For me, one of the best aspects of being on tour is getting the chance to talk again with people I've met before. And book people . . . they are fantastic. A breed apart and kin to my own thoughts. This year, I got to go back to the University Bookstore in Seattle. And it was sunny again, twice in a row! I did a little better job of planning this time, and Duane (the sf/fantasy guy there) and I had a chance to walk down to a coffee shop beforehand to share some caffeine and a cookie. So if you saw a really tall guy and a short gal way overdressed sipping hot chocolate and tea, that was us. (grin)
And the signing went great. I ran into three people I'd been waiting to meet, having talked with them in the Hollows yahoo list previously. It's hard to pick just one picture out, so I went with Duane. It's kind of a tradition now, doing the "little captain in ya" thing. Oh, and I'm standing on a chair.
Austin was my next stop, and I was so rushed out the door at the hotel, I forgot my camera. I have to say that the crowd there was over the top with their welcome. Texans are wonderful people, and I hope I get to go back someday. I have a packet or three of bluebonnet seeds to take home with me, so Texas will never be far from my mind.
I'm on the home stretch now, and I'm looking forward to Minneapolis, Chicago, and then, Dayton, so close to Cincinnati that I can smell the Skyline Chili.
Portland OR. Wow, I really like Portland, even with the rain. It's full spring here, and I soaked it in since by the time I get back home, the trees will be done blooming in my neighborhood. I was fortunate enough to sign in the new Powell's in Beaverton. Their new store is absolutely fantastic. Lots of room and a good place to speak, and apart from a minor issue with the mike, (I think there were pixies about, messing with it) the signing went super. Peter was the best host, making me feel at home and letting me hide out in the back until we were ready to start. ;-) They have lots of signed stock, so if you tried to make it and couldn't quite swing it, they will have copies for a while.
And afterward, I had a chance to spend some time with Lilith Saintcrow, fellow dark fantasy author. Last year I was in full flaming zombie mode and begged off dinner, but this year, we managed to get a little dessert in before I turned into a pumpkin and rolled on back to my room.
Tomorrow is Seattle. It was sunny the last time I was there, so I'm curious if the weather fairies will be smiling on me again this year. . . .
Day five: San Diego! I've been to San Diego three times now, visiting Mysterious Galaxy and enjoying the perfect weather. And the readers just keep getting more and more enthuastic! Thanks guys. I almost cried when I walked in and saw all your smiling faces. Now, if you're still happy to see me after you get done with For A Few Demons More, I will be ecstatic! (evil author smile) The Q & A was cut tragically short because of the line, but having Vicki Pettersson there with me made up for it and then some. We'll be signing together in Las Vegas, her home town, so you will likely see her mug up here again, but I just had to chose this photo over all others. The guy in the middle is Patrick, who kept the whole thing moving smoothly, a true rose among . . . uh . . . never mind. (grin) Tomorrow Las Vegas!
Alcatraz. If you get the chance to go, I recommend making the time. You'll need to set up a reservation a few days ahead of time, but wow, is it worth it. I don't like doing the touristy thing, but I took the audio tour. Turned out to be one of the most profound experiences I'd had in a while. But oddly enough, it wasn't the cells or the bars that gave me the willies. It was the original structure of the fort that struck me as the most . . . eerie. I did not like it, not one little bit. (Thank you, Dr. Seuss)
Books, books, books! I signed that night at Barnes and Noble at Jack London Square in Oakland, and I made sure they had lots of signed stock before I left. They also have a loyal group of patrons who came out to see me! Three of them had dressed for the occasion, which made my entire evening. Love the shirts and skirt!
Today I'll be at Borderlands. I've signed there before, and I can't wait to get back and give Ripley, the store cat, a scritch hello. That is, if she will let me.
And on the third day, I found chocolate. Mmmm, Ghirardelli has a factory in San Francisco, but after having spent three months trying to get back into my signing clothes, I really wasn't ready to indulge. Until I found Truffles Inc. I thank all that is holy that it's not in my comfortable walking distance from my hotel. Thanks Mr. F for introducing me to their handmade truffles, and thank you Jessica for the samples! Mmmmm.
Ah, but I didn't come to San Francisco for chocolate. Last night I read at M is for Mystery, and had the chance to not only talk to Ed, who is the man, but I saw some fantastic tattoos and talked to some enthusiastic readers. But my thrill moment came much earlier in the day when I did a drive-by signing at one of the Borders just across the bay, and I found Vicki Pettersson's book, The Scent of Shadows, on the New Release table. Whoo-hoo! I hadn't seen it yet in the flesh, so to speak, and it looks fantastic.
We're really excited about our upcoming new series from noted fantasy author Sara Douglass.
With THE SERPENT BRIDE, the first book of the Darkglass Mountain, she returns to the Wayfarer saga, and the epic fantasy we've been waiting for. (It's also a fabulous story on its own right, with a wonderfully creepy opening.)
So we're looking for 20 people to read an advance copy of THE SERPENT BRIDE, which we'll publish in June, and send us comments on the book.
Odalisque, Book One in The Percheron Saga, was included in part of the HarperCollins First Look program, in which readers can sign up to receive early galleys of many books, across all genres, in return for writing a short review. I'm pleased (but not surprised) to say that reviews were, for the most part, stellar; check them out here.
And just a reminder -- we've posted the first two chapters of ODALISQUE online for free right here!
Phew! By the time this makes it to the Eos blog, I will be in the air and on my way to San Francisco for the second stop on the For a Few Demons More tour. I am really looking forward to signing in Borderlands again, and anxious to add a few new stores to help me get a feel for the city. I had a day there last year, but it was just enough time to whet my appetite. Alcatraz is on my wish list for sightseeing this time, though I'll probably walk out of there jittery. There's something icky about stone walls and iron bars. . . Morbid fascination. Or maybe . . . research?
The signing at Park Road Books was great, the best part being that I saw more than a few familiar faces in the crowd, and quite a few burning bunnies! The questions were different this time, my favorite being "What do you do when you're not writing?" I was stumped. It seems like I'm writing even when I'm not. Signing that big shiny hardcover really felt good. ;-) And I've got to come up with a better selection to read before the questions and answers. Right now, it's Jenks and Rachel, but there is a part with Rachel and Trent I might want to read instead . . . Maybe I'll ask the readers at the next signing what they'd like. ;-)
So . . . the ice is broken, and I'm back in the swing. Look out, San Francisco. Here I come! And if I start laughing for no apparent reason, it's because I'm thinking of Guy's rendition of Aleix, my dog.