18 October 2010

Big night in Dayton, Books and Co.

Great conversation in Dayton

Dayton, Ohio – Super charged evening at Books and Co. in Dayton. Full house, have sold more than $500 worth of notecards. Izzy was a bit sore but returning to his old self and the evening was warm and the questions were sharp and strong and clarifying. I am often asked if I will write about dogs grieving for other dogs and people. No, not for me or my grieving book. It's about people.

There is enormous interest in the grieving book and that will be a fun tour, I suspect. I was also asked if I would write a book about all of the dogs in America needing rescue. No, I said, I think not. Great interest in Rose and the novel, and the reader reviews on Amazon and elsewhere – increasingly important in publishing, I believe – have been wonderful. Tomorrow morning, we get up early and head for Cinncinnati. Interviews all day and the an appearance at Joseph Beth Booksellers for a reading and signing and talk. Then Wednesday to Versailles Kentucky for a 2 p.m. talk at the Woodford Library, and at 7 p.m., Joseph Beth in Lexington. Thursday to the Bainbridge Library – 7 p.m. – for talk and signing. Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

I can see that people want to meet Maria and Izzy of course. Izzy looks tired to me and I am taking it easy with him. He slept a lot during the talk. That could just be me ): I love to meet some of the people – Barbara Mann was one – who have been sending me lovely e-mails for years. Great to put a face on them.

Prepping for a book talk

The hotel

Dayton, Ohio – Maria and Izzy and I take an afternoon walk.

Hotels are disconnected worlds to me, especially in areas that are struggling economically. Dayton has a lot of wealth, but also a lot of loss. I have a routine before book tour talks and signings, a way of prepping. I meditate for a few minutes, gather myself, clear my head of things.

I think of one or two things I want to say, of things I missed the night before. I raise different issues, wonder if I should read from my novel tonight – I don't like to read from my books, I like the conversations that begin with Q and A's. Bookstores like readings to be shortish so people will buy books. I would talk all night if they let me, and answer questions, but they don't let me. Kathy, the very competent escort will come by a 5:45 to collect us. Izzy is tired and I will be careful with him, but I don't want that to be a distraction. I want to focus on the talk.

My book events are much longer than they used to be. More people, more books, more signings. They are more tiring, also very rewarding. I remember when a dozen people would have been a good number for me at a reading. I'll make some notes about the talk and put them in the Ipad so I can refer to them. Want to talk about the novel, about the mind of a dog, about women and dogs, and about animal grieving. The talks are different, this tour is different.Much more intense. I'm very pleased that the South Hadley Public Library in Massachusetts has agreed to let me talk there – it may be filmed for local TV – on October 26. Part of the new kind of book tour idea. I love libraries and librarians and am always happy to go speak at libraries. Thursday this week I will be speaking at the Bainbridge Library in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 7 p.m.Time to read a bit from"Rose In A Storm," to get ready.

Frary’s Restaurant. Somewhere in Ohio

Somewhere in Ohio

Frary's Restaurant, somewhere in Northeastern Ohio. You see the recession clearly here, from abandone auto plants to closed malls.

Book tour: Me, Izzy, disconnected worlds

Izzy and the robot cameras

Dayton, Ohio – I used to work in television news and well remember the special community of anchors, techs, producers and camera people who gave the studios a festive and particular air. Studios now are eerily barren and remote, many of the jobs lost to robot cameras and computerized control rooms. Anchors sit in quiet electronic hives, dark and disconnected. Izzy and I came in for the noon interview at WDTN-TV promoting my talk tonight at Books & Co. in Dayton.

The anchor, Marsha, was intelligent, thoughtful. She had just been given the book that morning and had no chance to read it and we talked between segments. Many of her colleagues had been let go by the robot cameras who slid back and forth silently. We are becoming a series of disconnected worlds, good jobs lost to save a few dollars here and there to keep stockholders happer. There is no end to the human cuts that can be made in the Corporate Nation, not that any politician will ever talk about it.

Book tours sometimes feel like a journey through disconnected worlds – TV studios, hotels, chain restaurants- punctuated by close encounters with readers and book lovers at bookstores.

Izzy, who loves to greet people, went off by himself and lay down. This egregiously social dog reflected the eerie character of the robot floor.


Good news. Local TV producer Joe Rodio has found a place for me to go to talk to readers and book lovers on the guerrilla book tour on October 26: the South Hadley Public Library. Part of my joint effort with Random House to find new ways of using a book tour to connect with readers Details to come.

Help family farms

We are binging family farm notecards on the book tour. Selling a lot.
Single cards are $5. Five packs are &15. Help out family farms.

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