I am just back from sales conference in New York, which was fun, buzzy and full of interest. After my presentation, I was walking near the village, and saw that Laila Lalami was giving a talk at Barnes and Noble on Avenue of the Americas near Washington Square. I went along, and she read from her first novel, Secret Son, and yes, I did speak to her and got a signed copy. She is Moroccan, and so is interested in reading our July novel, SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Luis Leante, about the Sarahawi people, who are still living in the Saraha desert, over 200,000 of them in tents. This is one of the humanitarian overlooked issues in the world, and there is a good chance that the book will bring international attention to the plight of these people, since at the moment the Sandblast charity in London are the only ones who are working on helping these people. (Go to the Sandblast web site, www.sandblast-arts.org - even if it is just to hear the music which is wonderful.)
So, I saw someone whose work I love, got a signed edition, first of course, and also hope she will want to review Luis Leante's prize winning book in due course for its American publication in January 2010. And 2010 feels like it is quite soon now.
New York was at its best - sunny, people in restaurants on the sidewalks, lots of good humour, culture and amazing art galleries and people to talk to at the conference. What could be better - hopefully it will mean better sales for the front list also.