Alright, I admit, it was mostly a holiday, but I I did do two bookshop events and I met my publisher so I can call it a book tour, yes? Let’s go with that.
My first event was at the cavernous University Bookstore in Seattle. It gave me hope to see an independent bookstore that was so big! I spoke (to an audience including three mothers of twins) about the writing of Whiskey & Charlie, including the changes I made for the American market, and read for the first time from the American edition, stumbling slightly where ‘disabled toilet’ had been replaced with ‘handicap bathroom’ and struggling to emit the last syllable of ‘gotten’. After my reading, an audience member questioned the need to translate books for US audiences, leading to a great discussion which reflected my own thoughts on the matter, as well as the thoughts of my Australian readers, judging by the comments on this blog post.
The next phase of my ‘tour’ included some not-at-all bookish activities including camping at Cascade Lake, eating hot dogs and garlic fries (don’t ask) at the baseball, and ‘tubing’ behind a boat on Lake Washington. Then, I jetted off to Chicago to meet my publisher extraordinaire, Sourcebooks who had organised for me to be picked up at the airport by a fancy black car which rolled up with my name in the window: a first for me.
When I discovered there was no champagne and caviar in the backseat I threw a diva tantrum. Not really. I just requested a fast-food drive-through! Yes, I arrived at Sourcebooks scoffing a burger. That’s the kind of class-act I am.
It was so lovely meeting the team who brought my book to the US shelves, including my editors, marketing coordinator and cover designer.
The Sourcebooks office has a drum in the meeting space and when they have exciting news about one of their books people beat the drum. I wish we had exciting, zany procedures like that at my workplace. Oh, to work in publishing!
My editors were shocked to hear I had been in the US for almost two weeks and had not yet been to a Target to see my books on the Target Book Club Picks shelf. So off we went!
Next up I headed to Anderson’s bookshop in the quaint and beautiful town of Naperville where I recorded an interview for a show called Authors Revealed on local TV station NCTV17. You can watch it here.
My interviewer, Becky, is the sixth generation of the Anderson family to work in the family bookshop, which was founded 135 years ago! Afterwards, I chatted about Whiskey & Charlie for the in-store audience with Mary Morgan from Reading Group Choices, a site designed to help book groups choose books which will promote lively discussions (great idea!).
Thus ended my book tour, but not my holiday. I managed to squeeze in an architectural river cruise in Chicago and a visit to the incredible Art Institute, which to my delight, had a special guide for the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off tour!
Both the bookish and not-so-bookish parts of my holiday were wonderful. But after almost four weeks away I found myself actually looking forward to coming home and getting on with editing the second draft of Monkey See. More on that in another post…