A Book Tour Day
5:30 – Alarm goes off. I check my email in bed. There’s not enough time to get down to the gym, which is why I hit it last night before I went to bed. The hotel room is too nice for how many conscious minutes I spent in it. I eat the apple that I grabbed from the gym and take my vitamins. Greek yogurt is ordered from room service. They ask three times if that’s really all I want. I do some situps and pushups before I shower, mostly to get the blood pumping. My fourth city in four days. Eight more to go. Each book event has surpassed my expectations, and I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, to show up and find four people sitting in the audience. I feel very fortunate thus far.
6:45 – Meet the car outside. I’m in a t-shirt and jeans. Everyone else throughout the hotel is in business suits. I feel completely out of place. A black car is waiting on me. They keep the passenger seat folded forward, but there’s already a pile of legroom in these things. Bottles of water and snacks if I want them. I resist. We hit traffic, which is good. I can’t get to the airport too early. I’m live on Colorado Springs radio at 7:30.
7:30 – We stop at a hotel before the airport and shut off the car since I’ll be live. The radio host is named Tron. I’m dying to point out how perfect this is. We chat for 10 or 15 minutes. When it goes back to commercial, the driver takes me to the airport.
8:00 – My flight boards at 8:25. Enough time to hit two bookstores. The one on concourse B has 16 copies in three different places! It’s on their bestseller list at #19. I sign them all and sell one to a customer. On concourse C, I find another 6 copies and sign these. I get to the gate at 8:30, and they’re already boarding. For someone who likes to get to the gate two hours before the flight leaves, this is a jarring and stressful experience. Can’t wait to get in my seat and get some writing done.
(Left out of this account, somehow, is the interview questions I answered while eating my yogurt, pressing my t-shirt, which was crushed, chatting with my wife for fifteen minutes while she was driving to work, checking in with my dad, whom I’ll see in Denver, responding to FB messages, and checking comments on my website. It’s now 8:40, local time. Once again, I’m going to be the last person on the plane by design, which gives me time on my tethered phone to catch up with stuff like this. Finding room in the overhead bin for the bag I’m living out of for 17 days will probably be a challenge. See you in Denver).
9:00 – We’re not going to make our departure. The plane was overfilled with fuel, and we’ll be too heavy when we land. It takes an hour and a half to get the fuel truck over, only 10 minutes to unload the fuel. Maddening. I’m going to miss my livestream chat with the Wall Street Journal.
10:35 – Finally take off.
11:55 – Land. I snuck up to the front of the plane as we descended and bolt for the door, tear through the airport. Looking for a quiet place. My laptop is out and tethered to my phone. I see a charging station (laptop is low on juice), get plugged in and hooked up to Denver International WiFi. By the time I find the email and click on the link to the chat, the countdown to going live is at 42 seconds. It’s like a damn movie. I have an urge to whip out my camera and videotape the timing of it all, but I’m digging out headphones and talking to my author escort on my cell. We go on at noon.
12:42 – Should have been in my hotel for this, freshened up and on a good internet connection. As it was, I couldn’t hear the questions, relied on the WSJ staff to private message them to me and then just talk and hope I wasn’t stepping on people. We had 160 or so viewers. CJ Lyons was great. So cool to see her in person. She’s been tearing it up. And then Darcie Chan made an appearance, the rockstar that she is. I hope we can do it again and that the stream is smoother.
1:00 – Stop by Hudsons in the airport to look for stock to sign. They have Wool face out on the wall. I introduce myself. The man behind the counter flips open a plastic bin of books he’s checking in. There are THIRTY COPIES of Wool inside. Lisa slaps “Signed by the Author” stickers on the covers as I sign them. I scour the bookstore and find Wool in two other places, sign these as well. We head to the main concourse where another location has six copies to sign. And then it’s in her car and off to the hotel (I’m typing this from the front seat with my Mac on my lap).
2:00 – Met up with my father, who lives a few hours away. Feels good to be around family. We check into the hotel, I unpack, and then we head over to The Tattered Cover downtown to sign stock. There isn’t a copy of WOOL anywhere. Turns out they sent them over to the event location on Colfax. My agent’s office isn’t far away, so we head over there to visit and so my father and stepmom can meet the agency staff. Two of their dogs come to work, which makes me miss Bella something fierce.
4:15 – Back at the hotel, I get 30 minutes to lay down and close my eyes. I feel guilty doing this and leaving my dad to surf his computer, but I can feel the wall I’m running up against. And the reason I’m here hasn’t even started. This is a different sort of day, not quite as busy. There has been more running around on other day and media duties.
5:00 – Dinner with Kristin Nelson Literary Agency and family. I meet Delores in person for the first time. Delores is the reason Kristin got in touch with me. She told her daughter about WOOL back before WOOL 5 was out. Angie then read the books and raved to Kristin. Kristin finally caved. I post a picture of us together on Facebook and someone replies that this is how another book was discovered. They refer to it in the post as “The Delores Effect.” I show this to Delores and she blushes. So glad they sat us next to one another.
7:00 – The event. We get to The Tattered Cover early. I photobomb someone taking their wife’s picture beside a huge WOOL display. The husband wonders who is being so rude as to stand back there where he’s aiming the camera. Walking around and shaking hands is my favorite part of these events. Downstairs, I find that they’ve laid out a sea of chairs. People keep filing in. They break out more chairs.
7:30 – I give a talk.
7:45 – My father gets up in the middle of my talk and gives a talk.
7:50 – I give some more talk.
8:30 – The line to have books signed snakes away from my table, across the hall, and up the stairs. It looks like a George R.R. Martin line, only full of better looking people. I sign for half an hour, pose for some pictures, and admire the handful of print-on-demand books people have. The Tattered Cover presents me with a metal bookmark with my name engraved on it. They inform me that we had 130 people at the event. I’m blown away. There are two boxes of books I’ve had them set aside so I can purchase them and have them donated to schools and libraries. The release party is starting up two blocks away.
9:00 – Release party. I have half a beer and make the rounds, always feeling guilty that I’m not spending enough time with everyone. The food is amazing. Everyone seems to have a great time.
11:00 – Back to the hotel. Kristin and her husband drop me off. I catch up on email until 11:45 before passing out.
5:00 – My alarm goes off.