I am exhausted

I got home this afternoon, after a 5-day trip to Phoenix and Detroit, and although I got plenty of sleep during my travels, I still came home weary.  Book tour takes a toll on a body that’s more than physical; there’s the emotional battering as well, as you slog from airport to airport, feeling as if you’re trying to sell buggy whips to a country that couldn’t care less what you have to peddle.  Still, there were some memorable moments on the trip.

In Scottsdale, while checking in at the retro-chic Valley Ho Hotel, I was bewildered by all the party planners and stage and sound crews, obviously getting ready for a huge celebration.  All over the lobby, there were signs welcoming guests to the “Steve Nash” celebrity roast.  Soon TV cameras were rolling and gorgeous women in spike heels and evening dresses began strolling in, accompanied by 7-foot men.  (The towering guys should have been the tip-off.)  Even then, I had no idea what all the hubbub was all about.  So I finally asked someone, “Who the heck is Steve Nash?” 

Okay, is there anyone else as ignorant as I am?  Please raise your hands.  Because I hate to think that I’m the only one who’d never heard of Steve Nash.

On Friday night, I appeared with Twist Phelan at the Poisoned Pen bookstore, and was delighted by the crowd who showed up.  I was even more delighted with the crowd that turned out for the charity luncheon the next day — but then, I have a feeling they were really there to see James Patterson, who appeared alongside me and Harley Jane Kozak. 

 I have a confession to make about James Patterson.  I owe him my career.  Years ago, when my first thriller HARVEST was published, Patterson gave me the most amazing blurb.  Up till now, I’d never met him, and when I finally spotted my chance to approach, I went up to shake his hand and thanked him for his generosity.  He smiled and said yes, he remembered HARVEST.  And he said something along the lines of, “aren’t we lucky, doing what we do?” 

Then I was off to Detroit and the book and author luncheon, where I shared the podium with Jane Hamilton, Ursula Hegi, Lorna Lanvik, and Rabbi Harold Kushner.  We faced an audience of 1200.  The best part was getting the chance to listen to the other authors.  The ladies had me laughing.  Rabbi Kushner moved me to tears.  You couldn’t ask for a better line-up of speakers.

But now I’m home, facing a stuffed in-box of emails and wondering if going on tour really makes a difference.  I do enjoy it, but I have to admit that I get depressed, trudging through bookstores and seeing all those other competing titles stacked up next to mine. 

24 replies
  1. dustinhood
    dustinhood says:

    Hey Tess,

    Glad you’re back home and that you had a safe and fun tour. I am also ignorant to Steve Nast, no clue who he is. I’ve missed your blogging. Well, I have got to go. I’m on the last chapters of THE BONE GARDEN and it’s killing me stopping now. I’ll e-mail you later tonight to tell you how I liked it.

    Dustin Hood, 16 (Oct. 18)

  2. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    Do you at least get to take someone along for the ride? Your husband? A friend? I thought you needed your husband for his memory of people you’re supposed to know?

    It’s so funny to hear how exhausting you get and how you would prefer not to do it… when all of us would KILL to be on a book tour! But, I guess after 20 books, the appeal starts to wane.

    You didn’t explain who Steve Nash is… I have no idea…

    Glad you’re back!

  3. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    steve nash is a basketball player-big deal-he can shoot a ball-the other day i inadvertently tuned in to a cable news show about the latest “celebrity” who made an ass of themselves-on the crawl at the bottom of the screen was a little item about a navy lieutenant named michael murphy who was awarded the medal of honor(no such thing as congressional medal of honor)for laying down his life to save the others in his unit-his family will receive the posthumous award-great priorities we have -jocks,fops,and bimbos dominate the news-actual selfless heroes are barely noticed-i’d rather attend an afternoon tea for tess than meet any “celebrity”(and i don’t do afternoon teas:) -and speaking about cable news-there is a very unremarkable looking man named jack jacobs who is a military commentator on msnbc-he is about 5’4” tall-he received the medal of honor for rescuing 13 men under fire after being shot in the head during the vietnam war-and then returned for a second tour of duty-but we idolize a bunch of drug soaked useless nonentities-sorry for going on but it’s just one of those days

  4. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    *raising hand* I have no clue who Steve Nash is.

    Glad you’re back home, Tess! I’ll apologize now for being one of those that added to your email in-box. LOL 😀

  5. Craig
    Craig says:

    I had to run Steve Nash’s name through Ask.com to find out who he was, found out and now sincerely don’t care. I know Graham Nash as well (even back when he sang occasional lead with the Hollies), J. Carroll Nash, and can gnash my teeth. 🙂

  6. therese
    therese says:

    Nope – never heard of Steve Nash before now either. 🙂 My hubby has though.

