Well, the mini book tour finally happened last week. I have to admit, it went well. The weather was beautiful this time (not a single snowflake!), and I made excellent time getting to Portland.
The first day of the trip was a lot of shopping by myself and one of my dearest friends. She’s also my editor at Solstice, so we could talk about books with a level of understanding that only an editor and author can. When we were leaving one of our last stops, we saw a new bookstore in that area. Stopped in. Me being who I am, I said something in passing to my friend (and in earshot of the manager, who was on duty) about being an author. She heard, came over and started chatting me up. Cards were exchanged, books were shown off (I had some print copies in the van), and there may be books in that store and/or a signing in the near future.
Day two was all about doing some long overdue SCA arts and sciences project training (my editor is also one of the Laurels I’m apprenticed to), and then appearances. I met up with one reader, she bought two books from me, and we chatted for a good hour. I love connecting with readers like that! It’s more than just getting my ego stroked about how much they love my writing…it’s about hearing what didn’t work for them or helping them move forward in their own writing.
From there, I went to the prison. That was an experience! I won’t go into details here. I don’t need officials from the Dept. of Corrections contacting me about being overly explicit. But there’s a lot of things I saw that few do, and those will be wonderful to draw upon in my writing.
The women in the book club itself were diverse, vocal in what they did and didn’t like, and very friendly. The questions they asked were in depth and insightful. They liked ‘Mark of the Successor’ quite a bit. One even kept asking about a sequel. No guarantees, but I won’t rule it out. LOL
We had a very relaxed visit. Laughed a LOT. And, I think, a few of them took some of what I said to heart.
The one thing I will say bothered me, towards the end, was the sound of the doors. Corridors were long, empty, and tall, making it so the sound didn’t just echo; it reverberated throughout my soul. There was a rhythm to them. One noise to request it to be opened, another when the locking mechanism began to work, etc. Of all the things I saw and heard, that one sound would affect me the most. There was no mistaking it was connected with something that kept you locked up and inside.
The last day of the trip had me at the mecca for book lovers in the Pacific Northwest – Powell’s Books. Always go to the main store. One reason I wanted to go there was that I’d emailed them several months back about doing a signing and had not received a reply. Met a wonderful gentleman who helped with that, plus went searching the shelves for my titles. They have them listed on the website, but not in the stores itself. That was probably fine for this trip. My companions would’ve had to pick me up off the floor had one been out for purchase! LOL! He also pointed out a pillar in the fantasy/sci-fi room that was covered on all sides with a very durable paneling. They have a post where they’ve had authors who visited the shop sign their names. Had construction (they’re remodeling) been complete, the cover would’ve been removed and he would’ve had me sign it.
So, I may be heading back to Portland later this year for up to two signing events at different stores. I call that a good trip!