Practice Makes … Better

The Real Book Tour

The Real Book Tour

A few weeks ago I posted a blog advising how to orchestrate a book tour. I forgot one thing: practice—something I didn’t do in preparation for my own tour this past week. To be fair, I didn’t much time to prepare. Still, given the tour opened with an NPR interview, I should have made the time. Below is a quick summary of my short, three-day tour:

  • Tuesday, 9/8, 12:30. NPR (WUNC), “The State of Things.” Interview
    If any of you are in listening range of WUNC, I highly recommend “The State of Things.” Frank Stasio is an amazing interviewer who chooses fascinating guests 😉 Even though I knew that I would likely be asked how my recently deceased father influenced Ere I Saw Elba, I didn’t expect that I would get choked up on air—an awkward silence now archived for cyber eternity. To hear the interview, click here.
Nothing like a live radio interview to tweak the nerves

Live NPR interview with Frank Stasio

  • Tuesday, 9/8, 7:30pm. Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
    Attendance: about twenty friends and family plus a few strangers who had heard the NPR interview (who showed up mostly to give me a hug). When I stepped up to the podium, you would have thought I’d never been in front of a microphone before: words were garbled and sentences ran on. Thank God for the fabulous meal afterward at my cousin’s restaurant, Bloomsbury Bistro (loved getting to know cousins Arthur and Rebecca).
At the Podium

At the Podium

  • Wednesday, 9/9, 7:00, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
    Arrived early to check-in, only to hear that all three hundred tickets to the reading had been distributed, thereby forcing the bookstore to relent and open their doors to overflow. Of course this sell-out was for Pat Conroy’s reading, the night after mine. My audience: six friends and yet another cousin. It was an intimate affair, though one where I still read too fast and tripped over words. All malaprops were forgotten over beer and wings after @ the neighboring pub.
Nice Writer's Desk Format

Nice Proptional Display

  • Thursday, 9/10, 8:00, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffehouse, Atlanta, GA
    I love this bookstore. Philip does an amazing job at fostering community in this longstanding pillar of gay Atlanta. I finally hit a grove here and even had some random book browsers stop and listen. Afterward, Philip invited us to a party at the swanky Midtown W Hotel, where too many cosmos led to a wicked hangover.
Outwrite Bookstore's owner, Philip Rafshoon, and the incredible Outwrite staff

Outwrite Bookstore's owner, Philip Rafshoon, and the incredible Outwrite staff

Now that I’m finally warmed up, the book tour is over.* I don’t have the luxury of time like I did after I published Able Was I. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I want to thank Lindsay/Frank of WUNC and these three book stores (René, Sally, Philip, and their wonderful staffs) for hosting me. I also want to thank Ashley/John, and Sarah/Dave for their respective Raleigh/Charlotte accommodations (and the loaning of The Beast); all friends, family, and strangers who came to hear me read (more so to those who bought books); and especially Nick and Diane who took vacation time to come-with and ensure that there was at least: A) an audience of two and B) one Q to be A’d.

* I’ve one final reading later this year in San Francisco: Thursday, 11/12, 7:00, Books Inc., 2275 Market Street. This time I’ll practice.


3 thoughts on “Practice Makes … Better

  1. We had such a great time when you were here. We can hardly wait for the next book. tour.. although I know you promised Nick you’d take a break for a while! You’re welcome to visit Denver of the East any time, and we’ll make sure you get a chance to try the water skis!

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