My Virtual Book Tour

So, I’m not on the road this year — not on the “real” road. I still consider myself to be on tour, though. Virtually. I am quite high tech these days.

At first it felt very strange to be staying home as BLACK OUT approached publication; I’ve been heading out, visiting stores and meeting readers and booksellers for the better part of six years. I’ve toured twice with my daughter at age 4 months for BEAUTIFUL LIES and just over a year for SLIVER OF TRUTH. I knew taking her on the road at two and a half would be really too hard for me, and unfair to her. And I’m not hardwired to leave her. So, I made this radical decision. Lucky for me, my publisher agreed.

But because I’m not on the road, I have finished my next book and am at work already on the one that will publish in 2010. I’m not in an airport waiting for a delayed flight to take off. I’m not eating some awful fast food meal while sitting in a parking lot before a bookstore event. I didn’t wake up this morning, unable for a moment to remember what city I’m in. These are all good things.

The best side-effect of not being on the road this year is that it has encouraged me to get creative about my connection with readers and booksellers. My Virtual Book Tour, as I like to call it.

For example, a fabulous bookseller I met on MySpace, Linda at Burgundy Books in Connecticut, has invited me to visit her store via speaker phone. Linda has invited readers and I have sent bookplates with my signature. And we’re having a good old-fashioned booksigning … except I won’t be there. I asked her if she was set up for a video-conference, just to show how cool I am. But no, the phone will have to do and I’m looking forward to this. With gas prices soaring, and airline tickets getting more expensive, and with everyone — publishers, booksellers, readers and authors alike –watching their budgets, maybe this kind of event is a new twist for the author appearance.

Meanwhile, I’m “traveling” other ways, too. I’m connecting with readers and booksellers on the social networks — which I love. How else would I be able to get to know so many people and stores in places where even the book tour might not have taken me?

I love chatting with my new Facebook and MySpace friends, sending bookplates, hanging out with booksellers in this totally new way.

I’m also very excited that to be working on an essay for about the musical component to my process. Music plays a huge role in my writing — offering inspiration, motivation, creating mood. And this was especially true for BLACK OUT. So keep checking back for that.

It should also be said that the folks at Crown/ Shaye Areheart Books are on the razor’s edge of everything real and virtual. They created this amazing widget for BLACK OUT that you absolutely must see. (If you don’t know what a widget is, you’re not the only one. But I can tell you this — it’s really cool.)

So, if you’re hip and high tech like me … I’ll be “seeing” you around as I cruise the information superhighway on my virtual book tour. (I know; I’m a true geek.)

By the way, the winners of my newsletter drawing for a set of signed first-edition hardcovers last week are Carmen (Newark, NJ) and Jen (Lorian, OH). Congrats!

What I’m reading: Unaccustomed Earth/ Jhumpa Lahiri

Favorite Book for Ocean: Once I Ate A Pie/ Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest (This may be one of my favorite books ever for O. It is so beautiful, funny, sad, gorgeous. If you’ve ever loved a dog, you’ll love this.)


  1. elaine dameron on June 30, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Just finished reading Blackout at the beach and loved every minute of it. Can’t wait for the next one so I can devour it too. Felt same way about first two also. You’re a great writer.