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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Writer's Life 6/29 - Authors under Fire

Aspiring authors dream of book signings. Here are six that went wrong, gleaned from, edited by yours truly: Christina Oxenberg, author of Royal Blue, was feeling marginalized during a 2013 event in East Hampton. She was seated next to Gwyneth Paltrow, who was publicizing a recipe collection, It’s All Good. Fans of the actress blocked Oxenburg from the view of passersby. After taking a break, she returned with "a plate of miniature sloppy hamburgers, stinky steak sandwiches, and the like..." in an attempt to annoy her neighbor...  While Scottish crime writer Val McDermid was lecturing at Sunderland University in 2013, she noticed a peculiar woman wearing a wig and glasses, an obvious disguise. When the signing began the woman approached with a copy of the 1995 nonfiction work, A Suitable Job for a Woman. She then doused McDermid with ink. She was dismayed at a paragraph in the book she believed was directed at her that described a person named Sandra being shaped “like the Michelin Man.” The two had never met... In 2005 Jane Fonda was hawking her autobiography, My Life So Far. A Vietnam veteran waited patiently in line - then spit tobacco juice in her face. Despite being charged with disorderly conduct, the man told the press he didn't regret his action and labeled Fonda a “traitor.”... Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland published a parenthood, Whoa, Baby, in 2017. At a signing in Ridgewood, New Jersey, several animal activists entered the store. They whipped out signs and began chanting “Fur trade, death trade,” and accused Rowland of having “ blood on her hands.” Rowland had been photographed wearing fur. Patti LaBelle experienced a similar incident while promoting  at a Barnes and Noble in NYC... In 1958 Martin Luther King Jr. was signing copies of Stride Toward Freedom in the shoe section of a Harlem department store. A woman stabbed him with an eight-inch letter opener. Surgery saved his life. Doctors feared that if he had so much as sneezed, he might have died, as the weapon's edge settled on his aorta. While in the hospital, he told a reporter his attacker was in need of mental help. “I’m not angry at her,” he added... While Sara Palin was signing copies of Going Rogue in 2009 at Minnesota’s Mall of America, a man positioned himself on a balcony near her table, and lobbed tomatoes in her direction. He was off-target, hitting a security officer instead. Preoccupied, Palin didn't even notice. She was told about it later. The attacker was arrested.

How the mighty have fallen. It seems most Knicks fans are rejoicing at the firing of GM Phil Jackson, who won a record eleven NBA championships as head coach of the Bulls and Lakers. During his three-year tenure, the team was a woeful 80-166. He leaves with the organization no better off than when he arrived. Why did he fail? I don't believe it was managerial inexperience. In Chicago he had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, in L.A. Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Pau Gasol. The Knicks have Carmelo Anthony, who despite being an excellent scorer does not elevate the performance of teammates. Anthony should have been traded, and still should be traded as soon as possible. He deserves a shot at a ring, and the Knicks need to rebuild. Too bad Dolan can't hire Bill Belichick.

This author had no need to fear the wrath of irate readers at today's session of the floating book shop. My thanks to the gentleman who bought a book in Russian, to the woman who purchased a pictorial on JFK Jr., to Candy, who bought Going Home: A Novel of the Civil War by James D. Shipman, and to the kind folks who donated a slew of books.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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