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So far ericpoole has created 119 blog entries.

June 22, 2018

I posted this photo on Facebook for Father’s Day, with a shout out to my endlessly patient Dad, who probably wanted to kill me in my sleep more than a few times. (That’s my sister with us – I’m not contemplating a team change.)

The photo prompted my friend Paul to ask, “How come you’re so tall?”

To which I replied, “We had a tall mailman.”

And it got me thinking: that would really explain a lot of things.

I mean, why am I a (big, fat) head taller than the rest of my family?

Why do I have musical talent when no one else in the Poole lineage can carry a tune with a wheelbarrow?

Why do I love Broadway when the last live show my family saw was Siegfried and Roy in 1992?

And why do I still get excited about mail?

I mean, think about it – that mailman could have been harboring all kinds of cultured interests and star-making talents, which he then passed down to me. (So the talents got watered down a little en route. Shut up.)

Then again, while it was the era of “key parties”, my parents would only have attended one for the social hour, so they could knock back a couple glasses of free hooch. And my mother was far too busy polishing the paneling to be standing around in a peignoir, waiting to invite the mailman in for a highball.

So maybe it wasn’t the mailman.

Maybe I was switched at birth.

Maybe I’m actually the scion of some rich, fabulous St. Louis mainline family. Maybe my birthright is to smell of old money and freshly oiled saddles. Maybe I’m supposed to break champagne bottles against cruise ships and wreck dozens of luxury cars and complain a lot.

“The jet is late again!”

“How can we be OUT of Dom?”

“My allowance is being cut to $100,000 a month? That’s less than welfare!”

Or maybe I’m just an average guy who scared up a little talent in spite of my genes. Maybe my family isn’t supposed to be rich, or fabulous. Maybe I just have one beautiful sister and a super kind, generous dad (and a beloved, holy handful of a late mom).

And when I think about it, I can live with that. ‘Cause I get to be treated like a star by them (the bar is pretty low) and we never have to fight over who gets to sit next to Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.

And that, for me, is a total win.

2018-06-22T07:16:14+00:00 June 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

June 16, 2018

Recently, as my new memoir was debuting, some friends asked if there were plans for me to do a book signing at CostCo.

I am not.

But this raised a whole host of questions for me:

  • Where would the table go? It seems like anywhere you put it in a CostCo, you’re just gonna end up getting banged around by carts filled with watermelons and car batteries. Sure, there’s all those little aluminum stands for food vendors, but those are treated with care and respect, because they’re offering up pizza roll samples for free. I’m offering up humorous tales of a life poorly lived for $19.95.

 

  • How would I avoid being the point person for directions? I can already picture some old lady yelling, “Where’re the corn dogs?” at me. I mean, admit it – you know you’ve asked the DirecTV guy or the cellphone chick where to find that 96-pack of condoms.

 

  • How many people come into a CostCo hoping to score a personally inscribed book by someone who isn’t a Kardashian?

 

  • Even if they DO want a signed book, how patient are people willing to be when there’s a sale on caskets two aisles over? (‘Cause, you know, if you’re in the market for a casket, tick-tock.)

 

  • How would I do a reading at CostCo? Climb onto the end cap of Roombas and pretend I’m the town crier at a Renaissance Faire?

Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some CostCo. (My husband, who likes to gamble from time to time, calls CostCo my casino.) But if I’m going to do a reading and signing, I much prefer the more civilized, less harshly lit environment of an actual bookstore. Because you almost never get knocked off a pallet of Sour Patch Kids by someone driving a Rascal.

2018-06-16T06:44:48+00:00 June 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

June 10, 2018

Don’t tell my husband, but I think I’m in love with a woman.

I was in New York a couple of weeks ago to see my agent, visit some bookstores, and have lunch with an author who blurbed my new book.

This author, Judith Newman, is a well-known journalist – a writer for the New York Times and Vanity Fair, a ghostwriter for celebrity bios, etc – and I was lucky enough to have her review my first book for People Magazine a few years back.

When that review came out, I was so thrilled by it that I friended her on Facebook and asked if I could buy her a car. (She declined.) And through these past few years, we’ve exchanged an occasional amusing message with one another. But of course, it’s Facebook, where the majority of your “friends” are people whose name vaguely rings a bell, and who you think you might have met over a urinal or standing in line for government cheese.

Fast forward to 2017. My new book was in the publication process, and an important part of any book’s cover is blurbs. The publisher will help by asking their authors, but that’s always a crap shoot, so most of it – like every aspect of publicity these days – falls on you.

