Take a Vampire to Lunch By Lucy Weston
Despite having been on this earth for more than a century, and having had more than my share of experiences both good and bad, I found myself unprepared for the arcane rituals surrounding publication of “The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer.”
To begin, it is far from easy to explain to an editor in a New York City publishing house that one is (a) a vampire (b) not crazy and (c) no, most emphatically not the Lucy Weston from the Bela Lugosi movie version of “Dracula” who was herself an adaptation of the character Lucy Westenra first depicted in Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name. That Lucy is fiction, not to mention a fluffbrain, and I am neither.
However, all things considered, I must say that editors are a resilient breed. Once over the initial surprise, all concerned have rallied nicely and even gone out of their way to be friendly and helpful. Of course, I do realize that they have a sensible desire to avoid annoying a being who can sink her fangs into their throats and drain the life from them as quickly as she can say ‘What do you mean, you want revisions?’ Not that I would ever behave in so uncivilized a manner.
Which brings us to lunch. So far as I am able to understand, there is a requirement that editor and author must lunch together at least once during the process of readying a book for publication. A large number of restaurants exist in proximity to publishing houses for no other apparent purpose. I understand that editors welcome a chance to escape their cramped offices, surrounded as they are by precariously balanced piles of manuscripts that may fall and crush them at any moment. A little fresh air and the chance of a decent meal is scarcely too much for them to ask.
Fortunately, since the advent of SPF 45 sun lotion, vampires have been able to move about the daylight world with a degree of ease not possible before, although precautions must still be taken. On a nicely overcast day, I joined my editor at a charming little bistro near her office. We had not met before in person and I perceived a certain anxiousness on her part, which I hope I was able to ease by keeping my fangs sheathed at all times. Over Bloody Marys--her suggestion, not mine--we discovered a shared love of London theatre, beaded evening bags, and the writings of Anaïs Nin. Indeed, so diverted were we by these topics that we never got around to actually discussing the book.
But never mind; I am reassured that it is in excellent hands and that very soon readers will be able to acquire it for themselves. When you do so, kindly remember that the publication of any book is a collaborative effort in which everyone--even vampires--have a role to play.