, I say to Hillary, RELEASE AND REDACT whatever you need to; You have served us so well.

Follow us on twitter @shadowteams @giantsweettart @skinnysmoothies
Vixit on Facebook at shadowteamsnyc