“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.
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…
- 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