    I truly understand how weary you are after a five day trip between Phoenix and Detroit. The only way I would do such a trip was for a book tour. LOL! When hubby had to travel constantly, he always said it was no big deal, probably convincing himself. Now he admits how tough it is on the body and mind.

    I truly enjoyed The Bone Garden and since it’s the first book of yours that I’ve read, I’m really thrilled to have found you and the know there are lots of your books available to read. I know – do I live under a rock? I only heard about Tess Gerritsen a few weeks ago! I still have no idea how I found your website.
    Cheers!

  7. Dru
    Dru says:

    Welcome back. Do you get to rest for a couple of days before you have to get back on the road again?

    I knew he was a basketball player. I think they made a deal over him during the playoffs.

  8. struggler
    struggler says:

    Welcome home Tess – I too have never heard of this Nash guy but if he has 7 feet I would have thought he’d have been on one of those ‘weird looking people’ documentary programmes, you know, the people with two heads or three livers, that kind of thing. Mind you, I haven’t heard of any of the other writers you met either, with the exception of James Patterson – although I much prefer him as Dame Edna Everage anyway…..

    One thing he got right though – aren’t you lucky? But then, you earned it!

  9. april
    april says:

    I do know Steve Nash though it took me awhile for the name to register. He stands out only because his hair bothers me.

    Anyway, in the meantime, I finished The Bone Garden and thought it was very well done. I really enjoyed the mixing of time periods. At first, I was more interested in the historical aspects, but then I kept wondering who was found in the backyard and really liked how it wrapped up. It took me a long time to read, but I’m so glad I did and only wish I was still reading the book as I haven’t found one as interesting to pick up yet.

  10. knaster
    knaster says:

    Hi Tess,

    I guess I am part of the majority and do not know who Steve Nash is. Wow! 7 feet. That’s alot of shoes……
    Anyway, grab that all needed sleep. You’re almost at the end of this tour, Tess, and if you had any doubts if this is all worth it, just look at your e-mails and blog comments. We love you and your books, that’s why!!

  11. BernardL
    BernardL says:

    I didn’t know who Steve Nash was either until I read Joe’s post. I agree completely with everything he wrote about real heroes. Welcome home, Tess, did anyone try the ‘have a look at my new manuscript’ ploy during the book signing? 🙂

  12. JanetK
    JanetK says:

    I’m exhausted just reading about a trip like that! When I was young, business travel was great. But now…not so much.

    Jane Hamilton, Ursula Hegi, Lorna Lanvik, Rabbi Kushner, and you — what a lineup!

  13. Rose-Marie
    Rose-Marie says:

    Congratulations on the tour! I love to travel, even when it’s been sorta kinda scheduled out for me and there are obligations involved, etc. If I had to do it all the time I expect it would start to pale, but it would take a while. 😉

    If J.K. Rowling, who is currently also on tour, were to walk into a bookstore she too would see piles, and maybe even pallets, of her books stacked up. That doesn’t mean she’s not selling. The Bone Garden seems to be leaping out of my local bookstore quite nicely.

    Oh, and I’ve vaguely heard of Steve Nash, but I couldn’t have given him a context to save my life without Googling.

    Is there a chance a future book tour will take you south of the Mason-Dixon line someday? There’s a lot of readers down here!

  14. tuttle
    tuttle says:

    I finished Bone Garden–
    Good book! Unfortunately (but its probably just me) you seemed to be ‘in the past’ a bit too much for my taste (as well as not flipping back as forth not enough)

    But thats just me-
    I don’t mind flipping back and forth from past to present in most novels but well, it was probably my mood the past week but on the whole it was an interesting subject and I really enjoyed the ending.

    Looking forward to the next one.

  15. Jeff Shelby
    Jeff Shelby says:

    Mainly because I’ve had the opportunity to work with some athletes who given much more than their name to charities and causes and I hate to see the good guys get unfairly lumped in with the selfish, foolish athletes the media tends to focus on, I’ll share a few things about Steve Nash other than his basketball exploits, which can easily be found elsewhere.

    He’s run his own foundation for six years that focuses on providing necessary services to sick, abused and disadvantaged kids both in Phoenix and in his hometown in British Columbia.

    He is a spokesperson and activist for GuluWalk, an organization that works with children affected by the war in Uganda.

    He’s completed numerous humanitarion trips around the world and funded completely a pediatric medicine ward for a hospital in Paraguay.

    When he knew he would be featured prominently in an NBA All Star Game, Nash wore a shirt that read “No War – Shoot For Peace” as a protest against the war in Iraq. This was in 2003 when that position wasn’t exactly a popular one.

    He’s often said that he hopes he can use his basketball career as a springboard to do better things in the world. He’s a guy who doesn’t just lend his name to something – he gets in and does the work. My guess would be that proceeds from that roast went to some organization that he’s working for.

    So, yeah, he can throw a ball in a hoop. But he does a little more, as well.

