2008 Book Tour Concludes

Actually I’m going to follow the lead of our divas Cher and Barbara and have a few more farewell tours later this year (if you have to ask “Barbara who,” shouldn’t you be watching the NCAA finals?).  In May I’ll be in New Orleans and DC and it’s looking like June in San Francisco, but for now, it’s over. 

Having just returned from 20 cities in 3 months (including Atlanta with my favorite bookstore owner, Philip Rafshoon, in the picture on the left), I need a break.  First, to catch up with emails – my apologies to readers who’ve kindly emailed me since December.  And the day job.  Yuck.  But most of all to spend time with Jonathan, the king of patience (at least with me).  Oh yeah, and to get back to writing. 

Sunday Jonathan asked me “Was it worth it?”  Financially?  It wouldn’t take an MBA to say absolutely not.  Although several friends were EXTREMELY generous by hosting dinners and lunches, promoting events and donating cash to help defray costs, I’ve still spent far more of my own money on my books than I’ll ever make from them (barring that much-desired call from Oprah…or Spielberg).  A few A-list writers are fortunate enough to have bottom-line driven publishing companies pay for their tours but for most of us, it doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.  So if we want to get off the island (of Manhattan), it’s out of our own pocket.

But was it worth it?  Absolutely yes.  As Jesus said:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Why is it worth it?  One reason in many: The people I’ve met along this journey. 

– Charlie, who has told hundreds about my books and brought many to the reading in Atlanta (which he drove two hours to get there), then for coming to the Greenville reading the next day where he listened to the same sections again. Oh and bringing folks to that reading as well.  He’s definitely an evangelist.

– Terry, for his amazing generosity over the last couple of months. 

– Tony and his partner, for treating me to dinner in Nashville.

– “Elton” John Sheffield, for introducing me in Atlanta, for housing me and for travelling a parallel journey with me for over twenty-five years.

– Dannie Scott.  Talk about parallel lives.  I’ve lost count of the eerie similarities in our lives.  I’m glad we connected and thanks for driving up from the coast. 

– To Dennis who drove two hours to be at the reading in Raleigh.  It’s cool to have 100 people at a reading in Manhattan, but when 15-20 people attend a reading where the average drive was an hour (meaning some have come from much further)… wow, that makes me teary-eyed with appreciation. 

– For Robert, when he said it was an honor to meet me.  For someone like me, who grew up feeling a universe of guilt for being born with original sin, hearing someone say it’s an honor to meet me is a humbling, and gratifying, experience. 

– My junior high school girlfriend, Melissa, and her girlfriend, Jen, for driving down the mountain to Charlotte.

– For Dawn.  Too many reasons to list.  And to Carolyn.  The same, but this time to her boyfriend for venturing into The White Rabbit past dildos and pretty explicit gay porn pics to listen to me read. 

– Megan.  For being an example of strength, for helping me see the goodness in the world. 

– Bill and James – what a fantastic dinner, for introducing me to all your wonderful friends in my hometown. 

– For everyone in my Yahoo group who posted a wonderful comment on Friday in response to the painful day I was having. 

There are so many others, these are the few who pop into my mind from the last week.  I wish I’d had time to take pictures but I’d need to clone myself for that.  And I’m pretty sure congress passed a specific law banning me from cloning me.  However, there are a lot of pictures from Atlanta.  Click here to see them.

Check back.  I’ll be blogging less as I get back to writing more.

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