So yes, I’m back – and last night I slept almost eleven hours, only to arise this morning to yet more work that needed to be done. But never mind that! It’s blogging time.
When it comes to the tour recap, I suppose the most logical thing to do is handle this in highlights – even if they feel a little disjointed and/or incomplete. So much has happened that I’m bound to leave a few things out by accident or design; and a full, dry retelling would probably bore the crap out of everyone. So I’ll restrain myself, and try to keep this relatively brief. Yet crunchy.
And here we go.
- For the first leg of my trip, I went back to Tennessee – to Memphis, where I stayed with my friend Spider. She and I were joined by Denny, who did a most excellent write-up of our adventures here. Click that link. There are pictures.
On Saturday, I did a chat/signing at The Booksellers at Laurelwood. The crowd was happy and I was happy and I signed everything everyone wanted; and I rambled at length about whatever the nice people asked me to ramble about. There wasn’t much stock to sign afterward, as we’d mostly sold through what was on hand. Nice problem to have!
Afterward, me and Spider and Denny got silly. We wined, we dined. We met Spider’s friends and parents; we bopped up and down Beale Street (in accordance with tourist law), saw a thousand and one pictures of Elvis but did not visit Graceland, checked out the Peabody ducks, and ate ourselves silly all over the city (special hat-tip to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken). Denny had to leave us on Sunday night, but on Monday Spider and I continued our nomming adventures at Corky’s BBQ, and generally hung about being lazy, watching TV, and drinking rum. Then, on Tuesday morning, I flew out for St. Louis.
In St. Louis, my publicist was kind enough to put me up at the restored Union Station – which has been converted to a hotel. Yes, I am aware that parts of Escape from New York were once filmed inside it, such was its state of pre-restoration squalor; but it’s a real gem now, and the food at the hotel’s restaurant was outstanding. (As those of you who travel regularly are all too aware, this is not always the case.)
I arrived for my event at Left Bank Books early (partly by mistake, long story), so I went across the street to a neat little restaurant called “Duff’s” and got myself a light supper. Then I jaunted over to the bookstore, where I met the marvelous Mark Tiedemann – fellow Donald Maass Agency client, and all-around nice guy. I also met “Spike,” the bookstore cat. Spike looks rather comically like a taller, leaner version of Spainy … and he sat on the front row for much of my talk, which totally cracked me up.
After all the nice people had gotten their stuff signed (including the nice store staff, and their stock), Mark was kind enough to give me a lift back to the Station – where I might have hypothetically wandered around for awhile in my pajamas, just checking the place out. Then, the next morning, it was off to Denver.
I don’t have any pictures from Denver, which is a shame because once more, I was among (old rather than new) friends. David Boop [be advised: site has sound] nabbed me from my hotel and whisked me off to supper with himself and Mario Acevedo – who you may recall from the Paranormal Bender Tour of a couple of years ago. We had a most excellent supper, then grabbed coffee, and then swung by the Broadway Book Mall.
The crowd was great, the store was smashing; and as a bonus thrill, Ed Bryant – fellow Wild Cards writer – came out for the show. When he introduced himself, I was utterly tickled! He was excessively charming, and I was delighted and dorked-out to make his acquaintance.
But all good things must come to an end, so when all the books were signed and all the giggles were had, David gave me and Mario both a lift back to our respective spots. And then, the next morning, it was off to Boise …
I also have no pictures from Boise, which is likewise a shame. But by this point in the trip, I’d been on the road for a week and my brain cells were scattering. Alas.
Anyway, Boise was a delight! I was picked up from the airport by Bruce Delaney of Rediscovered Books – and driven out to Timberline High School where I chatted with some of the students/teachers/librarians for a bit. Then it was back to the hotel for a quick breather. (Though like all my breathers, I spent it doing day-job work. Que sera.)
When the appropriate time had arrived, Bruce picked me up and took me back to the bookstore, where things were picking up! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there’s nothing a visiting author likes to hear more than, “Oh my, we’re going to need more chairs.” The crowd was hopping, and I met many fine folks from the local SFF scene. Many books were signed, much socializing occurred, and then Bruce delivered me back to my hotel.
[A note about Boise in general, if you Idahoans don't mind: This was the most laid-back, friendly, easy-going city I've ever visited outside of Canada. What a nice bunch of folks! Not that the other people on the other legs of my trip weren't lovely as well ... it just seemed like Boise has a pervasive regional zeitgeist of leisurely helpfulness.]
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see me; these tours wouldn’t happen without you readers coming out to show your support. Likewise, a big round of thanks to everyone else who helped create the event – the bookstore owners, operators, and staff members who kept me in pens, water bottles, and books all week; and also to Aisha Cloud at Tor – who did all the booking, and has now been on the receiving end of a small tsunami of receipts.
This was a most excellent week, and I’m immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to see more of the world and shake hands with more of you book-buying, book-selling, author-helping superheroes. You all rock.