Monday, December 3, 2012

A very public Hangout

Comfort zones are, you know, comfortable. They feel good. But - just like when you're a few days into a cold and your bed and blankets have turned into a nasty little nest of tissues and laziness - too much comfort gets uncomfortable. Your sweatpants get ratty, your cat becomes your best friend, your couch conforms to the shape of your butt. Then it's time to do something.

A few months ago I asked to make a few changes at work. One was to shake up the accounts I manage; I now handle some of the big publishers. Another was to ask a woman who coordinates and conducts celebrity and author interviews (a job which gives me pangs of jealousy) if I could help her at all. She was up for it, and so last Friday I moderated a Hangout on Air on Google+ - essentially a live videoconference - with Lee Child. Child is the author of a wildly popular thriller series about a violent yet heroic man named Jack Reacher who will soon be played by Tom Cruise in a major action movie. In preparation for the event I read a few of the Reacher books. And then another. And another. They were totally fun and satisfying in a way that literary fiction, as much as I love it, is just not.

I did not sleep well the night before the event. Even just a whiff of something that may involve failure makes me clammy. POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE = FAILURE IS INEVITABLE. On the day of the Hangout I was too busy to worry much, though I did have a moment of extreme panic when I realized I had forgotten to apply deodorant. Thank god for cardigans and small forearm gestures.

First Child did an internal Google event, then I escorted him to lunch. He is very tall, very nice, and very British. He wore tweed and took cigarette breaks. I once again realized how very young and sloppy we Googlers look. As Child said during the Googlers-only event, "It's rare that I'm the dumbest and best dressed person in the room."

For the Hangout, a few ardent fans (who call themselves Reacher Creatures) had been selected to ask Child questions live in the Hangout. They had been on the line with each other for over an hour by the time Child and I sat down, and acted like they were old friends. They were also beyond thrilled to talk to the man himself.

Here's the video, which I plan never to watch. I have no ability to judge how it went, but I felt really good about it. It was liberating, all the more so for having been nerve-inducing ahead of time. If you feel like obsessively monitoring the comments WHICH I SURE DO (and spotting which ones are from my family members), you can do so on Google+ here and YouTube here.


Vanessa said...

This is awesome! Congrats! You look very pretty and sound very professional and your hair is super shiny!

Mark Pantoja said...

Awesome! Watching now! Rising Star!