My book tour got off to a great start in Manhasset, Long Island, pretty much because my mother decided to load the deck with all her friends. Then whenever she would see someone she didn’t know, she’d shout, “Look, Ilana! It’s a real fan!” and I was like “MOM! SHHH!!! The real fans don’t have to know!”
In all seriousness, there were a bunch of people who came out and it was great to meet them. Also making an appearance were a few old friends from high school and a surprise visit from an old housemate from college, who I haven’t seen in about 15 years.
My favorite part of the night was when the woman from Barnes & Noble introduced me. “Sorry that it’s standing room only…” she began and I could almost kiss my friend for capturing that wonderful line on my Snapchat.
I read a few passages from the book and then opened it up for questions, which I think is my favorite part. People asked about what I will and will not write about, what I’m hoping will happen next and how I knew when I was finished with the book. But the best question was definitely this one:
“Now that you are finished with this book, will you be able to call your mother more?”
Ladies and gentlemen, meet GRAMMY.
The next night I was scheduled to give a reading at The Strand in NYC. The Strand is a few blocks from my apartment and it is one of the oldest and most well-respected bookstores in NYC. I was VERY excited to score a reading there.
But about an hour before my reading, I got a barrage of emails from real life friends who were no longer able to make it. I was already a few people short because it happened to be Pam’s birthday and she was going out with her friends including Seri, two people who would definitely be there any other day. To make matters worse, one of the emails was from our sitter who canceled at the last minute, meaning Mike wasn’t even sure he could come because someone had to stay at home and watch the kids.
I got a little panicked (read: total breakdown) and called one of my best friends, practically begging her to show up even though she was all the way on the Upper West Side and under the weather. As I was telling her how worried I was that no one would come, I heard a soft voice pipe up behind me.
“I’ll come, Mom.”
It was Mazzy. I looked down at her and she repeated herself. “I want to come, Mom.”
I hadn’t planned on taking the kids because it was late and a school night and I was worried they would be a distraction. But I also recognized that Mazzy was seeing her mom in distress and wanted to help in the only way she knew how— being there.
Then Ruth said she could stay late to be with Harlow so that Mike could come as well. At least there would be two people there, right?
Mazzy still had to get ready so Mike said they would meet me there. On my way over (it’s a few block walk), I mentioned on my Snapchat about my friends canceling and instantly I got a bunch of snaps from people saying they were on their way. I even got a snap from an 11-year-old who told me her mother would be there. And my favorite was legs walking down the street with the caption, “On my way to the Strand.”
Seriously, for anybody who is not a Snapchat convert, the community there is really THE BEST.
I got to the Strand feeling a little more confident and then while I was waiting for the elevator, the woman next to me shrieked and practically scared me to death. “Sorry, I’m just a really big fan and never saw you in person before!” Thank god for her because she let me know it was all going to be okay.
I did have a few friends who ended up making it to the reading (thanks, guys!) and a whole bunch of people who were there, not because I had called to beg them personally, but because they were “real fans” (as my mom would call them) and genuinely wanted to meet me in person.
Honestly, the fact that the room was full of people I had only “met” online made it even more meaningful. Probably one of the only times I’ve been comforted by seeing lots of unfamiliar faces! Certainly a confidence booster for the rest of the tour where I will not have my mom in the front row.
Mazzy sat right in front and I tried to find a few sections to read that didn’t have any curses. I failed and said “FUCK” by accident. Sorry, Mazzy.
In the front row was also a fan who brought her son to the event, despite the fact that it was probably past his bedtime. My friend Cara snapped the perfect pic of him.
Not to worry, he had fun playing with Mazzy once the BORING LADY STOPPED READING.
When it was time for the signing, Mazzy asked if she could sit at the table and sign books next to me. I said, “Of course. I bet all the people here would LOVE THAT.”
One guy even asked if she could sign his hand, which sounds really creepy but it’s actually a client so I think that makes it okay.
Mazzy had a blast even though someone happened to capture this shot of her looking bored out of her mind.
Just in case you didn’t see it on Facebook, Mazzy wasn’t the only person who made a surprise appearance at my book signing. A certain Mommy Shorts Show guest showed up too!
Thanks Rachel Dratch for being awesome and making my reading a celebrity attended event!
Now that the pressure of New York is over and both events were tons of fun, I am so excited to meet people in Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Raleigh and Atlanta. You can see all the locations and dates listed below.
Just a few notes: The Monica & Andy event in Chicago will be a panel discussion about working and parenting with wine and small bites. The Land of Nod event will be a kid-friendly craft led by yours truly but I’m sorry to say, Mazzy and Harlow will not be present! Beginnings is a “literary restaurant” in Atlantic Beach, Long Island where food and drink will be served during the reading. All bookstore events will include a reading, Q&A and signing. Please don’t be afraid to ask for a pic or a snapchat!
A huge thanks to Plum Organics for making this tour possible and for making sure everyone leaves my bookstore events with a signed book and a bag of goodies.