26 October 2010

The Hadley Experiment. Successful

Being introduced at Odyssey

The Odyssey experiment was very successful. I had a full house at the S. Hadley Library and then again at Odyssey. I'd say about 60-70 altogether, pretty good for a small town, and I sold a lot of books. I think libraries are a vital and underutilized venue for writers. Libraries are eager to host events and they drawn intensely focused lovers of books. My blog and Facebook were integral in turning people out and many bought hardcover books of "Rose In A Storm" for themselves and their relatives. Chrysler, who works in the bookstore, asked me about the "still" and different nature of the writing in "Rose." She wondered if I was channeling Rose in some way. Good question. I said yes, I probably was, but more likely channeling Maria.

I liked the one-two punch idea, and the library was quite vital, as much as the bookstore. Libraries are informal and viscerally interactive. We closed the place down. Tired, off to sleep. Back to the farm Wed and then back to Massachusetts on Thursday, for Framingham Barnes & Noble, 7 p.m. Big advance orders for "Meeet The Dogs of Bedlam Farm," my first children's books, out in April. It's up on Amazon.com and BN.com.

On the Book Tour

Eating is important. Eat light. Nothing messy or smelly. And eat fast,
In between things. Before the reading, shumai and soup, chines Reataurant, Hadley, Mass.

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New: “Rolling Rose” library tour

Plotting a library tour

I've so loved the guerrilla library talks on the book tour that I've decided to do an all-library tour for "Rose" to help out libraries and also talk about my work. Can't imagine a better tour, or better timing, since previous libraries are battling for their lives. I'd like to do it in December, or if that collides with Xmas, then in January. I've gotten tons of invitations, so I have to figure out where I can go. I'll have to to this one myself, as publishers don't do two tours. When this one is done, I'll figure it out. It feels right.

Loving libraries. South Hadley, Mass.

A conversation at the S. Hadley Library

October 26, 2010  – Library Director Joe Rodio introduces me to a great crowd of book lovers and readers at the South Hadley Library.

Some of the best events of the book tour have been at libraries, no better place on earth for writers to go to find focused crowds of readers and book buyers. Libraries are jammed with people all over the country even though their budgets have been slashed everywhere. Libraries are where stories live. I had a great time with people from Western Mass. who came to the library for a 3 p.m. Library questions are amazing, and these were penetrating. Lots of focus on how I wrote "Rose In A Storm," and why and also questions about new directions in writing, publishing, technology and story-telling.

It was precisely the sort of conversation I have wanted to have on the book tour, and this was the fourth library, and every one of these encounters was far beyond my expectations, and very satisfying. Many of the people at the library are coming to Odyssey Books tonight where I am signing and talking at 7 p.m. The two events are synergistic, I think, one promoting and advancing the other. I learn so much every time I do this and since publishers are working so hard to fine venues for writers where people will come, I'm mystified that more writers are not scheduled into libraries. I'm surely going to argue that they be a bigger part of my tour. The audiences are appreciative, intelligent, very interested. I'm grateful to Joe and the library for having me there, and am eager to go back.

I'm thinking of organizing my own library book tour, both to support embattled libraries and to promote my work – no better place. I'm mindful of the Providence librarian who gave me refuge, took me aside and told me she expected to see my books on her shelves one day. That was the day – I swelled up like a balloon – that I decided to be a writer. We can't lose these places or these people.

Got to rest my voice. Maria supplies me with tea, and I am moved at how eager people are to meet her. And how gracious she is. The best move I ever made in life was offering her the use of that barn. Going to rest up for tonight, check my e-mail. Prepare for the talk at 7. And eat.

Hadley/ 1795 House

Checking in. Going out for lunch. Looking for the Library. Warm,70 degrees.


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