I started last Sunday at Book Soup in West Hollywood, next to Los Angeles. That was a small talk, but the highlight came after when I got to have dinner with blogger Kanani Fong and her Writerly Pause group. Kanani was one of the earliest supporters of my efforts via her blog and book reviews, and it was great to finally meet in person.
The next morning, I flew to Denver where I met a book escort for the ride to Boulder. Book escorts are a little-known secret of the publishing industry. Their job is to shepherd authors to bookstores, media events, and hotels. They even feed and water us. And sometimes they read our books, and talk about them.
When you fly into a strange city, and you’re due at a radio station in less than an hour it’s invaluable to have someone who knows the way, knows where to park, and knows all the people you’re going to see.
My Boulder appearance was actually set up back in the winter when I walked into the Boulder Bookstore while in town for a speaking engagement at the University of Colorado. They called the publisher and asked if I’d visit when my paperback was released.
Google was a fun place. I was particularly interested in the work they are doing with their Sketchup drawing and modeling program and kids on the spectrum. I’ll write more about that when I get home. I loved the offices and the environment – it was so free, and so different from what I’d encountered as an engineer 25 years ago. As I told them, it was a place I could have succeeded, if it had existed when I worked as an engineer.
After that I was off to Vail and the most spectacular scenery of the trip. I wish I’d had more time to take some pictures because the views were just magnificent. My Vail appearance was at the Bookworm of Edwards, a community place where everyone seemed to know everyone else. We had folks from all the local schools, plus a pediatrician and a psychologist in the audience. I had a great night there and a good sushi dinner with the owner and her husband later.
In the morning I was off to San Francisco and my first appearance at Corte Madera. But before that – I went for a walk. I stayed at the Rex Hotel, a small place just around the corner from Union Square. At the square, I hopped on a cable car and rode it all the way to the end, at fisherman’s wharf. I walked all over, and looked at the ships and the sights.
The next night I read at Books Inc in the Castro district, and then it was off to Portland. My brother in law – Little Bear’s big brother – and his family have lived out there many years, and it was good to see them. I also enjoyed seeing the shipping on the Columbia River, though it was just the briefest of glances. My Portland event – at Powell’s Burnside store – was scheduled for the same time as the presidential debate. To my amazement, we had a full house despite the televised competition.
I’ve had a wonderful trip, thanks to all of you and your support. Now, I’m headed east to Dayton and then back home. But it’s not over . . . I’m back on the road again this coming Saturday, when I speak to the Asperger Association convention with my brother.