Amidst COVID-19, a fine book tour
I’m writing tonight from a KOA in Salt Lake City, where my pickup truck and trailer have been parked since Saturday, June 20.
Tomorrow, I’m leaving, heading for Billings, Montana, culminating a tour of about 2,600 miles that took me through Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Along the way, I had two physical author events/book signings in Parker, Colorado, and Salina, Colorado.
My current author look (Photo by Tom Burtchaell)
Book stores in Fort Collins, Colorado, and St. George, Utah, arranged virtual events. In those cases, I provided author book plates, with my signature, to the stores so book store personnel could provide them to people who bought the books.
About the only setback occurred in St. George. There, Book Bungalow owner Tanya Parker Mills hoped to interview me via Zoom, with the record function on, and then upload the video file to her YouTube channel. She ran into technical difficulties and was left without a recording. So, the dozen or so people who signed in last Thursday and saw the hour-long session comprise the only audience for that event.
But all is not lost. A few days before I left Billings on June 11, my good Bozeman friend (and former fellow Big Sky Toastmaster) James Healy interviewed me via Zoom. He recorded the interview and sent me the file, which I sent to the folks in Fort Collins.
I’ve since uploaded the video file to YouTube, and it can be viewed here.
One key takeaway from both the St. George interview and the one on YouTube: please, if possible, patronize your independent bookstore. I’m an entrepreneur, and the indy bookstore people are, too. We don’t hate Barnes & Noble, or maybe even Amazon, but Main Street stores are the lifeblood of most communities. And they are so warm and accommodating to authors like me.
Once back in Billings, I need to tend my plot in the local community garden, regain momentum on my next book (historic fiction using the hook of Charles Lindberg’s time in Billings in the summer of 1922, five years before his New York-to-Paris fame made him the most famous man in the world) and ... well, more summer adventures. And my books and those of other authors I meet along the way will be part of the journey.
Hope to see you somewhere in this grand country!