HOT OFF THE PRESSES...the first book arrives:
The story continues. February 17, 1983. I hurried to the Hastings House office to pick up my books. What a moment that was! In print at last! From there I ran the two blocks to the NYC office of British Rail to present the first copy to Paul Weiss, who had been such a help to me. In the next few days I delivered copies to the British Tourist Authority and to British Airways.
A LITTLE BIT OF PUBLICITY BEGINS:
Just days after the London book came off the press, the nice folks at Hastings House had me scheduled to give a talk at the New York branch of the English Speaking Union, a worldwide organization dedicated to the dissemination of English culture. This had me very nervous, as I am terrified of giving even a few words at a family gathering. So I borrowed a lot of color slides from the British Tourist Authority, selected ones that matched my book, and showed them along with a written script.The audience was kind enough not to boo me, I actually sold all of the copies I had brought along, and we had a merry old time over sherry afterwards. So much for stage fright, a nice experience overall.
Three weeks later I was marched off to WOR-TV in New York, where I was to be a guest on the Joe Franklin Show. He also took pity on me, said nice things about the book, and kept me at ease throughout the hour. Strangely, once the taping began, I forgot all about my nervousness and really got into the discussion. Another appearance on a local cable show followed a few days later. I was getting into this!
In August of 1984 my efforts got a nice little mention in the New York Times, which was repeated in the International Herald Tribune on September 14th. The latter came as a surprise as I was flying from Paris to Nice, and this was in the newspaper the airline distributed to the passengers. Other papers around the country also reviewed the book favorably, giving me a bit more than the notorious 15 minutes of semi-fame.
Nowadays, the Banana Republic only sells clothing, but during the 1980s this chain also featured travel books — for which they published a rather lavish catalog. It was always fun to visit their upper Broadway store in Manhattan and see my books displayed among the safari jackets. They even started a travel agency specializing in third-world wanderings, and an abortive attempt at a travel magazine reflecting the then-owner's cultural views. Alas, the chain was bought out by another that was actually interested in making money, so all this travel foolishness gave way to more T-shirts.
If you'd like to browse through the pages of the latest edition of my first book, just as you would in a book store, just visit Google Books and type "Daytrips London" in the search field. Or check it out on the Hastings House website. And, if you's like to see complete sample chapters from this and other Daytrips books, CLICK HERE.
Interested in photography? Check out my "Assisting Avedon" blog.
SO, just what Little Adventure am I up to now in 2013? WHY, just the most challenging one of them all! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
CLICK HERE to continue the story.