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.Â 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.Â Still, there were someÂ memorable moments on the trip.
In Scottsdale, while checking in at the retro-chic Valley Ho Hotel, I was bewildered by all the partyÂ planners and stage and sound crews, obviously getting ready for a huge celebration.Â All over the lobby, there were signs welcoming guests to the “Steve Nash” celebrity roast.Â Soon TV cameras were rolling and gorgeous women in spike heels and evening dresses began strolling in, accompanied by 7-foot men.Â (The towering guys should have been the tip-off.)Â Â Even then, I had no idea what all the hubbub was all about.Â So I finally asked someone,Â “Who the heck is Steve Nash?”Â
Okay, is there anyone else as ignorant as I am?Â Please raise your hands.Â 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.Â 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.Â
Â I have a confession to make about James Patterson.Â I owe him my career.Â Years ago, when my first thriller HARVEST was published, Patterson gave me the most amazing blurb.Â 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.Â He smiled and said yes, he remembered HARVEST.Â And he said something along the lines of, “aren’t we lucky, doing what we do?”Â
ThenÂ 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.Â We faced an audience of 1200.Â Â The best partÂ was getting the chance to listen to the other authors.Â The ladies had me laughing.Â Rabbi Kushner moved me to tears.Â 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.Â I do enjoy it, but IÂ have to admit that I get depressed,Â trudgingÂ through bookstores and seeing all those other competingÂ titlesÂ stacked upÂ next to mine.Â