I recently had the pleasure of going to Los Angeles to complete a four-year-old dream I’ve had to meet my publisher. It also fulfilled a desire I’d had to meet my fellow co-writer on Sight Unseen, Nicholas Downs. I managed to achieve both these personal milestones in this trip.
Los Angeles is one incredible city. Filled with diverse characters, breath taking scenery and quirky neighbourhoods, I can truly say this was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I was treated like royalty by my hosts Michelle Klayman, CEO from Boroughs Publishing (and my wonderful editor) and Nicholas Downs, actor, producer and all round amazing guy. I’m sure by now you all now the story of Sight Unseen and how Nicholas and I met through Divine Magazine and started a collaboration that has made us both friends, and colleagues in writing. We’re currently working together on the screenplay so please wish us luck.
Nicholas and I had a signing at the iconic and world famous bar, The Abbey in West Hollywood, or WeHo as the locals call it. We met some wonderful people, signed some books, were spoilt by the excellent bar and event staff and had a blast.
Michelle and I also joined the California Dreamin Writers Conference in Brea, where we both delivered workshops and met fellow authors and readers. I was thrilled to meet Barbara Vey, and we spent some time nattering and getting to know each other. Nicholas and I also did another book signing there, and I have to say, he got recognised by quite a few fans who had watched his films. As he should…. I got to meet fellow Boroughs Authors Joan Bird and Emily Mims, and my very first ever editor, the lovely Jill Limber.
My trip was filled with lunches and dinners at world class restaurants from Hollywood (where the Vampire tacos were delicious) to Malibu (The Italian sausage sandwich at Spruzzos was to die for), I loved the tasty home cooked dinners at the house of Nicholas and his husband Nick, (both of them wonderful chefs in their own rights), ate Salvadorean Pupusas in the Grand Market in downtown LA, a tasty black and white cookie from a Jewish deli called Canters and German cuisine in West Hollywood. There was so much variety and I relished in eating food from the region, something I always try to do when I go away.
Nicholas and I took a trip to the renowned and again iconic Chateau Marmont, hangout of movie stars and celebrities, and enjoyed cocktails with apple pie. We trawled the streets of Boystown with the guys, bar happed along the ‘strip’ or whatever it’s called there, marvelled at the exotic dancers and did a little shimmy in the clubs as we enjoyed the atmosphere of music and people watching.
I saw picturesque scenery on the hills, travelled into Venice Beach, (they have great graffiti there) took a tour of City Hall, courtesy of Nick, which was an inspiring experience, and one I’m so please I had, saw the Hollywood sign from the top of City Hall and visited the Last Bookstore, a quirky, gem of a place where I could have spent days and not got bored.
I can truly say I was blessed to be a part of this trip and to have met such wonderful people as I did, each one of them warm and welcoming. I got to meet David Booher, Nicholas’s good friend, and he kindly gave me a copy of his first ever graphic comic called Powerless.
If you love this artistic medium of reading, feel free to check it out. We’ll be featuring David in an exclusive interview soon, so stay tuned. PS David’s twin brother Jeff posed for this one, isn’t it a fab likeness?
I think you can tell this was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had and I hope to repeat it soon. That’s my plan anyway, if every over there can put up with me for a second time. So Los Angelenos, get ready for the next Sue-Nami to hit your shores….. and for the people below, thanks again for your incredible hospitality and get ready too. You might need to strengthen that screen door, Nicholas!! (But that’s another story for another time….)
If you want to see our short but sweet farewell speech, check this out. The video quality is poor for some reason, but it gets our sentiments across…