Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bye For Now!

A few years ago, when it came to my attention that Sammy fans were wondering why a Sammy Keyes book hadn't come out in over a year (and that they were speculating about my possible death), I committed to writing a new post every Sunday through the publication of the last book in the series.

Kiss Goodbye was published back in September. And it made sense to keep the posts going through the tour, but now that we're back home, I think it's time to take a hiatus. My posts had become newsy more than inspired--a shift I wasn't happy with, but something that the wrap up of the series seemed to call for.

I will post when there is news. For instance, there was another meeting just this week about Sammy-to-TV. If a deal gets done, I will definitely tell you about it!

I want you to know that it meant so much to me on both legs of the tour to meet "people from the blog." I cannot begin to explain how absolutely wonderful it was to meet so many of you in person. The readership here is an extraordinary group and I feel so lucky that you have come to spend time with me every Sunday for years!

So this isn't "Goodbye" -- this is just me recognizing that it's time to take a break until something post-worthy comes along.

Meanwhile, here's waving at you!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Basement Tour

I had to remind myself several times this week that we're not doing this tour for the scenery. Interesting (or even varied) scenery is nice, but that's not the reason we're on this tour.

Which is to say that this week provided more long, wide miles of corn.

And then wheat.

And then basically barren plains.

But in the towns between, there were people, and bookstores, and stories.

Everyone really does have a story, and for a lot of the indie bookstores--some of which have been around for generations--there are stories inside them, too.

We were in the little town of Seward, Nebraska where Chapter Books sits on the corner of a small, classically American-looking square. Outside, the two-story brick building is painted a lovely red with grey and white accents. It's quite beautiful. And on the inside where the bookstore occupies the ground floor, everything looks welcoming and well-organized--a really nice place.

But then we heard about the basement! A scary basement that the employees refused to go. And that upstairs were abandoned apartments. Rumor was, they were scary, too.

So of course I begged for a tour.

And they were scary!

But also interesting.

And I could feel the tickle of stories beginning in my brain. Who were the people who had lived upstairs? Had there really been a barbershop downstairs? How, with no windows? Where did the freight elevator go? Why were there large plastic-wrapped church artifacts lying among ancient newspapers? And what was in that large heavy crate, unopened for 50 years?

I had a blast on the tour of the basement (despite rumors of rodents of unusual size) and the abandoned apartments. Just the old furniture and wash basins were enough to tickle me happy.

How can this not make you wonder?
What struck me after we left Seward was that, yes, beautiful (and varied) scenery is nice, but the cool thing about being a writer is that there are stories waiting for you everywhere, even (or maybe especially) in the most unexpected places. You just have to listen. To the people you cross paths with, to the buildings you pass through.

Who needs scenery when you're allowed into a basement?

So that's my little musing for this week. Next week wraps up the tour and I am looking forward to our last several events...and then to getting home after 8 weeks on the road. (And getting my computer fixed!) Here are the final dates:

Monday 11/3 @ 7 PM, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Wednesday 11/5 @7 PM, Lyon Books, Chico, CA
Thursday, 11/6 @ 6 PM, Face in a Book, El Dorado Hills, CA
Friday, 11/7 @ 7 PM, Hicklebee's, San Jose, CA

And lastly, I noticed online that today is Jessica's birthday. As one of this blog's faithful followers and ever-thoughtful contributors, I want to send up a special cheer: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESSICA!

See you in the comments!