Thursday, October 20, 2005

I do not think that most writers out there will disagree with what I'm about to say. Writers, as a lot, are not often the most social, gregarious, graceful people around. You want to put on a party and entertain people, you don't invite a writer. And having interviewed writers on a regular basis for the past two and a half years, I've come to learn that also, many writers don't really even like to talk to people, but due to the caveats of publishing contracts, they do the radio shows/readings/signings they must do to fulfill their obligations.

So imagine how it was today to attend a luncheon sponsored by Copperfield's Books and paid for by Harper Collins for author Gregory Maguire, (whose fleshing out of the Wicked Witch of Oz in his first book Wicked catapulted him into sudden, shocking success and was turned into a broadway musical), only to discover he was...well, a fabulous party guest. Here are a few details about Mr. Maguire:

He is nice. Like really nice. Like pull out your chair for you twice, kind of nice. Like, "Oh I bet you have a lovely singing voice," kind of nice. Like, "Let me tell you about my son's piano playing," nice. (He is radiant when it comes to discussing his three adopted children, and his beloved partner).

He can sing, and did, offering a "new" line to the song, "Somewhere over the rainbow" that invoked the darker edge of the rainbow, since he feels the song is a bit misleading to what is really in store for Dorothy.

He owns (and is not afraid to wield) a wicked witch hand-puppet, and used a funny anecdote about how and why writer Alice Hoffman gave it to him (he was supposed to set it across from him in restaurants where he was eating alone to ward off fanatic people--didn't work, of course).

He is the real deal. He's thoughtful, charismatic, funny, sensitive, and caused the 15 people there in the room with him to go into a kind of platonic swoon. He carries with him an old school kindness, like you might find on the Andy Griffith Show, but with an edge of the real to him.

On Harper Collins' tab, I had: A rootbeer, pumpkin bisque, crab cakes and an ice cream dessert smothered in liquers. It was delicious. Good times.


At 7:06 AM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

Sounds like fun. Glad you had a good time. You deserve it.


At 8:07 AM, Blogger Katie said...

That sounds wonderful! Good for you.


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