Monday, January 19, 2009

The Grand Booksigning



Even though I'm not yet a senior citizen (getting there at warp speed) I have to admit to a senior moment. I have vivid memories of the booksigning bus tour I participated in years ago, I just don't have a clue how many years ago that was. What I do know is at the time I was writing Native American historicals for Tor/Forge under my real name. One day I got a call from my then agent asking how I'd like to be included in a week-long bus based booksigning blitz. Duh, like yes!!!! Imagine this. Everything about the cost of leaving Oregon and heading for the midwest (I wasn't even sure what constituted the midwest) in May would be picked up by my publisher. After wiping the drool off my face, I ran wildly about the house telling my sons and husband what was going to happen to the woman of the house. My sons allowed as how that meant I'd miss some of their baseball season which they intended to hold over my head. My husband who is from Iowa wanted to know where the bus was going when. Duh, I'd forgotten to ask. He also warned me to take along warm clothes. Warm clothes? It's May. Spring.

So anyway, May rolled around. I jumped on a plane and got off it in Chicago. Now this is one of the places where my memory fogs. I have a vague memory of being met by someone who took me to a motel room where the five other selected writers from other publishers were staying. None of us knew each other or much about the other person's writing, in part because the grocery chain (no longer in existence) that planned the event wanted it to be broad-based with writers from a variety of genres. After that first shy and befuddled evening, we started to bond. And travel in a big tour bus. A lot.

More memories: pulling up at a super grocerystore to find cheering fans waiting with roses and balloons, holding court at the Chicago airport while travelers stared at us probably wondering what weird religion we were pushing, signing at two malls, one of which looked about to close from lack of customers, the other a madhouse of booklovers and signing free copies of my latest until my fingers fell off. We had meals with the grocerystore brass, book wholesalers and reps, and more quiet ones with just us and the fun loving young man who drove us around.

I loved every minute--except for running from one warm building to another with just a light jacket over my shoulders and allowing as how my husband had been right. Spring comes later to the midwest. A final memory which has nothing to do with booksigning. We were entering the outskirts of some town and noting how many people were out mowing their lawns. From the looks of the wintery gray lawns, we concluded that this was the first mowing of the year. The weeds were just getting started.

As a parting comment, I've included the cover of my latest release, Devil Man at Loose-ID. I love the moody-broody cover.

Vonna

www.VonnaHarper.com

3 comments:

Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Vonna/Vella!

What a wild time the bus tour brings to mind! Riding in a bus for a week could make details fade away no matter what your age! Glad you survived!

Jessa Slade said...

Rock 'n' roll style! I think RCRW needs to plan something like this. Oh man, I can imagine the blog entries now...

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Wow, those were the days. What a great story for you, Vonna. It's pretty rare that publishers do this now.

Jessa I like your idea of an RCRW bus tour. Hmmm...I wonder how expensive that really is. Maybe when my bestseller gets bought. :)