Someone asked me recently if I enjoy book tours. I was between trips and feeling rather rested and said, ‘Sure.’ Okay, it’s a few days later and I’m facing another night in another hotel and I’d like to find that person and give her a different answer.
Booktours aren’t fun. At least, they’re not fun as in warm, fuzzy, feel good fun. They’re fun in the way moving is fun. You know, pack everything up into little boxes, squeezing small items into odd spaces, wrapping the fragile items hoping nothing will break. But packing is rewarding because something’s happening. You’re moving. You’re heading to someplace new. Hopefully better.
In some ways I really like being on the road. I love the possibilities, that sense of adventure, you know, striking out as if I were a pioneer heading West, part of the frontier movement. But as we know, many pioneers didn’t live to see California or Oregon. Lots of pioneers perished on the road–disease, starvation, childbirth, floods, deserts, never mind hostile Native Americans. Fortunately I don’t have to deal with starvation, childbirth, deserts, floods or hostile natives, but there is some uncertainty, and loneliness, and the nagging fear that no one will show up at your next event, or worse, that the week spent on the road will do absolutely nothing to increase sales.
Otherwise, book tours are exciting. Lots of driving around, lots of yahoo maps, lots of diet cokes and then frantic searches for bathrooms.
Bottom line regarding book tours? I have to do them. Not because Warner said so, but because I want to meet booksellers and shake hands and talk to readers and get a feel for what’s selling, what readers are loving and what women want from their fiction.
Pass me my bonnet. I’m climbing back in the wagon. See you in Portland.