This is something I didn’t know about before I became a published author: it’s kind of traditional to give your publishers a gift at the holidays.
I followed tradition unknowingly that first year after the Inheritance Trilogy was contracted, because in my day job life I’m a career counselor and I know it’s always a good idea to give gifts to people you’re doing business with, or who are professionally valuable to you. But lest this sound mercenary, I also just genuinely liked the folks at Orbit, and wanted to show them how pleased I was to be working with them. So that year, the gift was some of the more… hmm, unusual… vintages from the Nashoba Valley Winery. I picked that one because I was still relatively new to NYC, after spending 10 years in Massachusetts, and the Nashoba winery had been one of my favorite hangouts while I lived there. Also, they had really good raspberry, pear, and blueberry wine, among other interesting stuff. And who wouldn’t miss a chance to give a bunch of book lovers dandelion wine?
The next year, weird combinations of chocolate were all the rage around that time, so I visited another fave: the Chocolate Bar, which sold these awesome spicy chipotle brownies. (Bacon brownies were also popular, but it’s always a little hinky to give pork products as gifts when you don’t know folks’ religious or dietary practices, so I decided against that.)
The following year I was at a bit of a loss as to what to give, but I’d just concluded the Inheritance Trilogy with a blowout launch party, the SLEEPOVER OF THE GODS (say it in a booming announcer voice). Since only Devi, my editor, had been able to attend the party, I decided to bring the party to everyone else, by trying to recreate one of the most popular custom drinks from the party, the Rummy Bear. So I gave everybody a combo bag containing one giant gummy bear and a small flask of good rum.
This year I’ve found something I again think is kind of interesting and unique, and which also serves my attempts to be a localvore and to support businesses hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, so I’m about to head off to Orbit to play Santa again. It also makes great cocktails. ;) I’ll tell you how this year’s gift goes over later!