Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

As the maître d' ushered me into the packed restaurant, I leaned in close and intoned softly, so as not to be heard by the elegant lady sitting nearby who was obviously my date, 'I'm here to meet...'. And I nodded towards her as I said the name of my New York publisher. Yes, that's right. New York.

I've had fancy conference calls and everything. A lot of very bright Americans say a lot of lovely things to me down a phone line with a two second delay and I say 'um', and 'oh, right'. And they sound confused that I don't sound more excited by the prospect of a book of mine being published in the States.

I am excited. But in a British way. Added to which reserve you have to factor in my unique brand of chaos. The last time they phoned me, the spaniel wouldn't stop barking while we were trying to talk about pre-publicity. No amount of shushing would shut her up. So as a series of super-enthusiastic PR girls were explaining how my book had just received a rave review from someone quite famous, I was tutting and gasping, 'Oh, for heaven's sake!'

After a while the girls stopped trying to explain all the nice things they had been excited about telling me and one of them said, 'Is there something the matter?'

'No, no. Well, yes. There is. The dog is being ...Cydney! Get down! She doesn't like me being on the phone. She's jealous. Actually, she's overwrought. She's had a busy day. We just had a play date on Wimbledon Common with some friends of hers from Facebook.'

Silence. 'You know, Facebook?' I said, prompting.

'Yes. We know Facebook,' came the chorus of girls down the line. Of course, Facebook was never going to be the part of that sentence that was puzzling them.

'Er, well, the dog, you see, she's got her own friends, a sort of fan base, on Facebook.' Silence. Was that two second delay silence or stunned silence? I think it was the stunned variety.

'I mean they were my friends to start with. Then they saw Cydney's pics and put up pics of their dogs and suggested that their dogs fancied my dog and now we all meet up. Today one of their dogs brought my dog some doggie cupcakes.' Silence. 'You don't think that the humour in this book is going to be a little too ...British for your audience, do you? …

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