Blogger and photographer Stephanie Klein’s STRAIGHT UP AND DIRTY: The Life of a Young New York Divorcee, a humorous tell-all tracing the author’s return to single life as a “firm, fashionable, and let’s face it – fetching” twenty-something, plus a memoir based on the author’s childhood experience at Fat Camp, to Judith Regan at Regan Books, in a major pre-emptive deal (including TV/film rights), by Diane Bartoli and Joe Veltre at Artists Literary Group. UK rights are with Patrick Walsh at Conville Walsh. Artists Literary Group will represent foreign rights, on behalf of Regan Books.
It was a Sunday, God’s day of rest. Clearly, God does not rest on Sundays; she makes phone calls to me.
I didn’t even know my book proposal for Straight Up & Dirty went out on Wednesday. I was still waiting for confirmation that the cover looked presentable. Friday morning, my agent asked if I was sitting down. “An absurd amount of publishing houses want to meet you. They all loved it.” She said “loved it” as if I were a molten chocolate dome cake. Meetings were inked into calendars for the next business day. Monday, booked. Tuesday, booked. House to house like an Avon Lady. That night, I hit The White Horse Tavern and then Salon. Hard. But I didn’t do dirty; I did whiskey… and champagne.. and Florent until 4am? When did that sneak in?
On a hungover Saturday afternoon conference call, Judith Regan asks me, “So what do you envision for the cover?”
“Please, for the love of God, it cannot be pink. Pink makes me want to vomit. And no loopy letters or caricatures of pointy shoes or shopping bags. Besides, I’m a redhead; pink is so not my color.” When we hung up, it was decided that we’d still be meeting on Monday afternoon.
Now fast forward to Sunday. My date and I just walked through the construction site that is now Crapass Central Park Come Orange, thanks to The Gates, to find ourselves on an excruciatingly winding line for the coat check at The Museum of Natural History. “My God, they’re slow. I feel like I’m at Duane Reade.” We survive Slow and Slower, and between telling him “I never do museum dates” and “I hope you know you’re an exception” I feel my phone vibrating.
I’m on a date, so I’m not about to answer it. It’s probably the girls ready to recount our Saturday evenings. They’ll understand. The buzzing doesn’t cease. “Do you mind if I just see who it is? I know it’s rude, and I’m really sorry.” Reader, please take note. All I did for the rest of our date was apologize. “It might be my agent.” I’ll never get used to saying that; I giggle every time. How affected. My agent. It’s so Entourage.
You hear yourself doing it. “I’m so sorry.” And you want to stop hiccupping it, but you can’t. I do the same thing when I’m sick and someone takes care of me. “I’m sorry I’m sick.” How dumb. It’s not like I want to be sick, but there I am apologizing for being helpless. So on a date, I’m sans phone for all of 10 minutes, apologizing for being on the phone the whole time. At least I know he’s a good sport.
He was mid-sentence over our dinner at The Park–we were sitting on the floor by the fireplace eating polenta and lamb—when I pulled the, “I really have to take this. Hold that thought.” I genuinely felt sorry. Thankfully, that was the last incoming phone call. “I have to call my mom.”
All is fair in love and writing.