06/18/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT
No beaches or mountain lakes for Associate Editor Andrea Chambers this past Memorial Day weekend. She was hard at work in Washington, D.C. at the annual American Booksellers Association convention, checking out new books and authors who might make future stories.
Best-seller excerpts have been a long-established bonus in PEOPLE. In the past four years Chambers has made selections from books by Lana Wood (Natalie, A Memoir by Her Sister), Arianna Stassinopoulos (Maria Callas), two blockbusters by James Michener (Space and The Covenant) and Rosalynn Carter's First Lady From Plains.
While rubbing shoulders at the ABA convention with the likes of Raquel Welch, Norman Mailer and Mr. T, Chambers also spotted a surprise best-seller, Grandmother Remembers, a kind of do-it-yourself book for grannies, and decided it merited a story (page 60).
Chambers also bumped into Rosalynn Carter. In March Andrea had journeyed to Plains, Ga. to work with her on a profile and a two-part excerpt of her autobiography. "I never knew so many people read PEOPLE," the former First Lady exclaimed in Washington, remarking on the response to the magazine's selection.
While Chambers was at the Carter home in Plains, the former President decided to go jogging. Rosalynn had a bad knee, so Chambers took up the challenge. Off they went, running along back roads. "We ran three and a half miles," says Andrea, commenting on Carter's brisk pace, "but it felt like four." Their destination was the home of Rosalynn's mother, Miz Allie, where Rosalynn was waiting to join Jimmy for a dinner of collard greens, cracklin' bread and spare-ribs. The fare was as unpretentious as their style of living. "The Carters don't even own a car," observes Chambers. "The Secret Service drives them everywhere."
Chambers, the wife of a child psychiatrist, lives in Manhattan, where she also functions as our resident theater expert, attending three or four performances a week in peak season. What does she do in her spare time? You guessed it—she writes. Recently, when she could spare a weekend, she was off promoting her new book, Dream Resorts (Clarkson N. Potter, $21.95), a glossy, coffee-table chronicle of 25 American resorts Chambers has visited. A very busy lady!