Editor's Note: Face to Face
One evening this past January, we co-hosted a party at Michael’s New York celebrating the winners of the Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest (congratulations again, Lucy Bledsoe!). During the event, Steven Slon, Editorial Director of the Post, leaned over to me, pointed toward the tables in the front of the restaurant, and said, “Do you know who’s out there?” Turns out, we were there at the same time as the Adam’s Round Table, a group of illustrious mystery writers who meet monthly at various New York restaurants. (Some of you may have read Jeffrey Toobin’s recent story about this in The New Yorker.)
Later, as I was leaving our party, I found myself walking directly past this celebrated group. Though my intent was to slip quietly past, I stopped and thought “what the heck.” I screwed up my courage and approached the table. “Hi!” I said brightly, “I’m in the book business too!” I introduced myself and mentioned my Book Business affiliation. I looked toward the dinner guest at the far side of the table. “Hello,” she said, with a warm smile, “I’m Mary Higgins Clark.” “Wow,” I thought, “this is exciting!” Despite my many years in the business, I still get a thrill meeting a well-known author. The gentleman to her left spoke up.“Hello,” he said pleasantly, “I’m Nelson DeMille.” One by one, they went around the table presenting friendly faces and bold-faced names.
One of these welcoming faces belonged to Susan Isaacs, and it was to her I presented my business card with a wishful, “I’d love to interview you sometime about your experience in the book business.” When I followed up later with a note to her publicist, I quickly received a lovely reply from Isaacs herself, saying she’d be happy to talk. She offered to do an interview by phone or in person, whatever I would prefer. Given the opportunity to spend some time with her in person, I chose to make the trip up from our home-base of Philadelphia to meet her.