Fourteen days, ten cities (well, okay, some of them were towns), 2,930 miles, seven signings, a class on writing taught at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, a business lunch in New York City followed by drop-ins at a couple of NYC Barnes and Nobles, where I signed a bunch of books for stock, visits with wonderful friends and beloved family, and even a couple of truly memorable meals. I would say that the THIEFTAKER Summer 2012 Signing Tour — my very first signing tour ever — was an unqualified success.
I have to admit that as I was preparing to leave for this trip I was intimidated by the scope of what I was doing and afraid that I was setting myself up for one disaster signing after another. What’s a disaster signing? That’s when you sit in a store, in front of a table piled high with your books, and no one shows up to buy them. No one speaks to you. No one comes near you, because they’re afraid that if they do, if they so much as make eye contact, they’ll HAVE to buy a book that they don’t want. Disaster book signings happen to just about all of us at one time or another. I’ve had more than my share of them.
But this time around I had none. Not a single disaster. This is not to say that I had people lining up out the door and around the block to buy copies of THIEFTAKER. Far from it. But I did have solid foot traffic at every signing. And I’m so grateful to every person who came to hear me read, and/or buy a copy of the book. I hope you enjoyed the various events, and that you’re enjoying the book itself.
Mostly, I want to thank everyone who made the tour possible — my terrific publicist at Tor Books, Leah Withers, who put much of the tour schedule together; my brother, Jim, who let me stay at his home and came to my Albany signing; my friend, Alan Goldberg, with whom I had a memorable musical afternoon, and who also came to the Albany event; my friends Elyse Poller and Gerald Dunne, who hosted me in Storrs, and told so many friends about the signing that we very nearly sold every copy of THIEFTAKER in the store; James Tracy, the headmaster at Cushing Academy and my closest friend from my graduate school days, who not only offered me the chance to stay in the lovely town of Ashburnham, but also invited me to speak to a creative writing class at the school — those kids and their teacher then accompanied me to my signing at the Somerville Public Library; my cousin, Lynne Gold-Bikin, who let me stay with her in Pennsylvania, as I made my way from New York to a signing in Claymont, Delaware; Faith and Rod Hunter who hosted me for three wonderfully fun days in Rock Hill, South Carolina, who took me out on the river for a glorious few hours on Monday, and shared a late-night jam session Tuesday; and A.J. Hartley and his charming family, who hosted me for my last night on the road.
And of course, the folks at the various stores where I signed: Maria Perry and her staff, at Flights of Fantasy, Suzy Staubach and her staff at the UConn Coop, Maria Carpenter at the Somerville Library, Greg Schauer and his volunteers at Between Books, Mike Pruett and Alison at the BooKnack, Mel and Rae and the rest of the staff at the Harbison Court Barnes and Noble, and Sonya and her staff at the Cotswold Mall Books-A-Million.
It was as fine a tour as I could have imagined, and I have a pretty good imagination. How good? Well, I’m already starting to envision my next tour . . . Again, thanks so much to everyone who had any part in it.