  16. Patricia Wood
    Patricia Wood says:

    Aloha and welcome back Tess!
    I got to experience a short tour when LOTTERY came out – It was a thrill meeting readers and it was great fun being interviewed but when I got home I slept for days. I can see how, after the novelty wears off, it could be difficult — especially when you’re writing another book and miss friends and family.
    I am another one who would have no idea who or what a Steve Nash is.

  17. struggler
    struggler says:

    You know, the longer this thread goes on, the more enigmatic a cult-hero this mysterious Steve Nash will become….better nab him quick Tess before he appears in the next Myron Bolitar escapade 🙂

  18. Darcy McKenna
    Darcy McKenna says:

    I appear to be among the majority here – I had no clue who Nash was myself. But then, I’m not into sports that much. I enjoy the Superbowl, but I think that has more to do with the party than the game

    So glad you had a good trip. I met Harley at the RT convention earlier this year. She’s a hoot!!

    Welcome home!

    Darcy

  19. drosdelnoch
    drosdelnoch says:

    Welcome back Tess, nope never heard of the guy, but then again Im in England so that could explain why I dont know him.

    It was your last paragraph that really made me want to reply to you. In it you said:
    But now I’m home, facing a stuffed in-box of emails and wondering if going on tour really makes a difference. I do enjoy it, but I have to admit that I get depressed, trudging through bookstores and seeing all those other competing titles stacked up next to mine.

    I’d like to tackle this from a fan point of view.
    You wonder if going on tour really makes a difference. To me and I assume to a number of others yes it does. I for one have gone into a bookstore when theyve announced a signing by an unknown (or an author Ive never heard of) out of curiosity. Chatted to the author, asked them some questions and pick up a copy of the book that theyre promoting. Meeting the author is, to me, like meeting a celeb. Its great, you get to see the mind behind the book and in all honesty it allows the reader the chance to see how much the author cares.

    For example, as a fan of David Gemmell, I took a couple of friends along to one of his talks, it was never about the sell, it was meeting the fans and a chance to get feedback from them about his work. He’d chat, have a laugh and take the mick out of himself but the sheer amount of people who’d never heard of him that went, I can probably honestly say of them around 25% just had to buy a book because he entertained them.

    Thats a part of it for me, I am entertained by an author I want to meet them and if Im honest I see the tour as not only thier chance to promote thier new book but as a thank you to the fans. It means a hell of a lot that the author has taken the time to come and see us. It might not seem like it makes a difference but it does to us and we all remember and tell others about a great evening with an author.

    You also mentioned how depressing it is to see all the other authors up against you, well it can be, but think about it another way, how many times have you gone to a job interview and walked into a room full of people that you feel are better, smarter or perhaps better qualified than you. Do you walk away or sit there and prepare yourself as best you can. At one point I was laid off from work and kept applying for job after job. I kept a job file and you know what, by the time I got another job I had filled a notebook with details of job, when I sent it, when I heard back if I did and did I get an interview. I got very few companies even bothering to Thank me for applying let alone an interview. Sure I got depressed but it made me fight even harder.

    I suppose this is the long way round saying, just try not to let it get to you Tess, we all face doubts at some time in our lives and feel pretty bad. Books to me are my saviour, they pick me up, I enjoy them and my absolute favs are read time and again (some have even had to be bought a couple of times due to falling apart.)

    Movie stars Im not likely to meet, authors mean more to me as I spend so much time reading, it makes me feel special when I get to meet the authors who’ve made a difference for me and that I think is not only the gift of the talent of the writer but also something that I feel I have to pass onto someone else. An author on tour allows the fans to tell the author how much theyve meant to them as well as allowing new people who are curious to meet the author. Thats the key and I think you’ll find Tess that youve made a good number of new fans just by being you and meeting and greeting.

    Thats the key to this I think. Look forward to your UK tour (Manchester or Lancaster please as I want to bring my Mum this time.)

  20. Tess
    Tess says:

    Kyle,
    when I go on tour, I travel alone. But in each new town, the publisher hires a “media escort” who drives me around to my events. So I’m not really by myself. And if my husband were to travel with me, he’d be bored to tears!

  21. john lovell
    john lovell says:

    Nash, Nash…let me think…long ago I knew someone who had a car by that name…Nash Rambler, I think it was. Probably no relation. Then there was that funny poet, the “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker” Nash.

  22. michelle1
    michelle1 says:

    sorry guys , to change the subject ,i know i am on the wrong thread here but dont know wot im doin.hopefully someone can put me straight and help out…For those of you who have read “vanish” (and a very good book it was too!)please can someone explain how events found olena floating in the water ? did she try to commit suicide ? she wasnt thrown from a boat surely because she was already on the run from the brothel/prison/house .was this overlooked or have i missed a chapter? at the expense of looking completely stupid , if some kind soul could help me out ? ;0))
    ;0)

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