Thursday, August 23, 2012
On the Road
I’m actually on the road as this post appears: halfway between home in New York City and Nashville, 900 miles away, where I’ll attend the Killer Nashville mystery conference this weekend. Crammed into my trunk are boxes of my three mysteries and my Outrageous Older Woman CD as well as my guitar, my dress-up duds, my Kindle in case I have to do any waiting for long enough to want to read, my netbook in case I get a chance to write, my running shoes in case I get a chance to run, my bathing suit in case I get a chance to swim, three or four umbrellas as a magical-thinking preemptive strike against rain….Underwear? Who do you think I am—Jack Reacher?
I had to go back to my last four tax returns to figure out how many miles I’ve driven to promote my mysteries since the first one, Death Will Get You Sober, was published. Back in the olden days, in 2008, the physical book tour was still a viable means of promotion for midlist writers who were paying their own way.
I’ve driven to Malice every year since 2007, and I drove to Bouchercon in Indianapolis and various lesser distances. (I have friends in the DC area and in-laws in Columbus, OH, which has helped with the expense of lodging.) All told, that makes 22,050 miles. If we count New York to North Florida and back in 2006 for a writers’ master class at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with SJ Rozan, where I worked on the changes that legendary editor Ruth Cavin wanted before she would offer me a contract as well as new material that became Death Will Help You Leave Him, that brings the total up over 24,000 miles. At the same distance, I could have “put a girdle round the earth,” as Shakespeare said, though not in Puck’s forty minutes.
I do have friends along the way: my best friend from high school in Lexington, VA, a writer friend from that residency in Florida in Roanoke, my Guppy buddy bestselling author Krista Davis in New Bern, NC—which was evidently a much more happening town back in the 18th century, the days about which Diana Gabaldon has written in her Outlander series.