One of the lessons I've learned during the three-plus months I've spent promoting HERE, HOME, HOPE is that you can never predict book events. Sometimes there is a great crowd, other times, it's crickets. Just me, a stack of my books and my trusty signing pen. Those events tend to feel the longest, but looking back, I may have made the best connections. I know I had the most laughs. And ultimately, I hope I've made friends for life. The smaller the crowd, the deeper the potential for connection. Yes, this is the bright side speaking but it's true. As I wrote in Real You Incorporated, you always learn more from the hurdles, once you jump them. In Louisville, at the Anchorage Barnes & Noble, my signing was at 5:30 p.m. When I arrived, posters adorned the doors and walls promoting an event that night, but not mine. It was for the author who was arriving at 7:30. I was the warm-up act, I suppose, but that's alright - at least I had my foot in the door! In East Sandwich, MA, where I had a designated "drop in" (a meet and greet to beg for the store to consider carrying the book) the store owner stood above me on the stairs and - in front of several customers - said no, she wouldn't consider carrying my book. I was exhausted, and it was the final stop of the tour so I was glad I didn't burst into tears in front of her as I scurried out the door! I'd survived the snark attack.
Oh, and speaking of attacks and expecting the unexpected in life, I did enjoy some beach time in Nantucket during the tour. As we set up our umbrella and chairs, pulled out our books, I smiled and scanned the horizon. Next thing I know, close to the beach, a fin appeared. This fin was big, and it was darting - almost as if a person was swimming underwater pretending to be a shark. But this wasn't pretend. As the shark leaped out of the water and attacked the seal it was stalking, we watched speechless. The life guards cleared the water, and at first, told us it was a dolphin.
I'm a big fan of Shark Week. I know my sharks and this was no dolphin.
When the head lifeguard arrived, he told us they thought it was a sand shark. I'm not sure, but that night, during Shark Week, the show was about the resurgence of Great Whites near Chatham, in Cape Cod, due to the repopulation of seals - their favorite food. We saw a lot of seals in the waters around Nantucket, just saying.
The point? Book tours are a reflection of life. There are the highs - so many great experiences, fun interactions with readers and book store staff - and some lows, complete with snarks, too. But probably the best part of being on a book tour is having the opportunity to talk about my love of reading and writing with others who share that same passion.
This summer has been an amazing gift - one that I'll remember forever. More on the unusual next post!