No, as a matter of fact, I didn't go to Bouchercon but oddly, I will be in Long Beach, CA in a few weeks (read on) and visiting some friends I haven't seen in far too long. I did miss seeing dozens of people I'd have loved to see at the biggest mystery gathering on the planet, but there were other plans being planned and this trip couldn't be made financially reasonable. Hopefully next year on the East Coast, where I can theoretically drive.
Now on to business: I don't feel like a grizzled veteran just yet, but I realized recently that I've been involved with book publishing (as an author) for about 15 years now, given that's when I started writing my first novel, FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS. And that sort of made me stop and think for a moment.
It's been a weird ride, a really enjoyable one, and I don't feel like we've even gotten far from the station yet, so there's plenty to go. And along the way I've met some people who will be friends for the rest of my life, I've heard from wonderful readers, I've been reviewed well and hilariously and I've been interviewed on radio and television, not to mention online.
But one thing I've never done has been a "book tour."
As you saw last week, the advantages (or dis-) of an author traveling from city to city and meeting with booksellers and readers (hopefully) can be a topic for debate. But I've never done one because publishers will generally not pay for an author to do so unless the author is a bestseller and can therefore afford to pay for it themselves. Keep in mind that the person who coined the phrase "Catch-22" was an author.
Still, I've always wanted to meet some of the booksellers I've contacted over the years and seen some of the stores other authors have told me about. So with the publication of INSPECTOR SPECTER a hair over two weeks away, I've decided that now is the time to hit the road.
But since I'm not a bestseller--at least not to that degree--I'm going on a short tour. There's only so much goodwill some authors can afford.
INSPECTOR SPECTER, the sixth Haunted Guesthouse mystery, will be published on Tuesday December 2. I have a class to teach on Thursday, December 4, so the "tour" will begin on Monday, December 8. And here's how it'll go:
Monday, December 8: Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor, MI (with our ex-DEAD GUY Robin Agnew!)
Tuesday, December 9: Murder by the Book in Houston, TX
Wednesday, December 10: The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ
Thursday, December 11: I'm on the road. Literally. Plans are to fly to San Francisco and then make my way, via Los Angeles to:
Friday, December 12: Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach, CA.
Saturday, December 13: Mysterious Galaxy's holiday party in San Diego, CA.
So, five bookstores in five cities in six days. And if you work for a bookstore near San Francisco and would like to discuss an event on December 11, get in touch!
If you're in one of those areas and would like to say hi, please come on out! Keep in mind that I'm probably coming from a lot farther away than you are! And it's the readers and the booksellers who make these events special. So I'm hoping to see you there. Wherever "there" is.