Monday, January 21, 2008

Book Reading: Code of Conduct

As thanks for the Amazon and blog reviews I have written for both Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star and Code of Conduct, Rich Merritt invited me to a reading he was doing at Barnes & Noble in Chelsea. I was really excited and just had to attend! Of course I wanted Sean to come with me.

In the meantime, Sean caught this horrible cold and I could tell that he wouldn’t be well enough to come with me. All of my friends and my sister had to work. No one could come with me. I had to go by myself. But, Sean was well enough to drive me to the train station in New Haven which saved me that energy. Without that, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it from a stamina perspective.

I took the Metro North to Grand Central Station and arrived at 5:15 pm. I walked to 6th Avenue to the Barnes & Noble. It was early and I had time to go to Cosi and get a tandoori chicken sandwich. Then I returned to Barnes & Noble and bought two books; one was a bargain. It was a hardcover signed by the author marked down from $23.98 to $4.98. What a deal! It is a novel called The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani and it is about a young woman in 17th century Persia whose father dies and she goes to live with her uncle who is a rug maker for the Shah. I hope I like it.

Then it was 6:30 pm and Rich showed up. I went and introduced myself and we shook hands, but he recognized me from my blog. He was very nice and was busy saying hello and setting up for his talk. So I sat down. When the talk began, there were about 80 people there. It was well attended. Rich began by saying “Picture that it is this time next year and the war with Iraq is over and President Bush has completed his term and President Clinton is in Office.” There was spontaneous applause from the audience and some cheers. Rich continued “That was what it was like in 1992 when this book takes place. But, it was before the don’t ask don’t tell policy was in place.” Rich then read three compelling parts from his book. Here is a video of one from a reading that was taken back in October of last year:

Here is another video trailer that was made to advertise Code of Conduct:

After the reading, there were questions. Rich had mentioned that the book tour had taken them to Australia and one audience member wanted to know how they were received there. Rich said that they were very well received in both Sydney and Melbourne and that both were very literary cities. There was a chuckle from the audience.

I said that when I was reading the book it felt as if it just poured out of him. As if the book just wrote itself. He replied that he wrote the book 15 years ago and that at that time he felt that he was the only one in a position who could write it. He felt it was a book that had to be written. So, essentially yes, the book just poured out of him. There were no more questions.

Since I sat in front, I was second in line for the book signing. Rich signed my book “To Sue, thanks for all your wonderful support, Semper fidelis, Rich Merritt”. We chatted a bit and he commented that I was a real trooper for traveling all the way from Connecticut. Then we had our photo taken with his camera.

I told him to take care, we shook hands again. I looked back and realized that he had 80 more patrons waiting to have books signed. I decided to leave. I looked at my watch and it was only 7:30 pm. I walked back up to Grand Central Terminal and made the 8:04 express train back to New Haven.

The next day I was as sick as a dog with Sean’s cold. But it was worth it.


thonnibg said...

Sue,do you know if they are going to film the book?If so,can`t wait to see it:)
Happy for you and that little journey to Chelsea.I too think it was def worth it.

I love your smile!

Sue said...

Toni - I really hope they will do a film of the book. I forgot to ask that question of Rich. I am sure he would have said that he would GLADLY do a movie of his book and any producers that are interested should call him IMMEDIATELY! Thanks for the compliment! :)

Cristiano Mancini said...

I'm so sorry I missed that reading , I love Barnes&Nobles in Chelsea , and we could have met ! You look divine : perfect ensemble for a late afternoon reading ...and that orange liberty scarf , such a sophisticated touch are my kinda girl ! I have Code of Conduct on my night stand , it will be next , I'm about to finish " A mind of its own, a cultural history of the penis" by David Friedman.

Sue said...

Cristiano - I had no idea you were back in NYC or I would have contacted you! You could have gotten your copy signed and met Rich. You would have been delightful company for me, and then we could have finally met!! I bought the scarf at the MetMuseum store at Rock Center years ago. Thanks for noticing it. I am also wearing some cameo earrings set in 18k gold that my sister bought for me in Italy. They match the scarf perfectly (of course). I know you will love the book. Send me your email via myspace so that this doesn't happen again, okay?

peter said...

Last week his book arrived from Amazon, I just finished another one so now there is time [and otherwise I have to make time] to read it.

Sue said...

I just know that you will love it Peter!