So now that you know about my first day of publicity in Milan let’s move on to day two. I had been told that Harlequin Mondadori was hosting a happy hour for the press who would “hopefully show up.” I would be one of two authors who was to be introduced.
This is one of those situations where a lot was lost in the translation. Based on the information above I assumed the whole event would be very casual and relaxed. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
This is how it went down: Mondadori sent a car to pick me up and take me to their offices. I was quickly introduced to a lot of different people whose names I’ll never remember and then whisked into the conference room. At that point I realized that this was no ordinary happy hour. Yes, there was food a drink available. There was also somewhere around 100 chairs set up facing a long thin table complete with little table microphones. That’s were I, along with some of the top people at Harlequin Mondadori, were going to be sitting while addressing the press. It was to be my very first full fledged press conference and I was totally taken unawares.
Have you ever seen a senate hearing? That’s what this looked like. I was ushered to my chair and a translator took her place by my side. Oh and the press definitely showed up. The crowd was comprised of reporters from Cosmopolitan Italia, Marie Clare Italia and God only knows how many Italian newspaper journalists. I have no idea if they actually reported on what they saw and heard or if they just came for the free wine but whatever the case may be they were there and they apparently expected me to say something.
The presentation started off with a Harlequin Mondadori representative telling everyone about their imprints and the changing literary marketplace. I kept my eyes glued to the speaker as the translator whispered her words in my ear. Then the representative turned to me and said (in Italian) “Now American author Kyra Davis will be telling us about her book, Sesso, Omicidi E Cappuccino.”
In America authors are lucky if one reporter wants to hear what we have to say. To have an entire room full of reporters gathered together ready to listen to me was a tad overwhelming. But I managed to pull it together and I think I came across fairly well. I could tell that Stefano was happy with me as was the president of Mondadori so that’s good enough for me. My translator was spectacular and there isn't a doubt in my mind that she translated everything I said perfectly (which is no easy feat, particularly when humor is involved).
Afterwards I autographed a few books and then mingled with the attendants. I can honestly say that I really liked every single person I met there, especially those who worked for or with Mondadori. I’m truly lucky to have the opportunity to work with them. And you want to know the best part? They told me that if I was willing to come back next year to promote the sequel to Sex, Murder And A Double Latte (which will be titled Passion, Betrayal And Killer Highlights) all I have to do is tell them what Italian city I want to visit and they’ll set it up for me! How fabulous is that?
Anyway when the whole thing was over I met up with Brenda who was waiting for me in our hotel lobby. It was our last night in Italy and there were two things that we wanted to do: 1) get some gelato 2) go out to a club and/or a bar and experience the nightlife of Milan.
I asked Phillipo (a very cute guy who was working the front desk) where we should go to do these things. He was very helpful and gave us the names and locations of a few places.
Obviously we started with the important part of the evening--the gelato. After that we went to Corso Como (a hip little area filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs). When we walked into a dance club both Brenda and I were literally snatched up by men and pulled onto the dance floor. I tried to keep an eye on Brenda and vice versa but at one point I lost track of her. I tried to make my way to the restroom thinking there was a good chance she was there but this was no easy feat since every time I took two steps a different guy tried to engage me in a dance and/or make-out session. And that’s when I saw Phillipo who coincidentally ended up going to the exact dance club he had recommended to us. He helped me find Brenda and then I spent the rest of the evening dancing with him and God can that man dance! Never in my life have I had that much fun on a dance floor. At one point he actually lifted me into the air and then dipped me so low that my head almost touched the ground. It was the perfect finale for my Italian adventure. Brenda was dancing with Phillipo’s friend but unfortunately they were not getting along quite as well. We all headed outside after a little while and that’s when Phillipo gave me his soul. He seemed so sincere about it and he was so incredibly cute and his kisses were amazingly sweet and tender. I seriously contemplated taking things to the next level. But there were two problems:
1) I don't have any moral issues with one night stands but I’ve yet to have one. The reason can be summed up in two words “Cape Fear.” Those of you who’ve seen the movie know what scene I’m thinking of. Illeana Douglas who’s been drinking way too much meets seemingly harmless but actually psychotic Robert De Niro in a bar and then brings him back to her bedroom and what starts out as a consensual casual tryst turns into something ugly and very violent. I honestly think Phillipo is a good guy and I was incredibly charmed by him but I was in a foreign country, I had been drinking and I had only hung out with him for one night.
2) This is probably the bigger of the two problems: I don’t believe in abandoning my friends. Brenda wasn’t happy with the guy who was at that time glued to her side and since she and I were sharing a room I wouldn’t have been able to bring Phillipo back to my hotel without leaving her stranded. My relationship with Philipo was destine to end that night; my relationship with Brenda will last a lifetime. The choice was easy…okay, maybe it wasn’t easy but it wasn’t impossibly difficult.
So I extricated myself from Phillipo’s arms, pulled Brenda away from her well meaning tormentor and my girlfriend and I went back to our hotel where we passed out alone in our respective beds. The next day I swallowed several Advil and mentally recounted the previous evening. “You know Brenda, I think Phillipo was pretty young.”
Brenda scoffed. “Yeah, no kidding.”
“How old do you think he was; 25, 26?”
“Maybe in 5 years Kyra.”
So he was legal, that’s a good thing. I would hate to have taken the soul of a 17-year-old. The funny thing is that in the States I have never so much as kissed a guy who was more than 5 years my junior (I’m currently 33). But that’s the wonderful thing about traveling. You get to do things that you wouldn’t normally do and then you get to go home and blog about it.
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