Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Trish Wylie - Preparing For Culture Shock

I'll admit I'm a bit of a home bird at heart. Now don't get me wrong, I've both worked on 'tour' and had fun traveling but it was rarely too far from home - a short flight or a boat trip away at most. Except for two trips I took abroad with friends - but *still * not that far away in the greater scheme of things...

This summer I'm taking the plunge and doing the Conferences. And to be honest, I'm both excited AND a little worried about that. Why to the latter you may wonder? Well - the first thing is going to be a bad case of Culture Shock I feel...

Let's look at home shall we? Teeny tiny green island with a mostly rural population - places we call cities most people would call towns - places we call towns most people would call villages and the villages... well... I'm not sure they're called anything outside of Ireland - neighbours maybe???

First stop on my trip? New York, New York. (I'd heard you had to do it twice like that?) The city that probably houses more people than the entire island I live on! Now as much as I love where I live I've never actually contemplated what it would be like having every single resident in the one place at the one time and we're still a little behind the game when it comes to building anything quite as high as some of those buildings look. And let's face it - if I get lost it's not like I can phone my family to come get me. Though it's good to know if anything happened to me that Gary Sinise would be there to solve the mystery (yes - I do watch CSI:NY) But then there's so many things I want to see and do. And that's very exciting!

Then it'll be off to Dallas for the conference. (we'll not even begin to talk about the temperature in Dallas that month, okay? Suffice to say if anyone steps in a puddle of water it'll be me - cos I'll have melted!) So like a good girl I went online to check out the hotel. Now as part of my eight month tour of Ireland a few years ago I stayed in every sort of hotel and B&B going - the excellent, the good, the bad - and well, one's that horror movies could be filmed in quite frankly... So I felt I was a little ahead of the game for this one - Ha!

Not so much. 'Cos the last hotel I stayed in was this lovely one in Dublin - isn't it cute? And the one I'll be staying in in Dallas? Well - I'm fairly sure it's never once been called *cute*. I mean, it's like, huuugggeee - practically a city on it's own! Will there be maps? How many hours should I allow for finding my way to where I'm supposed to be? And it has how many restaurants? I'm just thankful that with so many other conference-attendees I stand a good chance of meeting someone else who might be lost and then we can both go looking for Sawyer together...(yes I watch that one too...) And knowing my hatred of all things higher than is safe thanks to a little thing called gravity, I just betcha I end up way way way up in the sky where I'll never ever be able to ever look out the window. Oh - and one of my earliest film experiences - The Towering Inferno - nuff said...

Then there's the literacy signing. Now, despite the fact I first sold four odd years ago, I've never actually done a book signing before. It's something that just isn't done over here unless you're mega-famous or Bill Clinton while here on a golfing tour. So I was a little nervous about that before I even made the mistake of looking up pics online of what it was like... And dear heaven - HOW MANY PEOPLE GO TO THAT??? And in the ONE ROOM??? Are you KIDDING ME???

Where I live I'm not used to a crowd - in fact Christmas Shopping is my worst nightmare. But then I don't know what's the worst scenario - lots of people saying Hi or NO-ONE saying Hi... on reflection I'm going with the latter - cos at least no-one will be arguing over the last action-figure on the shelf on Christmas Eve kinda thing, right? And I also have the firm knowledge that Romance Writers and the Romance Writing Community is the friendliest bunch of people out there! That part I have absolutely no worries about...

But still - it's gonna be one heck of a dose of culture shock! Anyone want to come say Hi to me when I'm there to make me feel better??? Have any tips that might help me sleep at night???

The one consolation is I'll have one of my favourite books to sign while I'm there - and with one of my favourite titles! Bride Of The Emerald Isle is a little taste of home sprinkled liberally with the romantic magic of Valentia Island, off the coast of Co. Kerry, and it was a lovely lovely book to write... with a good dose of Matthew McFadyen's Pride & Prejudice film scene in the first chapter as inspiration... (and RT just gave it four and a half stars so I'm well chuffed!)

