Ex-Village Voice sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel reports:
Downtown bar Manahatta was where 130 came out to celebrate former ReganBooks editor Bridie Clark‘s debut novel Because She Can. Among the literati at the mediabistro.com party were Clark’s editor Karen Kosztolnyik and Warner publicist Laura Adams, along with staffers from other houses, including Harpercollins, Penguin, Rodale and Simon & Schuster.
While Clark’s former boss Judith Regan‘s scandal still simmers, talk at the party was more about the attendees’ own scary bosses. Kostolnyik admits to having worked for such a tyrant-like superior, while Angela Polidoro, an editorial assistant at Rodale, said, “You realize how great your boss is when you hear about other people’s bosses from hell.” (For the record, her current boss is Leigh Haber, who’s launching a new imprint at Rodale.) Simon Spotlight Entertainment editorial assistant Cara Bedick wouldn’t cop to any evil bosses in publishing, but nodded enthusiastically at Polidoro’s statement.
Kosztolnyik said she was happy with media interest “in any capacity,” citing the roman a clef’s inclusion as one of the “10 books to curl up with” by the Today Show, but downplayed the connection to Regan. “She pulled from her friends’ experiences as well as her own,” said the editor. Of working with Clark, whose book went through several major revisions to beef up the villainous head honcho Viviant Grant, Kosztolnyk enthused, “She was a dream author to work with; she really nailed it at the end.”
Even those outside the publishing industry were eager to read the book. Allison Grant, a hedge fund executive assistant and friend of Clark’s brother-in-law Tom Loverro, said, “Even though it’s about publishing, it relates to every twentysomething woman who wants to succeed in the city.”
While random surfer movies played in the background, Clark signed copies of her novel (whose jacket was originally done in blue, but was changed to red “so it would pop more,” said Kosztolnyik). Clark says her life has remained largely the same since the publication of the book on February 5th (“I haven’t had any stalkers,” she joked), and she couldn’t recall any particularly over-the-top reactions to it. “Most people have said it made them laugh.”