Finishing My Book Tour: Atlanta, Charlotte, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia
I have not meant to neglect my blog. For many months – since I last posted this winter – I have thought of it every day.
But I have been traveling hither and yon, first for the remainder of my book tour, then for myriad speaking engagements. Between Feb. 10 and May 25, I will have done forty events in twenty-one states. I have simply lacked the time to blog.
So here’s a lightning-quick summary of the second half of my book tour. In a week or so (I hope), I’ll do the same with the talks that have kept me away throughout the spring.
For now, though, cast your mind back to February. Two blogs ago, you read about my book tour adventures in Austin. (These included a phone interview with Gary Soulsman, a reporter at the News Journal back home in Delaware. You can read a pdf of his article by clicking on this link.)
Then, in the last blog, you learned soon after I arrived in Coral Gables, Florida, I discovered I’d left the power cord for my laptop in Austin. The hotel in Austin told me they’d Fed Ex the cord to my hotel in Atlanta. By the time it arrived, I’d already fallen behind in my blog.
I’m only catching up with it now.
I stayed that night – and the next – in Atlanta. (It was nice to settle into a hotel! Fortunately, it was a very comfortable, high-end hotel, so my accommodations were luxurious. Also fortunately, the power cord for my laptop arrived, just as promised.)
I’d thought I’d have time to rest, but as in the other cities, my media escort, Gail, took me around to other bookstores for stock signings. By this time, I was getting to be an expert in remembering everyone’s name, so I could send thank you notes later on. I’ve forgotten them all by now, but I had a nice list going while I was on the tour.
The next day actually began with a TV interview.
I was sad to wrap up in Atlanta. Both events were great fun, and I had such a wonderful time with Gail. But the show must go on.
So the next day, I was in the Atlanta airport by 6 AM. Of course I signed all the stock I could find in the airport – and hand-sold my book to several travelers who asked what I was doing. Everyone was so excited to meet a real author, and I was so excited to meet even more readers!
Then I flew to Charlotte, NC, arriving early in the day.
The next morning I was up early yet again, for an 8 AM flight to Providence, RI. I didn’t have any events in RI, but that was the closest airport to the two stores where I had events that day, both in CT. I was a little worried when my flight left Charlotte, since there was snow up in New England.
But my friend Donna, who lives in RI, offered to meet me at the airport and drive me to my first store. And as it turned out, the snow wasn’t bad. So we got in a nice long conversation as she shuttled me to Mystic, CT, for a luncheon event at Bank Square Books.
My media escorts, an older married couple who cover the entire New England area, then drove me through the snowy back roads to Madison, CT, where I had an evening event at RJ Julia.
I was expecting to be tired by then, but I’d kept my diet to fruit and tea through the day. So by the time I got to Madison, I was feeling ready to face the next crowd.
I spent that night in New Haven, CT, and the next morning I got in a nice long walk around the Yale campus before catching my train home.
I was exhausted when Hal met me at the train station in Wilmington, and would have been happy to have retreated into solitude for the rest of the winter.
But I still had two more book tour stops to go.
Four days later, I spoke at Theatre N in Wilmington, DE. The event was sponsored by the Delaware Humanities Forum, with books sold by Ninth Street Bookshop. Neighbors and friends attended, as did many readers I’d never met before. I don’t have photos of this evening, but it was very satisfying for all.
Three days after that, Hal and I drove to One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. There, before a full audience that included a friend from junior high, former students, and my workout partner from my twenties, I did a unique event: a double-bill with Jennifer Mendenhall, the narrator of the audio book of The Story of Beautiful Girl, which she recorded under her audio book stage name of Kate Reading. First, I discussed the book, and then Jennifer read from two sections. By the time she was done, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including Hal’s and mine.
Hal and I drove home that night, tired but very happy. I had five more days with him and then I was back on the road, for talks in Ohio (twice), Indiana (twice), Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Toronto, California, and Minnesota.
But I’ll all that for another time.