I just came back from three days in New York, where I took part in three book events, saw old friends, and spent a leisurely day with my brother.
My first event was in Park Slope at PowerHouse on 8th. If I were to open a bookstore, this is what I’d want it to look like. PowerHouse on 8th is cosy, warm, and set up nicely with adult books in front and a gorgeous selection of kids books in back.
I love the chalkboard announcement for my reading.
Here I am with my brother Jonathan, who arranged the reading. He used to live in Park Slope, the neighborhood where PowerHouse on 8th is located, and still has many friends there, including the owners of the store.
With Jonathan and his friends after the reading. We had a fun discussion before taking this photo.
The next day I rented a car and drove up to Connecticut for two events. The first was the annual American Association of University Women’s author luncheon held at a country club in Darien.
With 200 attendees, the luncheon featured three authors: Susan Minot, Karen Page, and me. The women–authors and all–were extremely warm and welcoming, which really makes all the difference when you are new to an area and don’t know a soul.
My last event was an evening presentation at the Norwalk Public Library. This was the one I figured would have a low attendance. I didn’t know anyone in Norwalk, which is usually something new authors want to avoid.
But boy was I pleasantly surprised when around 20 people showed up! They asked thought-provoking questions that put my knowledge of Chinese history to test.
Book touring might seem glamorous and exciting. It is, but it’s also nerve-wracking and scary. Will I be able to get to all my events on time? Will the ZipCar be there when I need it? What if no one shows up? What if no one buys any books?
It’s a big investment in time and money, and the logistics that go into arranging a book tour aren’t always easy. My husband had to take three days off from work to take care of our kids. There are flight, ground transportation, and other expenses that add up quickly.
But to me it’s all worth it and more. When the story in my book starts out, I’m shy and prefer to be alone. Now I’ve found that my favorite thing about writing a book is going out and meeting new people, getting out of my comfort zone, and taking chances.