Tour Blog, part 1

Cross-posted from http://katrich.wordpress.com/

So, about two weeks ago my latest Greywalker novel, LABYRINTH, was officially released and I, officially, went on tour. First up, on Tuesday August Third, was a good bit of eating and playing tourist with visiting author Nicole Peeler and local Team Seattle members Mark Henry and Psynde, followed by the actual signing at the University Bookstore in Seattle’s U-District.

The shop had a gratifyingly large crowd and a lot of questions were asked about my possible interest in film, TV, or graphic novel versions of the books by one of the audience. Curiously, the young man never identified himself or came up to say hello or have a book signed, so I have no idea what that was about... but the signing went well and we all had fun, I think, and I believe a decent number of books were sold. Which makes the store like to have me back.

Afterward, while I signed stock, the friends and minions trotted down the street to The District Lounge in the basement of the Hotel Deca and started in on the noshing and drinking. I was a little later and, since the crowd had inconveniently broken into “writer” and “old-friend” camps, I had to figure out who I was going to hang with first. I picked the old friends since I actually see them less frequently than most of the writers. Though I don’t really see the writers that much lately, except in passing, since we’ve all become so busy it’s hard to find more than a handful of minutes to spend together, sometimes.

Anyhow, it was lovely and I headed home about 11 to do some last-minute work and get some sleep.

Alas, I really didn’t sleep. I don’t sleep well if I’m stressed and I had a pile of things to do as well as two early-morning phone-in interviews on my schedule. So I rolled out of bed at 6 a.m. Wednesday August 4—unable to sleep—and went to get some coffee so I’d be upright and not muttering when the phone calls started at 7:20 my time. But, I found an e-mail confirming the first interview for Thursday, instead. Well, that was OK I guessed, except now I’d had coffee and really had ninety minutes to kill until the other interview, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. So I packed up my stuff and went to my office so I wouldn’t wake up my hubby, who was still sleeping.

I got to the office, got the laptop set-up and on and fussed with a bunch of other things I needed to manage, did some more e-mail trying to figure out what was going on with the first interview, since more e-mail had come in that was very confusing and I had a few things to sort and pack at the office for the trip, as well. Once that was done, I sat down, called in to the radio station in Illinois a few minutes early like a good kid...

and was put on hold for a while until someone came back on the line, quite apologetically, to say that there was already someone in studio with the host I was supposed to be interviewing with and I was on the schedule for tomorrow—Thursday. Again. What was it with Thursday...? But everyone was very nice and I said I’d call back the next day since I’d be in Oregon and I could get up early there as easily as I got up early at home.

Now finding myself at loose ends when I had expected to be busy until 9 I had an opportunity to get still more stuff done. So I thought “I’ll start the laundry. It’s so early, no one else will be in the laundry room.” So I packed up the computer and my other stuff and drove back to the marina and carried it all down to the boat (since I wasn’t going to drive to Portland). I sorted the wash and carried it up to the laundry room and was quite pleased to discover I was right: all the washers were empty and their was no one else in the room. So I loaded up the wash and headed back to the boat to do still more paperwork and email. Somewhere along the way I realized I’d lost my beloved, square, silver-green iPod nano in (which I called “li’l green pod” and had dragged all over with me—yes it even went to England.) Well, at least the EVO (which I call “Screaming Pink Jesus Phone”) could pretend to be an iPod—sort of. If I could figure out how to conserve the battery power a little....

But now I had to go pop the laundry into the dryers and discovered another person eyeing my wet laundry since the rest of the washers had filled up while I mucking about at the boat. I hastily moved the wet clothes into the dryers and trotted back to the boat to do as much as I could with the rest of the electronic paperwork, which included updating a bunch of stuff on BookTour.com and chasing down various online projects I needed to finish before I went anywhere.

And so the laundry was done and I was packed by 11, which was good, because I got a last minute note from someone saying he needed a copy of the book ASAP, so I went back to the office, got the book, packed it up, mailed it, and drove to Pioneer Square for my signing at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop at Noon.

As usual, the street was in a state of disrepair as various branches of the Seattle City Works and Department of Transportation offices did unmentionable things to the road and alley right next to the shop, thus making parking pretty dreadful. Luckily, I’d expected that and took the car straight to the Sinking Ship to park it and walk the block and a half to the shop instead.

The signing was small, but very nice—as they always are at SMB—and I finished up about 2. Then I remembered I had promised to stop by the Barnes and Noble downtown and sign stock for them, so I swooped down there and was lucky enough to catch my friend Christelle and her hubby as she arrived for work. My phone went off with a message I needed to reply to, but I couldn’t manage it that second, so I tabled it for a few. So some silly chatting and passing out puzzles was done while I signed stock and then had to skeddaddle.

Pausing where I got some decent reception in Cell Phone Hell, I checked the message and tried to respond by calling my publicist in New York before she went home for the day, hoping she was working late, but I missed her and had to leave a message on her phone and another on her e-mail, since it now appeared the amazing moving interview was actually scheduled for Friday—a day I couldn’t commit to since I would be heading for Portland airport at the time I was supposed to be talking on the air. Oh dear... I hoped Rosanne would be able to fix it since I really wanted to do the show, but things kept being impossibly wrong and confusing.

Next I rushed home, pausing one more time at my office for a forgotten item, and then parked the car at the marina, carefully removing anything I needed from it so I could take it with me. I dashed down to the dock and called a cab to pick me up while I stuffed the last of the things I needed into my suitcase and computer bag. Then I darted back up the dock to meet the cab, so I could go back to Pioneer Square to catch a 5:30 p.m. train to Portland.

Since I wasn’t sure how long the boarding process would take, I arrived about 4:35, without having had anything to eat since 6:30. Luckily, I was going business class, so I was able to get my seat assignment in advance and trot out to a small deli a block away from King Street Station that closes at 5 and get in the doors at 4:45 to beg for a half a sandwich and a bottle of Coke Zero. Both were really yummy.

Meanwhile, my cell phone had been going off constantly with message and e-mail alerts, many of which I need to reply to immediately. The battery was not happy with me, even though I’d been recharging it in the car. I managed them as best I could between snarfing the sandwich and slurping the drink and then I got on my train to Portland.

Which arrived on time and without any more drama, except that I never have figured out how to get my phone to “tether” and act as a wifi hotspot so I could manage my e-mail from the train.... Oh well. At least I made it to Portland.

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