People Need Books Need People

“Hi there, I’m an author and I’m here to do my reading tonight?”

He was handsome, well-dressed and nobody knew what the hell he was doing in the bookstore/bar at five PM on a Wednesday.

“Are you sure it’s here and not the library?” I felt for the man. I wanted to make everything be okay and successful for him. I started running through possibilities like I used to do with my daughter when she was little and didn’t want to eat at a restaurant (oh look, they have chicken tenders, you love those! And grilled cheese, that’s good…or how about spaghetti?)

“It’s probably at the library, or maybe the wine store?” I said. The author’s event wasn’t listed on our website and there were no posters up and he wasn’t on the local library website and I checked two other neighboring towns and he wasn’t on those either.

“Yeah, I didn’t get around to sending posters,” he said. “Or info for the website. But I’m sure my people will show up, I mean, I’m from around here.”

The owner of the store was so nice and set him up with a table and a stack of books which had mysteriously appeared weeks before with no mention of an event. The microphone was prepped and ready. Shelves were rolled back, chairs set up. He sipped a glass of wine and told me a little of his inspirational story while he waited for the people to arrive.

Did any people arrive?

I wanted to be in a chair so that magically other people would fill the chairs for this event nobody had heard about. But I had to go home. It was the end of my shift, I’d been there all day and— I had my own book to publish.

It’s been years working on this book. I poured my heart and soul into it, without even meaning to. I just wanted to write it all down, my coming of age in New York and music and motherhood. I had wanted to do it for a while but I turned fifty and then started writing for real. If I made sense of it for me, maybe it might make sense to someone else.

I hoped for a publisher to work with, to be doing all the mechanics of book production and even some promotion. I found an agent. We were turned down by every publisher because none of the publishers had ever heard of me as a musician. I was no Patti! Or Kim! Or Chrissie! Or even Carrie? They were missing the point. So I decided to do it myself. I hired an editor. I got my college roommate who takes amazing photos and is a brilliant designer to turn one she took of me in the 70s into a cover.

My book is coming Oct 8
Coming Oct 8

I started booking a book tour.

When I had a few dates confirmed, I finished the book for real.

Now the tour looms. I don’t want to be like Mr. Handsome Inspirational Author, telling my story to a roomful of chairs, with a few beer drinkers on the side tolerating my message.

Years ago I thought “wouldn’t it be great to be in bookstores, with my guitar and my book! Finding a whole new audience of readers who also might like the songs I write!” I’ve got the guitar, and the songs, and I’ve got the book now. The destination becomes the journey, or is it the other way around?

Will there be an audience? I know I have people…

Out there.


  • Tues Oct 8   Brooklyn NY        WORD Greenpoint   7 PM   free
  • Fri Oct 11    Hudson NY           The Spotty Dog   7:30 PM   free
  • Sat Oct 12   Northampton MA Parlor Room  tix
  • Sun Oct 13  Cambridge MA     Atwood’s   9 PM   tix
  • Thu Oct 17  Hoboken NJ           Little City Books   tix
  • Fri Oct 18    Vienna VA              Jammin Java  tickets
  • Sat Oct 19    Wake Forest NC   Piedmont Laureate presents @ Listening Room 7 PM
  • Sun Oct 20   Columbia SC        Curiosity Coffee Bar   3 PM info
  • Mon Oct 21  Atlanta GA           Writers at the Wrecking Bar info
  • Tue Oct 22   Nashville TN        Grimey’s instore   7 PM  free
  • Thu Oct 24  Memphis TN         Bar DKDC
  • Fri Oct 25    Chicago IL             Book Cellar  7 PM free info
  • Sat Oct 26    Madison WI          Kiki’s Righteous House of Music info
  • Tue Oct 29   Pittsburgh PA       City Books  7 PM   free
  • Sun Nov 3   Wayne PA               Main Point Books 5 pm free
  • Thu Nov 7   Oakland CA           Starline Social Club  tickets
  • Sat Nov 9    Los Angeles CA      house concert
  • Tue Nov 12 Los Angeles CA     Stories Books  info
  • Fri Nov 15  Portland OR           Turn Turn Turn
  • Sun Nov 17 Seattle WA             Third Place Books Ravenna 7 PM
  • Fri Nov 22  Rochester NY         Bop Shop Records
  • Sat Nov 23  Cambridge NY       Argyle Brewing at Cambridge Depot tickets

13 thoughts on “People Need Books Need People

  1. Hal Davis

    ==Years ago I thought “wouldn’t it be great to be in bookstores, with my guitar and my book!Finding a whole new audience of readers who also might like the songs I write!”==

    Yup. Break a leg.

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