21 October 2010

Bainbridge. The sweetest night

Greeting people at the library

It is a great gift to go to a place authors don't often get to go, and to bring Izzy and Maria, and to help give so much pleasure to so many people. Libraries are brave and valuable places these day and they are appreciative and enthusiastic. If Cincinnati and my evening with Rita Mae Brown were among the most memorable evenings of the book tour, my visit to Bainbridge was the sweetest.

People brought cookies and pie and biscuits for us, sold out the books, bought most of the remaining notecards, and thanked me profusely for coming. The thanks go to them. Library manager Donna Fried  (above) did an amazing job of putting the evening together on such short notice. We talked together for nearly three hours and every minute of it was a joy. Izzy greeted almost everyone, and was a bigger hit than me. People are eager to meet Maria. Most of the crowd came off of Facebook and the  blog, many drove from as far away as Pittsburgh.

I like the idea of expanding the book tour to new audiences (we will continue this at the South Hadley, Mass., Public Library next Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Odyssey  Books at 7 p.m.) and of using new technologies like the Ipad and Facebook. Book tours should be a conversation, at least for me, and not a stiff reading of my work. I am debating whether I am fair to Izzy to keep hauling him around to public events, but seeing the swarm of people around him hugging him and taking photos,  realized I have to keep doing it. But to a limited extent. He has become a rock star. People seem excited about the novel, and I love the feedback I am getting. Anyway, I am falling asleep writing this, so I will go to sleep.  Home tomorrow and through this weekend and out again next week.

In (near) Chagrin Falls

Motel Room/Maria

Maria has been sketching whenever she can. I think the tour has been wearing for her, and sketching has kept her in touch with herself as an artist. I am grateful for the help and support she's given me, it would not have been possible to make this trip without her. This afternoon, we arrived in Solon, Ohio, right near Chagrin Fall, and the Bainbridge Library, where we are going tonight. Tomorrow, a long ride home. Then a couple of days to get organized, and out to South Hadley, Mass. Libraries are my favorite places to go.

I love the sketches Maria has been making, her own record of an exhilarating but grueling trek to the middle of the country and back. I am thinking  a lot about whether I should be hauling Izzy around to signings and readings. Tonight might be his last one. I'll write more about that later. Got to get to the library. More about that later, too.

Bob Evans: Home of the Homestyle

Love finding new and curious places. Bob Evans restaurants all
over Ohio. Steak,eggs, biscuits. But good salads and great bean soup.
We've passed Columbus. Have been driving for years. The good people at the library graciously offered to drive us around. Two more hours to go. Or so.

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On I-75, Ohio. Windy

Izzy makes friends, wherever he goes. Checking out in Lexington.

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Book Tour: izzy on I-75, Ohio, towards Columbus

Thinking about whether it's a good idea or not to bring a dog to
readings. Izzy travels well, people love to see I'm, but…
He sure gets photo ops.

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