Not Dumpsters...although I have been known to pull a Sammy Keyes with those, too.
No, I'm talking about ideas. I get an idea about something and before you know it I've thrown myself into it and work, work, work until it's a reality.
Name any book I've written, and that was my process.
The Exercise the Right to Read campaign was like that. Building the website, getting schools to participate, running the marathon...
26.2 miles? Whose crazy idea was that?
The "Pirate Party" was like that--something I did as a celebration of the "halfway" point in the Sammy Keyes series (which was for Dead Giveaway, which is pirate-y in a Billy Pratt sort of way, which turned out to be the 5/9 point in the series, not the half, but I didn't know that at the time).
|Mark & me (and Valerie Lewis of Hicklebee's, San Jose)|
There was also the Flipped premiere that I hosted at a local indie theater. O-ver-board again! (And nary a pirate in sight.) I was on my hands and knees (as were Mark and Nancy) pasting down our own Avenue of Stars for the guests -- again, people who'd been supportive of my career over the years.
|The stars from the Flipped movie|
Well, apparently, yes.
Maybe I am just a serial overdoer. Maybe I have an unhealthy need to please. Maybe I'm afraid of failure. There's probably some deep-seated psychological reason why I do the things I do, but there are also rational reasons. What contributes to this insane tour of independent bookstores is having grown up in a family that ran a small business. It instilled in me an appreciation for what it takes to make a small business work. It's not an easy thing.
There's also the matter of saying thank you. Sammy Keyes is (or soon will be) 18 books strong. Some of these booksellers have been hand-selling my work since Hotel Thief came out in 1998. I think a thank you is definitely in order.
Some of the stores we've called to see if they'd like to have us visit are, like, "Why are you coming to [Small Town, USA]?" It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't know you or understand that the awards on your books haven't put a barrier between you and remembering what it's like to balance the books of a small business. It's hard to explain the bit about 'thank you'.
|The "He Said, She Said" Road Show Wagon!|
It's been interesting.
And understandable, which is too bad.
Right now, Mark's researching Wind City Books in Caspar, Wyoming. He's super good at this researching stuff. When he's going through a store's website or Facebook pages, he often calls out things like, "I love this place!" or, "Look at this beautiful high ceiling!" or, "Check it out! They have a dog!"
(Indie stores: If you have a resident dog, we will come.)
Wind City Books looks like a cool little indie. So does Main St. Books in Lander. (Mark tells me they have the bonus feature of a coffee bar, and if you've seen our Spring tour routing, you know why this is of interest to him.)
We'll probably call these Fall tour stores next week, because we have to get that ball rolling before we leave on the Spring tour. Maybe they'll be suspicious. Maybe they'll be excited. Either way, we'll do our best to win them over and give them a little boost in faith that sometimes people just want to say "We get it," and "Thank you."