13 October 2010

Great night at Borders, Bailey’s Crossroads, Va.

Rita Mae Brown and I rocked at Borders

Rita Mae Brown and I rocked the house at Border's Wednesday night at Bailey's Crossing, Va. Rita Mae is an amazing speaker, funny, smart and provocative. We drew more than 150 people and were signing books for a long time and really sparked off of on another. She is intelligent on many fronts, from dogs to  fox hunting to the classics to George Washington. It was great doing a signing with her, lots fun. The questions were also great – we talked about animals and spirituality, the impact animals had on our lives and so many good questions about Rose and the novel.

Earlier in the day Maria and I went to the United States Holocaust Museum. A powerful couple of hours. Thursday, back home on the train. Friday night, 7 p.m., talk and signing at the Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, N.Y., courtesy of Red Fox Books. Then Saturday, reading and signing and talk at the Halfmoon Library in Clifton Park, NY., 2 p.m. Then off to Ohio, Book Loft, Sunday 2 p.m., Columbus.

Meeting Rita Mae Brown, Inside a book tour

Meeting Rita Mae Brown at NPR

Met Rita Mae Brown at WAMC in Washington today, we both shared different segments of a show on animals.  We are meeting again tonight at Border's, Bailey's Crossroads, Va., at 7:30  p.m. Prepping time. Reading her book going over "Rose" jotting down some notes in the Ipad about the themes of the book, an the process of writing about it. Taking a short nap, resting my weakening voice.

Frieda's tick is off, I am told. Many more are around.

Tomorrow, heading home on the train. Then we pick it up again on Sunday. Getting a sense of the themes in the book. Had a wonderful hour long interview on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation network. You rarely get that much time  in the U.S. to talk about a book with somebody who read it. Very nice. We talked about how dogs think, and how a dog like Rose might evolve over time, the thread of the novel.

Got an hour to relax, getting picked up to go to Va.

Inside the book tour: Preparation (and ticks)

preparation, and more preparation

Just got off the phone with Tracy Trudell, who reports Frieda has a large tick on her cheek. She's going to try and get it off (not an easy thing), so real life intrudes, even on a book tour. Book tours are different from the inside than out. You spend a lot of time in hotels (the view is from mine) as one needs rest for body and voice. I will do at least 40 public talks on this book tour and each one is challenging in its own way.

Then there are the interviews. The odd thing about a book is that you have to get your head back into the current book. I've written two books since "Rose" and I have to re-focus on it so that I can talk about it. I also prep very intensely for public events, even though it may not seem that way. I give different talks every time, as many people are repeaters and I also want to keep my head fresh, and not feel stale. So there is a lot of waiting around, like any performer. I also want to read up on Rita Mae Brown so that when I meet her, I will know something about her and work.  I never get up in front of a group without preparing. I think about questions, re-read the book, get my head back, save my voice. I get used to hotel rooms, which I don't like. I have the camera and Ipad ready. The media escort, Craig, who will drive me and Maria around today to interviews and the signings, is down in the lobby, so I'm off. I will call Tracy and check on Frieda's tick. Maria is sketching like mad. Washington is beautiful, strange.

Inside the book tour, Wednesday

Me blogging, by Maria

Sketch is of me, by Maria.

Maria and I went out to dinner last night, met a dear old friend and we sat up late catching up. Meant a lot to me. We walked by the Chilean embassy and joined the all-night party they were throwing on the street to celebrate the rescued miners. Stopped into a couple of bookstores to look in on "Rose" but they were sold out. Good thing, I guess. Washington looks pretty to me, and thriving. Iphones, cell phones, laptops everywhere.

The best thing about book tour is room service. Had a nice room service breakfast. Getting picked up at 1 0 a.m. to go meet Rita Mae Brown and then do a radio interview, then spend an hour with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about "Rose" and the way dogs think. More interviews, then off to Virginia for the signing with Rita Mae Brown. Then tomorrow home then Friday, the Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, N.Y., 7 p.m. Saturday, Clifton Park (the Halfmoon Library, 2 p.m.) Then we take Izzy and head for Ohio and Kentucky. Sunday, 3 p.m. Book Loft, Columbus, Ohio, German Village. Need Excedrin, throat lozenges and bandaids for blisters on my feet. Can't wait to get some fresh photos of the tour today. Will post where and when I can, using the Ipad or the laptop.