Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening!
And yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day.
But it all feels like a big, wonderful adventure, with great people at every stop (especially the Sammiacs!). Yesterday's host in Franklin, TN was a Southern gentleman (who looks remarkably like Col Sanders of KFC) and fended off blimp-sized bumblebees with a little badminton racket. You can't make up some of the stuff we've seen, which (I think) is why it's important for writers to get away from their desks and absorb the real world. I don't know if there'll ever be a guy like this bookseller in a story I write, but there he is, in the back of my mind, with his little racket. And blimp-sized bees.
Part of this week's adventure included touring Graceland, which was way better than I thought it would be. Despite Elvis appearing in the Sammy Keyes series, I don't really have a thing for Elvis, so it wasn't like I was dying to tour Graceland. I was expecting over the top opulence, but it wasn't that way. I was fascinated by how the kitchen (which was a very busy place in Elvis's time) seemed small and functional and like something out of a tract house from the seventies.
I did, however, squeal, "The Heavenly Hotel!" when we came to the mirror-lined staircase. Man, I'm going to miss that place. (The Heavenly, not Graceland.)
Bonus remark from this week: The daughter of a bookseller in Georgia is a big Sammy Keyes fan and got her hands on an ARC of Kiss Goodbye and told me it was her favorite one.
Her favorite one!
It's not easy to wrap up an 18 book series, but this gives me hope that I've done it right.
And in other news...
I met a teacher this week who has 300 copies of Sammy Keyes books.
Did you read that right?
Yes! She buys them up and forces them on people. She is a believer. She came to an event and when I asked her why she liked Sammy Keyes, she launched into such an impassioned speech about the importance of the series that I wish I'd had a video recorder going. I've been explaining that Sammy is not just a mystery series--that there's something bigger and deeper there--but people like to put things in little boxes. Mark did get a little of this teacher on video after the program for a trailer we're hoping to put together for Kiss Goodbye, but if I'd caught what she said during the discussion, I could just press play and tell people, here, just listen to this teacher.
Sammiacs, I've determined have a remarkable ability to grow hair. Three of the ones I've met this week have amazing hair. And that doesn't include the long-haired boy who brought his collection for me to sign.
Tomorrow we go on Memphis morning news. The host said she wanted to interview us outside the station to include the van, but since we're experiencing "extreme weather" that may not happen. And then we're off to Arkansas!
That's all for now. Thanks for checking in! And for those of you who came out to see us this week, THANK YOU! It has been so wonderful to meet all of you.
See you in the comments!