Numb from blood oranges, peroxide and First Contact

Posted Jul 29 2010, 1:09 pm

Last night, I had the great fortune to (finally!) meet Twitter pals @byseanferrell, @jeffreysomers and @janet_reid at Paper Cone Stories, a monthly book reading held at Jack’s Stir Brew in Manhattan.  They invited Evan Mandery along. Sadly for us, Evan does not Twitter. I learned after the readings that Carrie, another twitter friend, was also in attendance.  For me, this was a special event… I admit to fangirl gushing. I ADORE Jeff’s Avery Cates series, and can’t wait until my pre-ordered NUMB copy finally arrives. To meet these talented geniuses (geniuii??) in person is something I wasn’t sure would ever happen.

It very nearly didn’t. This trip was plagued by mishaps. First, I was unable to take the day off because I’ve already got vacation time scheduled for next week. I live fifty-five miles away from Manhattan. I’d planned to drive into the city and then learned gridlock was expected due to the President’s planned visit.

[Brief aside: Can someone explain to me why the President of the United States finds it necessary to appear on The View, of all shows, when he has a whole cadre of press professionals at his disposal, and why, WHY, I ask you, did it have to the same night as Sean’s and Jeff’s reading? And why, WHY!? did he also have to visit the Village, the same area where the reading took place? ]

A quick shift in plans allowed me to leave work before 4 PM and, accompanied by my first born, hop on a train to New York’s Penn Station. The 4:48 PM train was packed with various revelers. The Mets were playing at Citi Field. Tom Petty was in concert. Not sure what else was happening, but we were sitting near a group of inebriated folks trading I CAN TOP THAT stories about the ugliest women they’d slept with. My son and I were choking on giggles as one man described an encounter with an  Oompaloompa – well, I’ll spare you the details.

The train was supposed to arrive in Manhattan at shortly past 6 but broke down half way to the city. We had to change trains in one of the baddest towns on the route. Luckily, no muggings, murders, or other mayhem occurred and we were soon on our way. Just as we arrived in Penn Station, a twenty-something sitting beside me spilled several open bottles of beer on the floor under my feet. She and her sixteen-year-old sister (I know!) were apparently confounded by laws of physics in which open bottles of liquid unsecured on moving vehicles fall over. (Who knew?)  Luckily, my son rescued the homemade cookies I’d baked as gifts for Sean and Jeff before the tsunami reached the shopping bag holding them.

Finally, we grabbed a downtown subway and found Jack’s Stir Brew at about 7:30 PM. *Wipes brow.*  My son went off in search of dinner. I sat alone in the quaint coffee shop, scribbling some notes about the Oompaloompa stories (Yep. They were entertaining.), and wondering why there was a crate of blood oranges and peroxide on the stage (not really. This was Jeff’s Diva Demand List. It was not met.). Then, the door opened and they were here! Jeff Somers and Sean Ferrell. They DO exist! They are not merely alter egos of Janet The Shark Reid. I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting our pals’ lovely brides, The Duchess (Mrs. Somers) and Mrs. Ferrell (I’m not sure if Sean wants her name divulged, so I will omit it.)   First impressions? Sean is just adorable and Jeff is very tall and does actually wear pants. Both are as witty and clever in person as they are online. I am so happy to finally put faces to names.

An unexpected surprise… author Evan Mandery was also there with his latest release, FIRST CONTACT. Brilliant! I met his baby daughter, who cheered for her dad in her own little way. Janet Reid introduced us and yes, I still have all my limbs, even though it’s SHARK WEEK.

My son bought me Evan’s novel but is hiding it from me until vacation next week. An unread book in my house is sort of a compulsion for me. I can’t let it just sit there, all forlorn. He also bought me chocolate. *grins*

The night was epic AWESOME for me. I was hangin’ with my boy, got to meet people I have come to consider as mentors, bought their books and got chocolate. Pretty much my idea of an ideal evening. Jeff was up first, reading a section from THE TERMINAL STATE. I got a hat! Evan was next, started his reading with a bit of comedy. And then, Sean (cheers! applause!) read from NUMB. I posted some brief videos on YouTube for y’all!


Here are some still shots of the evening. (And if anyone knows how to force WordPress to align the darn things, please send directions!)

Hm. Jeff is blurry in real life, too.

Sean Ferrell and me at Paper Cone Stories, NYC

Sean has a great smile, right?

Evan Mandery works the crowd at Paper Cone, NYC

I didn’t get to talk to Evan, but he did sign my shiny new copy of FIRST CONTACT!

Jeff Somers reads from THE TERMINAL STATE, Paper Cone Stories, NYC

Jeff told the audience we were all screwed because he was reading from the 4th book in the series. Nobody minded at all!

