Friday, March 12, 2010

The Great American Book Tour, Week 2

Week two of the Great American Book Tour for my new novel, Walking to Gatlinburg, has been lively.

On my way back to my motel from a wonderful event with Tom Holbrook’s River Run Bookstore, at the Portsmouth (NH) Library, my car stalled. Right on a busy exit ramp of I-95. The next 24 hours included:

1. A hitchhiking and walking excursion through the Sunday-afternoon streets of Portsmouth looking for an automotive repair shop.

2. A ride in a breadtruck with an indignant driver who thought my publisher was making me hitchhike to my events.

3. A falling-out with my muse, who told me to quit complaining, that I should be ready to walk to Gatlinburg myself for more “material,” and that a little hitchhiking now and then was “good for” a 67-year-old author.

4. A morning spent reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the waiting room of a Nissan dealership.

5. A visit to yet another mall bookstore in which I was forbidden, by a 12-year-old bookseller, to sign my own books. (“Look at the author’s photo. That’s me, see? I know book tours will age authors but not in the first week.”)

6. The unencouraging sight of Karl Rove’s new book stacked up to heaven at the front of yet another mall store.

7. Several absolutely wonderful events at independent bookstores around New England, including Joan Grenier’s world-class Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, MA, and Vermont’s fabled Bear Pond Books in Montpelier. The Odyssey, by the way, was founded in the back of the pharmacy owned by Joan’s dad, Romeo, an autodidactic French Canadian immigrant upon whom the Mt. Holyoke College Board of Trustees conferred the title of “the most learned apothecary since John Keats.” Pretty inspiring!

8. During the hitchhiking interlude, after I started counting, 200 plus cars went racing by without stopping. Come to think of it, I might not stop for myself, either.

9. Quote for the week #1: “We never refused nobody a ride on the road nor something to eat if we had it ourselves.”
Ma Joad
The Grapes of Wrath

10. Quote for the week #2: “Them days are gone forever, pal.”
HFM’s Imaginary Companion, Road Bud and Muse, in the Incarnation of a Broken-down Old Nashville Songwriter.

Well, folks, there are worse ways to spend a few months than visiting America’s best independent bookstores. In fact, I can think of few things I like more. On Friday, March 12, I’ll be at Partners Village Books in Westport, MA, at 7 p.m.; Baker Books in Dartmouth, MA, on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.; and the Brown Bookstore, in Providence, RI, at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon (March 13).

On to a joint event with Books on the Common at the Ridgefield, CT, Library on Sunday afternoon, March 14, at 4:00 p.m., and, on Monday, March 15, at 7:00, RJ Julia in Madison, CT.

Next week will find me at 192 Books in NY City at 7:00 on Tuesday, March 16; Chester County Book and Music Company, in W. Chester, PA (near Philadelphia) on Wed., March 17, at 7:00; Richmond (VA) at Fountain Books at 6:30 on Thursday, March 18; and Quail Rodge in Raleigh, NC, on Friday, March 19, at 7:00.

I’ll finish up the week on Saturday, March 20, at 11:00 a.m. at McIntyre’s Books at Fearington Village, NC; Asheville’s (NC) Malaprops at 7:00 on Saturday March 20; and Nashville’s Davis Kidd on Sunday afternoon, March 21, at 4:00.

And that’s just the beginning of “The Great American Book Tour” – which just happens to be the title of my next book, a memoir of my tour, coming soon from Shaye Areheart Books and Random House.

Until next time . . .
Yours in reading,


Suzanne said...

What an amazing week 2! I'm glad you survived your hitchhiking ordeal, because I am looking forward to seeing you at The Ridgefield Library tomorrow. I wonder if you had held out a copy of your book while you were trying to hitchhike if at least a few of those 200 cars that passed you by would have stopped. I'm sure the readers in the group would have at least slowed down to see what book you had! :)

Howard Frank Mosher said...

Great to meet you this afternoon. I'll check out your blog. Thanks.

Thanks for the hitchhiking tip, though I hope I don't have occasion to use it!