I don't always succeed, but I want you to know I try.
Example: For the Southern Loop of the upcoming "He Said, She Said" tour Mark wanted to turn back after our stops in Alabama, but we decided to go east as far as Atlanta for two reasons:
1) I was supposed to visit Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA in January 2011 on The Running Dream tour, and although I made it to Atlanta there was a 'freak storm' and I was iced in, stuck in my hotel room for 3 days.
2) Our faithful blogette, Jessica, is in the Atlanta area and asked us to.
Before we leave on the Southern Loop, we wanted to send initial queries to the Northern Loop stores. We picked out a logical route and because of the time frame between the release of Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye (9/9/14), and warnings about November weather (snow!) in the northern states, we determined that we had to turn back after St. Paul, MN.
But my really good friend's friends and family live in Madison, WI. "Please, please, please, can we go to Madison?" I asked (well, okay, begged) Mark. "It's not that much farther!"
"Have you looked at the map?!" he asked, implying that I needed to get real..
"It's only a few inches away!" I said, giving him my best happy puppy look.
As motivational backup, I called my friend. She called her peeps. Pretty soon I was forwarding to Mark a barrage of e-mails about us must-going to Madison.
So Madison, WI got a little orange dot on our map.(Mere inches, I'll have you know, from the orange dot on St. Paul.).And I sorta assured Mark (h-hm, promised?) that that was the very farthest we would go. I was all for turning back after Madison. After all, I have zero experience driving in ice or snow.
So we finished planning the route back west, putting up little orange dots through Iowa and Nebraska and Wyoming. It was logical. No upping or downing. Or backing and forthing. Much more streamlined than the Southern Loop.
Yes, and then.
I went through my saved correspondences making sure we had listened to all the requests from people wanting to get their Sammys signed.
"Uh...where's Grand Rapids?" I asked across my desk over to Mark's.
He didn't even look at me, or ask why.
I sighed. And stayed quiet.
"We're turning back at Madison," he said.
I sighed. "I know." But then I just couldn't take it. "Just read this," I said, handing over the binder with saved correspondence.
To his credit, he took it. And then he sighed. "Pooh's Corner?"
I nodded. "We'll have to go through the Hundred Acre Wood to get there."
Either that, or take a ferry over Lake Michigan.
It wasn't going to be easy. Or cheap.
But then he read the letter. And after a few mild curses he knew there was no getting around it.
We had to go to Pooh's Corner.
Any bookseller who loves Sammy Keyes as much as this one does (and for all the right reasons), has been hand selling my books since the first one came out, and tells everyone looking for books with strong female characters about Sammy Keyes should be on The List if at all possible.
And this was possible.
Just not easy.
Anyway, please know that if you wrote me, I tried. If your town / bookstore doesn't wind up on either loop it's not for a lack of wanting to visit. We've spent hours and hours trying to accommodate as many requests as possible.
If you haven't seen it already, here's the Southern Loop schedule. For the Northern Loop we should have a tentative list sometime...soon. Or at least a picture of a map with dots!
Hope to see you at Pooh's Corner. Or somewhere in your neck of the Million Acre Wood.