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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Literary Escort: Interesting or Frustrating?

I was reading the February issue of Writers Digest and read the article in the back cover, Confessions of a Literary Escort. As much thinking as I do, I had never thought about someone being a professional escort for authors. Apparently, they are hired by the publisher to pick up and escort clients.

The article is written by Wendy Werris and she says:

"The givens of being an author escort include a fueled-up, immaculate car and ample provisions including bottled water, Lifesavers, trail mix, a lint brush and Advil. The rest of the job is based on instinct, flexibility, wardrobe and a sense of humor."

She describes how when she picks up an author she dresses to match the nature of the book. Apparently this type of career requires a strong ability for multitasking. Including on the spot therapy for panic attacks and anger (She's not inferring something is she?) and then she compares herself to a concierge, "Like a concierge, I employ my inner Zagat to divine clients' gastronomical whims and am prepared for side trips to cosmetics counter, bank or doctor. When the British novelist Tony Parsons came down with a bad case of hives, I whisked him to my internist's office."

One point she makes very clear is that she is not a chauffeur. Having never thought about a literary escort before I turned to the oracle of bloggers... Google.

I found an article in Publishers Weekly about literary escorts. Then I found some rather naughty interviews* that tend to be more on the "escort" side of the fence - iffn ya know what I mean.

So, would a literary escort be a career that you would find interesting or would you find it frustrating?

Personally, this sounds way too much like a temporary personal assistant. I've tried doing that before and I don't like it. It might be interesting for a day or two, but I think it would NOT be a good career choice for me!

I vote frustrating!

*The link goes to a site with mature language. You've been warned.

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Blogger scribbit said...

Kind of reminds me of Queen Latifa's character in Stranger Than Fiction, if you saw that one. And I love watching Q.L. on screen, she's fun.

I don't think I could hack being someone's literary escort, waiting on someone like that. Oh wait, that's what I do all day around here . . . waiting on five people hand and foot. So maybe I'd be brilliant at it.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I thought about it for a few minutes, then rejected it. It involves being pleasant. There's too much Trevor in me to be that pleasant, that much of the time.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Sabrina said...

Never having been in any similar position, my first thought is that it'd be really interesting to meet all the different authors. But then I wonder, how long would you be an escort for one writer? if it's a long period of time and with someone who you come to dislike, that would be less than pleasant. And if it was a day or two and then you switch to another author, you'd have to be really good at altering your habits and changing routine, which is also not fun.

I think I would have to pass on that.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Happy and Blue 2 said...

It sounds like babysitting only with adult babies. Yuck..

9:36 PM  
Anonymous writersgroupblog said...

Frustrating. Like scribbit said, if it's anything like Stranger Than Fiction, you'd have to put up with an awful lot. Now, having a literary escort on the other hand...

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