This morning started with a ‘radio tour’. This, for the uninitiated, means a lengthy walk around your hotel room while on the telephone to various radio shows across the US. I’m not knocking it. As an unenthusiastic (read panicky) air traveller, if it means I don’t have to get on an actual flight to Wichita, or Cedar Rapids, then I’m happy.
So here was my schedule. An entire morning in my lovely hotel room, I thought. Not too shabby, I thought, especially as I had woken at 4.45am. Ahahahahahahaha. So today I learned that doing 15 radio interviews back to back is actually really hard work. Not coal-mining hard work, before you start checking my ridiculous privilege, but, you know, writerly hard work, involving telephone earpieces that grow slick with sweat because you cannot put on your air-conditioning (too noisy) and no time to wee because your next interviewer is already on the line, and urgent miming to Housekeeping to Please Go Away I’m Doing An Interview and utter, intense concentration because this interviewer’s line is so, so quiet that you can barely hear the questions, and the thinking up of rapid fire answers to questions and the slow grasping of the fact that you are actually weary of hearing your own voice and you might have started to sound a bit posh like a kind of faux Liz Hurley. So that was 8.40 to 12.
At 12 I travelled to the enormous offices of Penguin US in downtown Manhattan, a building so vast and labyrinthine that I was reassured to see even Penguin’s longtime staffers frequently get lost. I signed a few books, ate my own bodyweight in sushi, and headed off to do more interviews.
Last night we drove out to Long Island and did an event at the wonderful Book Revue in Huntington, where I got overexcited about sharing a venue with Joan Rivers and was promptly upstaged by a large dog that could have been modelled on Norman, from One Plus One, and signed a lot of books and finally got back to my hotel at 9.45pm , where I was helpfully woken at 3am by a text message from my English bank telling me I needed to put some money in. Thanks, First Direct! It’s good to stay in touch.