I love sharing stuff on this blog, especially when it comes in the form of emails I get from other publicity people in the industry. This is from a friend of mine who was at CES (Consumer – Electronics – Show) and though the event was fun, it was a bit, eh, awkward. Note: The names and other pertinent details have been changed to protect the guilty and insanely delusional 🙂
Sometimes I feel like our careers in book publicity are cautionary tales.
Hey Kate, sorry I’ve been out of touch. Mostly I’ve been rocking in a corner. I was at CES early in Jan and came back to the office with a mountain of work and a nervous twitch from this experience. You won’t believe this, I hope you end up putting this in one of your books if you find this funny, or frightening. Or maybe I’m becoming a cautionary tale for other freelance publicists. Anyway, here’s the story.
I was in Vegas for a few days and got invited to this lovely private dinner with some pretty big Internet people. There were just 10 of us in this private section of The Venetian. Lots of cool people including Dan Smith (of course, not his real name) you probably know him, he’s a BIG Internet guy, like Guy Kawasaki big. So, we all introduce each other – we’re standing in the lobby of the restaurant and he says he’s just self-published a book. So we start chatting about that and he sort of shimmies up to me. At that point, I really didn’t think anything of it. Then, we go to sit down and someone else is sitting next to me and he’s like: I want to sit next to Vivienne (me).
Red flag #1
So, the dinner progresses and he starts getting handsy (and drinking). We start talking about Amazon, I mention about the hot romance market. Everyone is enthralled. Dan is now like “I want to write porno, can you help me?” Jesus. I told him I’m sure he can do that on his own. Then he grabs me, wraps his arms around me (gross) and he’s like “oh please wrote sex books with me” God. The guy across from him was like WTF (he somewhat looked like David Duchovney and I was hopeful, but he also seemed frightened of Dan and backed off) – anyway, at one point he nearly stuck his tongue in my ear. No, really. I HATE that. He’s married btw, I asked him at one point why his wife wasn’t with him.
No response. Big surprise.
So then this guy across from me invites me to go with him to this Coldplay concert event on Thurs, he says he is bff’s with their manager and they’re doing a dinner pre-concert that he wants me to go to then a party after. Lots of celebs there, Britney Spears (no thanks), Bono might be there (really? Who knew he was a fan) Sounds fun, right? Then Dan is like “I’ll be there!”
Fun, not so much. Needless to say, I declined.
The dinner went on endlessly and because it was such a small group, I couldn’t really leave (though I wanted to). So I tried to shift the conversation to other things because Dan kept wanting to talk about all the porn he was going to write. Shoot me. So we talk about planes and private planes and jets, etc. I say that I’ll do just about anything to not have to go through airport security and fly on my own private jet. Dan leans over and is like “I have access to a jet, I can make that happen” FML
Finally this endless (and I do mean endless) evening is over – and as we’re walking out he sort of corners me, not really like I couldn’t get away but sort of pulls me aside and he says “I have a suite and open pass to anything you could want, a private plane, booze and weed, wanna come stay with me?”
Honestly I just smiled and walked off. But I wonder at what point do Internet guru’s start fancying themselves as rock stars? I mean seriously. This guy who was no one *near* rock star territory and yet he still seemed to think that he was the end-all-be-all and that women everywhere would drop their panties for him because he has weed. Are we still in college? Candidly, even back then this guy would have repulsed me. He really thought that he was just IT and that the world should beat a path to his rock-star-wanna-be door. The sad truth is, I bet he gets takers all the time. Let’s face it, as many of these goons that are out there trying to entice women with private jets and suits there are an equal number of women who fall for this crap.
I left there just wanting to slap someone, mostly him.
So let this be a lesson to all of us. This whole virtual world has turned people into fame whores and wanna-be’s. You were given the power, use it wisely.
Sometimes I feel like I should go back in-house – if you’re ever looking for a faithful, though slightly wrung out publicist, let me know.