Keelin O’Donnell had always been a morning person. But today was testing her love of the a.m. to its limits…
She paused, looked back down the road, and sighed. The house had to be somewhere near by now, surely? Did people still die on the ‘moors’?
There was the sound of barking nearby.
“Great,” She scowled as she looked towards the source of the sound, “Now I’m going to be eaten by wild dogs. The Hound of the Baskerville’s lives.”
The barking sounded closer again. Not so much of a rabid dog sound as an excited yapping; which made her feel vaguely better, so her blue eyes searched what she could see of the surrounding countryside. With the last of the early morning mist clearing she could finally see more than the outline of the old stone walls on either side of her. Now there were fields, swirling with a hint of mist in pockets where the ground was still wet with morning dew.
She could hear the sea in the background, could smell it in the air. But even with the reassuring, steady rhythm of waves hitting rocks, she still felt like the last person left on earth. Until her peripheral vision caught sight of a shadow looming through a pocket of mist.
The dogs sounded closer too, one of them appearing at the shadows feet. And then a voice called one of them, followed by a whistle. So Keelin knew the figure was male. A man walking straight towards her- practically dreamlike- like some kind of early morning ghost.
The mist swirled again in pockets at his feet, the sun came out and caught in a glint off his dark hair. And Keelin stood transfixed as he got closer and looked straight at her.
He was sensational.


Laura Drewry said...

Trish - now that I've stopped laughing so hard, I think I can type again. :) I was in New York at the end of March (my first trip there) and it is EVERYTHING you think it's going to be.

Only it's so much better. It's cleaner, it's friendlier, and it's sooooo amazing. You're going to love it!! I looked and looked, but never did find Gary Sinise, but we did come across long lines of NYPD cars parked along the side of the road with their lights on for no apparent reason. All the officers were either sitting inside their cars or leaning against them smoking. LOL I can't wait to go back.

As for the literacy signing. . .yes, it's overwhelming. There's no getting around that - but it's so much fun! You're going to love that, too! Hope you have a wonderful trip and congrats no the review!


Trish said...

Hi Laura!!! *waves frantically from the middle of nowhere*

Ooohhh now you see thats *exactly* the kind of thing I need to hear to help put my over-active imagination to rest! Long line of NYPD cars.... Ooooohhhhhhh.... Yup, I wouldn't be able to wait to get back to that either. Somehow a long line of tractors with wizened weather-worn farmers leaning on them smoking on Mart Day just doesn't do the same things for me... ;)

Overwhelming Literacy signing huh? *GULP*

deseng said...

Hi Trish! that sounds fun! Treking around New York and discovering all there is to see. Absolutely amazing!

I wish you a fine time at your literacy signing. Just look at it as an experience of a lifetime.


Lois said...

I live not all that far away from NYC, yet it's been ages since I've been there. Would love to go back to the museums. And maybe see Phantom of the Opera. :)

Dallas, nope, never been there and won't be there this year (sniff, sniff) but if I were to go there, I'd want to try to head to Houston to see Johnson Space Center. I know some people mentioned doing that, those who went to the RT convention. :( Jealous of them. LOL :)

Well, I'm not a writer, but I'm sure a reader. . . and last October in the NJ Romance Writers conference signing, I went to that, and my first author signing. I'm sure there are others out there just like me, just as scared to approach you guys as you probably are of us. LOL :) But I got over it after my first couple authors. :)


Cherie J said...

I was born and raised in New York City so I can understand how overwhelming it can be for someone who was visiting for the first time. I am sure if I went back after living in a small town in Florida for so many years I would probably look around and say "I lived here?" I am sure you will be fine though. It's amazing what you handle when you have to.

bamabelle said...

Wow, that sounds like fun Trish! I'd love to go to New York! I hope you have a wonderful time. :)

Mary said...

I was in New York once, when I went to visit my husband's family in New Jersey, it was an experience I'll never forget. The Lierary signing sounds like alot of fun though.

Trish said...

Thanks so much for all the words of encouragement gals!!!

I'm hitting the *panic* button as it gets closer now - tho that probably has more to do with small things like finish current wip, do copy edits on another, have props accepted for the one I need to be writing while on planes... you know - the usual ;)

Might not have to worry about the culture shock if all I do is SLEEP...

mammakim said...

I love your comments.. I am a small town girl as well and went off to LA to meet my father - law... Wow big difference. I live near Boston but never drive there so to get on the highways in LA I was under the dashboard half the time. LOL Good luck at your literary signing, you will have a blast and at the end you will have lots of happy memories