Sean Ferrell cracks NUMB's spine

Here’s Sean reading from NUMB. Woo hoo!
And here’s me in my TERMINAL STATE hat. Jeff, I wore it all the way home.

Check me out in my TERMINAL STATE hat

Guys, thank you! Getting to meet you, hear you read was worth every minute of frustration commuting to New York City.  I wish you tons of success.
And the President’s visit? Nuthin’. Not even an extra cop.



21 responses to “Numb from blood oranges, peroxide and First Contact”

  1. Candyland says:

    Yay for Sean!!! I’m so jealous!!!

    • Patty says:

      It was with great difficulty that I refrained from falling to my knees, chanting, “I’m not worthy!” Well, that plus there just wasn’t enough room to fall to my knees, but still…

  2. Awesome! I regret on a semi-regular basis that Evan Mandery is not on twitter. First Contact is HILARIOUS.

    So glad you got to attend, and that it went well. Jeff and Sean rocked.

  3. Patty says:

    I started reading it on the train. Out loud. People listened. It was rather funny. They thought I was reading about Pres. Bush.

  4. Bill Cameron says:

    I miss all the cool stuffs.

    • Patty says:

      I usually do, too, so that’s why last night was so outrageously awesome! Sorry, I couldn’t get them to kiss last night.

  5. Linda G. says:

    What fun! You lucky duck, getting to meet all of them. :)

  6. I am so jealous. Wish I could have been there. Plus you looked smokin in that hat! Great picture.

    Still jealous over here.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks! That picture was snapped this morning, hence the lack of smile. Someday, the rest of us shall also meet!

  7. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like fun, even the adventure to get there. So cool to meet tweet peeps. NY has so much for writers!

    • Patty says:

      Dana, I haven’t done justice to the Drunken Train Passengers story… You really had to be there to appreciate it. But meeting my tweeps! Oh, that was priceless.

  8. Tawna Fenske says:

    This is pretty much the coolest thing ever. If you didn’t live so far away, I would pull your hair out in clumps in a jealous rage. Since you’re all the way over on the other coast, I’ll settle for congratulating you on getting to meet all these great authors.

    Great write-up!


    • Patty says:

      Hey, now, it took over a year to grow out my bangs so please step away from the hair.

      Hehehehe! Next up? Meeting you. Let’s throw a dart at a map of the middle of the country and meet there… Oshkosh, WI?

      I agree completely. It was like meeting royalty.

  9. Janet Reid says:

    You are the Best Fan Ever Patty! And your firstborn is a charming young man. It was such a delight to have you at the reading.

    We need to do more of these. And take the show on the road…to Bend, Oregon we were thinking!

    • Patty says:

      Thank you, Janet! I enjoyed meeting you, too. As for my firstborn, I’m very proud of him. He starts college next month. (mops eyes). I’m not sure the cookies will survive a trip to Oregon but hey, that’s why God invented Fedex, right? Sign me up. Let’s go harass -er, cheer, I mean cheer for Bill and Tawna.

  10. Jessie Mac says:

    Patty, tell us about the Oompaloompa…I can’t get them out of my head.

    And what were you expecting Jeff to be wearing if not pants or as we say in the UK, trousers (because pants are like knickers but men version). And perhaps if he stopped running around, he wouldn’t be so blurry ; )

    It sounded like a great night. So happy for you. So envious as well.

    • Patty says:

      Oh, Jessie, it was just so vulgar it became hilarious. The inebriated passengers sitting ahead of us were discussing their ‘mornings after’. Here is the transcription I wrote while waiting for the reading to start:

      Man 1: “Dude. It was EXPLETIVE awful. I woke up, saw her in these huge EXPLETIVE panties and bra. I mean, they were EXPLETIVE HUGE! I almost EXPLETIVE hurled. Then, she stood up! I swear to God, dude, she came up to my EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE , which wouldn’t have been a bad thing if she wasn’t so EXPLETIVE ugly. She was like a EXPLETIVE Oompaloompa! Every time I hear that song, I think of that EXPLETIVE. What the EXPLETIVE was I thinking? Bro, I’ll never drink that much again. Hand to God.”

      Yeah. Did I mention he was inebriated? Though it is amusing when the same expletive can be conjugated into so many forms.

      As for Jeff’s pants, he often blogs and tweets about not wearing them as he works. It’s something of a trademark.

      • Bill Cameron says:

        Having replaced the EXPLETIVE in my mind with what I think it was replacing, I learned the conversation comes off even funnier if I go back to EXPLETIVE.

  11. Harley May says:

    Oh Patty! What a great post! Excaimation points!

    Thank you for keeping us all informed. Lovely. I love it. Have I mentioned I loved this.

    Too much fun.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Harley… I’m so happy to have been able to make last night’s book party. I get to tell all my friends, “Look! I met Sean Ferrell! I met Jeff Somers! I met Evan Mandery!”