So my book tour is going very well. The book launched one week ago, and my two events in Utah were fantastic; my signing at the Orem B&N was the biggest I’ve ever had, and things are going well. Thursday morning I woke up early and drove to Seattle, which takes about 13 hours including stops for gas. People always ask if I use my road trips to listen to audiobooks, but I have a travel game I love too much to do anything else: I flip through the radio stations at random, seeing how long it takes me to figure out if each new one is Christian or not. My record so far is two and a half heavy metal songs before I realized it was a Christian heavy metal station. What audiobook could possibly compete with that? (Aside from my own, of course; go buy it now.)
My brother happened to be in Seattle for a job interview, and I got there early enough to meet him for dinner: raw oysters on the half shell, one of my absolute favorites and something he’s only just now getting introduced to. We both loved it. The next day I had a signing at the University Bookstore, which I was almost late to thanks to a deluge of rain causing significant slowdown on the freeways. “Deluge of rain causing X” is kind of an ongoing theme for this tour, as it didn’t stop raining for pretty much the entire three and a half days I spent in Seattle; we may have gotten three or four rainless hours total. Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world, but it was really going out of its way to live up to its weather’s reputation last weekend. The signing itself was awesome, with a great discussion followed by a fantastic meal with local readers at The Night Kitchen. My decision to eat dinner with a big group of readers after every signing has been awesome, and I will carry it forth for the foreseeable future–if you’re in town for any of the rest of my signings (listed on the calendar to the left of this text), please join me afterward for dinner and scintillating conversation. Thus far, no one has died at any of these events.
The weekend itself was LDS General Conference, which doesn’t mean much to those of you who are not LDS, but it’s basically a series of five two-hour meetings broadcast over satellite by the Church’s top leaders to the entire membership. We do it every six months, but this one was especially awesome. I really loved it.
On Monday I woke up to a phone call from my editors at Harper, and we talked for three solid hours about my draft of Partials and their notes for the rewrite. This feels almost more like a collaboration than a typical authorship, and my two editors are very much involved on every level of the creative process. It’s been awesome. Finishing that I did several more business-y things, grabbed some steamed pork hombow from my favorite Chinese Bakery (Mee Sum in Pike’s Place Market), and headed south to Portland. Once again, the rain made the roads slow, and the drive became downright terrifying in more than one instance when a big truck started kicking up enough water I felt like I was driving through an aquarium. I arrived safely, and the signing was awesome–nearly as big as the one in Orem–followed by, again, a truly fantastic dinner with local readers. We had an awesome time.
I’m staying in Portland with Mary Robinette Kowal and her husband, and so far we’ve managed to threaten each other with death only two or three times each. They’ve been very accomodating, and Mary makes a mean peach cobbler, and in just a few minutes we’re off to watch True Grit. But first I’m on the phone listening to my son read my a book about manatees.
As promised, I’ve been writing a short story every day this month for NaShoStoMo. They have been unilaterally awful, but I’d like to think they’ve been at least getting better as I go. the list thus far is kind eclectic to say the least:
April 1: The Cat Lady. A woman tries to convince her weird old mom to start cleaning up her house and yard and get rid of her many cats.
April 2: Standoff. A mercenary cowboy and two deadly gunslingers try not to die.
April 3: Memory. A scientist experiments with a memory drug on a patient.
April 4: The Volunteer. A new story starting with the same basic premise as the last one.
April 5: Old Things. My attempt to come up with a story based on looking around Mary’s house, seeing her collection of old typewriters, and somehow combining that with the Cthulhu mythos.
I will continue to write and keep you updated. I’m really learning a lot.