Well, the book tour is all finished except for the plane ride home tomorrow. The second leg of the tour has been just as much fun as the first half.
Tonight I was warmly welcomed by Morgan at Next Chapter Bookstore. Ann had built a great display, complete with dragon finger puppets, and I had a wonderful audience waiting for me. It was a very nice way to end this book tour.
A number of author escorts helped me on this book tour. There were some stores that I drove to myself, of course, but when I’m in an unfamiliar state, I’m always happy to rely on a knowledgeable escort.
Some of the escorts are old friends. I think Larry Lewis has been my escort every time I’ve arrived in San Diego. He always has good tips on where to eat and things to go see in my down time. And of course, he always gets me where I have to be on time.
Delores and Martha were my guides for San Francisco. They’ve been doing this a long time and are very well organized. Even when we had the location wrong, they still got me to the bookstore on time. That’s pretty amazing.
Isabel got me safely to Uncle Hugos, and made sure I made my lunch date with readers from my newsgroup. And Jennie and Amanda teamed up to get me to all my Wisconsin meetings.
A good author escort can make all the difference to a book tour. They do all sorts of behind the scenes tasks. They get to the airport on time despite highway construction. They find cold water and hot coffee, rest rooms and short cuts past traffic. They ‘flap’ books so they are ready to sign and they pass out post-its so the writer spells each name correctly. They jolly along cranky writers (that is never me, of course!) And they point out scenic places, recommend museums or good places for a walk, and help the writer enjoy all the special amenities of an area. Such as frozen custard.
In the bookstores, there are the people who have done all the ground work. Displays are built, podiums set up, microphones tested, ranks of folding chairs set up. Sometimes there are cookies or welcoming cats. Water is offered, coffee is brought. Everything is done to make the guest author comfortable and happy. Even before all that starts, the work starts, with publicity and flyers, books ordered, word of mouth and event space cleared of book displays. It’s a lot of work for bookstores to invite a writer to come in and read and sign. Often it’s done on a Sunday or as an extra, staying open late to accommodate a long reading or an extra busy signing.
So, I think a thank you is due to all of these people who really help me to be ready to read and sign and smile at people. You make these tours a lot of fun. Thanks so much. None of it would happen without you.