Judith had just published a book of her own about her son Gus’ autism and how it impacted her family’s lives, called To Siri With Love, which was a NYT bestseller. She’s one of the funniest writers ever (not exactly a requirement for serious journalistic profiles, but there you go) and the book is hilarious – not something you expect in a story about autism. But it’s also heartfelt and enormously touching. As someone with an autistic nephew, I found the book not only relatable but inspiring. And I laughed my ass off, which is something everyone who deals with an autistic kids needs to do.

So, as I was pondering who to ask for blurbs, I thought, hey, we’re friends, I’ll ask Judith!

Much like most of my major life decisions, this one wasn’t fully thought through. Between her boatload of commissions as a journalist, being the mother of two sons, one of whom is, as mentioned, autistic – and our highly tenuous FB connection, you can imagine what an imposition this was.

Most busy writers would just block you, or take out a restraining order. Or maybe, since you did know each other for five minutes years ago, they’d write a short, kind note saying thank you, but they barely have enough time to get that mole looked at.

But this is Judith Newman.

She read.

She blurbed.

And after once again declining all manner of gifts as a thank you, she agreed to let me take her to lunch.

We met at The Lambs Club.

I wondered if she’d be like some of the New Yorkers I know – hardened and sarcastic and full of condescension for those who live in the land of palm trees and P. Diddy.

But she was warm. And open. And fascinating.

We laughed a lot. She said she grew up in Scarsdale, which prompted me to tell that old Joan Rivers joke, “What’s a Jewish woman’s dream house? 14 rooms in Scarsdale, no kitchen, no bedroom.”

And we talked about really deep, personal things, which were only interrupted after two hours by my having to meet my husband – who?? – for a show.

Maybe it’s having an autistic son that made Judith so embracing of somebody as big and dorky as me.

Or maybe she’s just built that way.

Whatever the case, Judith Newman, I think I love you.

And when you’re ready, I’ll see you on Tinder.

Let’s keep this just between us.

2018-06-10T13:53:24+00:00 June 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|

June 2, 2018

I had a book reading/signing in Palm Springs last weekend. The reading portion – always my favorite part of any bookstore appearance – went very well. There were laughs and hearty applause from the 80 or so people in attendance, although they did stop short of tucking twenties into my waistband, probably assuming I’d be offended. (I would not.)

(Several friends took inappropriate delight in photographing this chalkboard MINUS the “Selected Items” line)

“Now I’ll have your voice in my head while I’m reading it,” some declared with delight, indicating how firmly I had established the characters with my layered vocal interpretation.

“Are you gonna be reading the Audible version?” others demanded to know, obviously enthralled by my masterful performance and horrified at the thought of some other, lesser actor essaying the role.

This has led me to seriously rethink the audiobook version of this new book. Clearly, others see in me the same level of talent that I’ve spent years telling them I have. Clearly, they realize that the key to a full appreciation of the “phoenix rising from the ashes” life of Eric Poole is to experience it through the dulcet tones of its author.

My beautiful and incredibly tactful agent informed me that “Audible will be sending you a selection of actors from which to choose.”

“Will that selection include the wildly talented Eric Poole?” I replied.

“Audible has very strict policies about which authors get to perform their own material,” she replied. “I’m sure you’d be fabulous, but are you prepared to risk them walking away from the deal?”

I spent hours pondering my dilemma.

“What’s more important?” I said loudly to my husband, who seems to be under the misguided impression that my inner monologue should remain inner. “Demanding that the world be blessed with my vocal talents? Or ensuring that the audiobook gets made?”

“Are we still talking about this?” he barked. “Get the damn audiobook made. Nobody gives a shit if you’re reading it or not. Half the people who listen to it won’t even know its not you.”

“But my public demands that it be read by moi!” I hollered.

“Your ‘public’ consists of a lot of people who love you and want you to feel validated,” he said. “How many strangers made those comments at the reading?”

“Three,” I replied. “Maybe even four!”

“So, if three randos said you should join Cirque du Soleil, you’d be swinging from a trapeze right now?”

Sigh.

A note to my agent: when it comes to that ‘selection of actors’, they’d better be highlarious. And sound audibly hot.

2018-06-10T11:33:05+00:00 June 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Tom Barnard Show

Tom Barnard Show

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2018-06-02T09:55:51+00:00 June 2nd, 2018|Media|