I don’t believe in gossip, but truth be told, we all do it at one time or another. I admire radio and talk show host Wendy Williams for her hustle and for echoing the sentiments of our people in a “keeping it real” kind of way. Her personality is infectious, and even through the TV screen she makes you feel like you know her. Her 10th book was released this month and I had been anticipating getting to meet her for the past week or so at her book signing in Atlanta.
My daughter and I arrived at Barnes & Noble 90 minutes early, and finding a place to park was a beast! When we got inside, I was shocked to learn that Ask Wendy was sold out! There were apologetic signs on the entry doors, too.
On her national talk show, Wendy has been telling folks that she’s coming to the Barnes & Noble store on Peachtree Rd in Buckhead all week. They didn’t think that would amount to much?
At my own author book signings, I ask people to wait to buy my book there at the venue. So I purposely waited to buy the book there so that there would be no issues with having her sign it. I heard an employee say that they weren’t expecting the publicity to cause such a demand for the book; they always send back books after signings.
Apparently BN didn’t expect Wendy’s fans to show up and show out… but now they know! (How you doin’, BN?)
I filmed Wendy as she made her way to the front of the crowd upon entering (the video below is 1 minute long). My daughter was standing very close to the table where she was seated (I was on the side, roped off). Wendy turned as she talked so as not to leave anyone out, even during her intro about why she wrote the book.
V103 radio jockey Mo Ivory (pictured below in the orange dress on the right) collected questions before Wendy’s appearance. I wrote a question about the reality show Gossip Game featuring Kim Osorio and other journalists/bloggers/radio personalities. Since Wendy is the pioneer and queen of gossip with her two decades plus career in radio, I was curious about why she was silent about the show (maybe she doesn’t watch it) and her views on the pecking order of those titles–which is the best way to enter the industry? Mo read the question to herself when I submitted it and said it was a very good one. Wendy only answered three questions before the signing began. (The BN employee I spoke with said Wendy would talk from 7 to 8, but the questions were cut off around 7:30 and the signing began shortly thereafter).
You had to have a colored ticket to be guaranteed Wendy’s signature. But if you were like me and waited to buy her book there (silly me!), you were SOL. I was told I could wait 2 hours, but I doubted that Wendy would still be there then or that they would have her sign the flimsy white card stand-in for her book (it really was just a plain white card).
Although I didn’t get an official Wendy Fan Out pic, I will settle for the fact that she spoke to my daughter before we left. I saw the candid moment but didn’t capture it in time.
Lesson? Next time I’ll not only arrive as early as I did, but I’ll be buying books in advance.