Anecdotes About the Authors I’ve Met.
(Kevin Sampsell was a bookstore employee.)
Salman Rushdie had soft hands.
When meeting true-crime writer Ann Rule, I accidentally asked her, “Are you Anne Rice?” She was one of those egg-shaped people, like Humpty Dumpty. Big on the top with weird skinny legs. I almost thought she was pregnant but she was too old.
The meanest writers I’ve ever met are the two Christian ladies who write the Wee Sing books.
After A.M. Homes’ reading, I drank the rest of her Diet Coke.
After receiving a weird homemade-looking sculpture from a fan, David Sedaris had me dump it in the trash. “I can’t take this on the airplane,” he said.
When introducing Memoirs of a Geisha author Arthur Golden I started to say Albert Goldman (the controversial author of a disputed John Lennon bio a few years back) before I quickly corrected myself.
Al Franken was rather rude and unappreciative, though subtly flirty with a female friend.
Susie Bright called me Keith during her lecture and then when I drove her back to her hotel afterward, she left a jar of apple butter that a fan had given her in my car.
George Stephanopoulos was short.
Natalie Angier had sexy arms.
I was surprised by the feminine mannerisms of horror writer John Saul.
Chastity Bono was cranky and never smiled once.
Frank McCourt (allegedly) asked someone after his reading where the best topless bar was.
Leather-jacket-wearing lawyer Gerry Spence acted drunk and (allegedly) groped a female employee at our store. The next day we told his publisher that we wouldn’t welcome him back.
Gordon Lish talked for two and a half hours at a reading before an employee informed him we were closing the store.
Old lady actress Gloria Stuart refused to sign an Asian man’s photographs at a book signing because she was convinced that he was going to “sell them at a convention.” As a gift, one of Gloria’s fans mysteriously gave her a can of air freshener, which she left with me, after briefly wondering why it was given to her.
Tim O’Brien, a Minnesota native, predicted that the Vikings would lose to the Falcons in last year’s NFC championship.
Karen Finley didn’t like having her picture taken. She had something in her teeth.
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