Visiting author? Hot, willing ladies await your bidding! Every escort guaranteed to be triple-D!! (Discerning, Diplomatic, and Deferent!!!)
Literary escorts, by and large, are middle-aged women who make a living by picking up authors at the airport, shuttling them from one media outlet to another, filling them in on the next interviewer’s background, buying them lunch, telling them where the liquor store is, preventing them from having nervous breakdowns. Some do it as a job, some as a hobby. Escorts are always smart and invariably funny. A lot of them smoke.
Escorts immediately make you feel as if you had known them for decades. Their duties range from bypassing pileups on I-95 to purchasing double soy lattes to explaining why only one person showed up at your reading in Winnetka. In Los Angeles, where your first interview might be in Malibu and your second in Pasadena, no author could function without them. The same is true in Kansas City, a burg the size of Asia. But literary escorts are not simply chauffeuses; they are coaches, reconnaissance experts, debriefers, psychologists, comrades in arms. With few exceptions, they adore writers, and consider themselves lucky to ply their arcane trade.
Literary escorts embody the values of the cities they inhabit. In Boston and Milwaukee, they have names like Sally and Mary; in Los Angeles, names like Kim. In Seattle, the escorts talk a lot about coffee. My first escort in Los Angeles drove a black Porsche, wore a little black dress, was present and accounted for in the jewelry department, and would steal away during interviews to visit Rodeo Drive boutiques. She gleefully volunteered intimate details about her private life, enlisting me as an off-the-rack psychotherapist during my three-day visit. I liked her so much that I would cut short interviews so I could scoot back out to the Porsche and hear even more stories about her fascinating marriage.