"Books are awfully decorative..."

August 20, 2016

 

I just received my "author's allotment" of my fourth book, "The Serial Entertainer's Passion for Parties." These are the books the publisher sends to me to use as I see fit. It's not a lot, but depending on the book, some seasoned authors view these like gardeners look at zucchini at the end of the summer. Fortunately, I'm not there yet; the novelty of actually being a working writer of published books has not worn off, nor do I think it ever will for me.

 

In a million years, I never thought that I would ever see my name under a title of anything other than a book report, let alone an actual book. But my life has always been about surprises and unexpected reinventions, so as long as "author" sticks, I'll take it.

 

It's funny, lately I've struggled answering the question "So, what do you do?" It's such a New York question- usually followed up with "Rent or own?" But in the past, the answer was easy- "fashion designer" or "retailer" or even "I work for a fabric company." Now, I do a lot of things. I serve as a sort of brand ambassador for Kohler, the global plumbing fixtures company, and I advise the wonderful design firm, Gil Walsh Interiors, on matters of branding, marketing and business development. I shy away from the term "consultant" even that's what I am, I suppose. I mean, when mothers tell their friends that their kid is "a consultant," that usually means "unemployed." Ah, the rigors of the canasta table. 

 

In actuality, I have never been busier. I don't work for one company- I work for at least 5- and sometimes multiple divisions within those 5. And since most of my work is virtual, there's no hard start and stop to the workday. Emails from London show up before I'm awake, and California makes demands when most everybody in my neck of the woods is thinking about dessert. I know- close the laptop and put the phone away- but even when I had to put on a tie and go to a real office, I was never able to separate myself from my job. Is it healthy to "live your work?" I dunno- you'll have to ask someone else.

 

But right now as I sit here, I am most definitely an author. The new book is on Amazon and I'll be doing my first signing next weekend at Hudson Grace, the chic tabletop shop out of San Francisco that has opened a popup in the Hamptons. I'll do 2 more in California and a few down here in Florida- hopefully something will come up in New York and Chicago. You see, if I want to remain a working writer, I need to sell books, because in this particular business, "books beget more books." Too, authors do not own their inventory- at least that's the case for me. The publisher does- so whether you buy my book online or at a signing or, even better, at your local independent bookseller, it's all good and so very much appreciated. 

 

Here's one of my favorite clips from the movie version of "Auntie Mame" with Rosalind Russell (is there really any other version?) In it, Mame has decided that she, too, will be an author- of her autobiography.

Her nephew Patrick's girlfriend, Gloria, has the plum lime.

 

 And while I do think that my books are indeed attractive, thanks to some pretty marvelous photographers and graphic designers and the food styling of my own sister, Stacey, it's the words that I bear full responsibility for. Hopefully, somehow, someway, somewhere, they will resonate.

 

http://www.gibbs-smith.com/cw_contributorinfo.aspx?ContribID=25064&Name=Steven+Stolman

 

 

 

 

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