I love book fairs. At least I did until recently. I used to really enjoy discovering all the new titles; what’s hot; what’s not, meeting with publishers and editors, exchanging chit chat and business cards with new people and connecting with old friends, hugs all around, as they gave me the once-a-year update about their cats and kids.
Sadly, that’s a thing of the past — at least for the present. Why? Because a bunch of sickly hogs with colds didn’t cover their mouths when they said “Ah-chooo,” and we’re all left with the consequences: Swine flu.
Now Book Expo America, the one event I look forward to in earnest every year, is a month away. But I have a feeling it won’t be the same. I can just imagine the scene. No hugs and kisses on both cheeks; maybe a wave from across the floor, that is, if you have protective gloves on. And at my signing, I guess I’ll have to wear a mask (maybe I can get some that color coordinate with my outfits, though the standard light blue might bring out the sea green in in my eyes.) I’ll probably wear plastic gloves as well, and perhaps my publicist can spray and wipe the books before she passes them to me for my John Handcock.
I could always just forget the mask and order hazmat infectious disease headgear — you know, the ones that look like deep-sea diving helmets, with the glass in the front and on oxygen tank on the back. It would probably cost me a pretty penny. But, hey, I’d be helping the economy. Besides something like that’s bound to be tax deductible.
Oh, and instead of offering the usual pieces of chocolate or other unhygienic kinds of candies in help-yourself-grab dishes, maybe I can find individually wrapped Vitamin C tablets in pill dispenser or little bottles of Echinacea on a key chair.
Alternatively, I can just have cards printed up inviting fans to my house, and after they’ve passed through my disinfectant detoxification shower, I can have my lookalike robot hand them already-signed copies of my latest book, inscribed “with love….forget the kisses.”
— Allia Zobel Nolan
Allia Zobel Nolan is the author of the newly published second edition of The Worrywart’s Prayer Book. She is an internationally published author of over 150 traditionally published children’s and adult trade titles. Her books reflect her two main passions, God and cats, and include such varied titles as Cat Confessions: A Kitty Come Clean Tell All Book, Whatever Is Lovely: a 90-Day Devotional and Journal; and What I Like About You: A Book About Acceptance. She lives and worries, with her husband, Desmond, and their two feline children, Nolan Nolan and Colleen Fiona Shannon Nolan. In 2018, she collaborated with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop on the humor anthology, Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget.