Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Cool Dude Writer Goes To G'day USA

G'day USA is one of the highest profile international promotional events in America. Hosted in eight cities by the Australian Government, G'day USA endeavors to strengthen bilateral collaboration between the two countries and promote new business opportunities.

G'day USA Black Tie Gala

The prestigious black tie gala in Hollywood is the glamorous centerpiece of the fourteen-day event, which honors the contributions of Australians in their respective fields. Previous honorees include Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrmann, Anthony LaPaglia, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton John, Hugh Jackman, INXS, Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue, Phillip Noyce, Eric Bana, Rachel Griffiths, Rod Laver, Simon Baker, Toni Collette, and Greg Norman.

Fashion is a big part of the G'day USA black tie gala. Actors, producers, directors, supermodels, rock stars, athletes -- they all scrub up and dress up and strut the red carpet lookin' good. Without airbrushing, too. Cool Dude Writers, of course, have the same highly-developed sense of fashion. I tell my wife that all the time although, as some of you may remember, we Cool Dude Writers sometimes get caught off guard.

The occasion was an interview that had been scheduled early one morning in connection with my previous thriller, The Identity Factor. And I do mean early -- 12:05am Adelaide time, which was 7:35am in Los Angeles. In my defense, I did not know the interview had been scheduled. It was a breakfast radio talk show for the captive audience on the LA freeways. A publicist in Los Angeles had arranged things with 1590 KKZZ but neglected to confirm it with me. Surprise. Surprise.

Dark-thirty. The phone rings. I bolt out of bed wondering what's wrong (as we often think when the phone rings in the middle of the night). A cheery voice greets me: "One moment, please, for the Maria Sanchez show."

So there I am, shivering, in the dark, in the winter, in a brick cottage in Adelaide without central heat, with not a stitch of clothing on, conducting an interview on an abrasive rattan chair. An abrasive cold rattan chair. "How did you end up in Australia?" asked Maria. "What kinds of things did you smuggle behind the old Iron Curtain? How did you do all that amazing research for your book?"

Cool Dude Writer James Houston Turner goes to G'day USA in Los AngelesWas I coherent? Did Maria Sanchez wonder, "who is this clown with the chattering teeth?" I have no idea. Maria was one of those easy-to-talk-to radio hosts who makes you feel like you're having a friendly chat over coffee. My wife heard me answering questions and thought: do I help him out here? With a chuckle, she got up and brought me her fluffy pink bath robe. "Here you are, Mr.Cool Dude Writer," she whispered before going back to bed.

So you can bet your bottom dollar I won't be getting caught off guard at G'day USA. No way! I'm going to scrub up, dress up, and show everybody how I've got this black tie tuxedo fashion thing licked.

Let's see, do I wear the Converse or the Cowboy boots???