The weekend is blissful but now itís time to hit the road again.
DenveróMet by the author escort, Lisa, who is beautifully dressed and coifed. Iím in schlumpy khakis and a t-shirt, having left Santa Fe at 8:30 to make our 10:30 plane from Albuquerque. Weíre going to stop off at Ingramís, a book distribution company, on the way to the hotel. They have 65 books to sign. Lisa tells me Iíll be in a room by myself and will meet just one employee of the company (meaning not to worry about fixing myself up). But when we get there they announce my arrival over the loud speaker and a group of employees come in to say hello and get personalized books. Nobody minds (or even notices?) how I look. Maybe my mother was wrong?!
The really interesting thing is that Ingramís has so few books and theyíre all spoken for. And weíre not doing drop-ins at Denver bookstores because none of them have any books. So Iíve come to a city to publicize a book that really isnít available except at the one store where Iíll be appearing tomorrow night. Still, I shouldnít be too upset because when we reach our hotel thereís a message from Vicki saying Summer Sisters is #9 on the Denver Post bestseller list and thatís why the stores are sold out. (Oh) Itís also #4 on the Boston Globe list, #12 on the LA Times, #12 on Publishers Weekly, #14 on the Wall Street Journal and moving up on the USA Today overall list. This is great news! Nothing about the New York Times list. We donít discuss it. They havenít even reviewed the book. Just as well. Iíve always thought I really lucked out that the NY Times was on strike when Wifey was published.
AOL Book Report: an online chat room. George has spoken to the producer and made arrangements for the 6PM hookup. They ask if I want to type the answers to questions myself or use the phone and have them do the typing. We opt for the phone because the keys stick on Georgeís keyboard (he thinks from living next to a construction site last winter.) This is a big mistake. It takes forever for my answers to be posted...and they lack any personal touch. Iím so frustrated I vow never to do this again.
After, I call Randy, who was having lunch with the marketing director at the company that will be publishing her first book next spring. Iím so excited for her! Then George and I go out to dinner (Yes, more pasta!) and while weíre strolling past the Oxford hotel a bellman, standing outside, calls Judy... Do we know each other? I ask. No, but he recognizes me from TV. This is amazing because Iím wearing dark glasses (couldnít find my other pair) and itís dark outside. We stop to chat and he tells me how he and his girlfriend have recently moved to Denver and how she is planning on being at my booksigning tomorrow night. He tells me about his fourth grade teacher who introduced him to my books back in Poseyville, Indiana, then asks if Iíd sign something for her. He returns with a couple of pieces of paper. Later, he gives us a ride back to our hotel and we promise him a book, on us, for Melanie, his girlfriend.
Early morning radio show canceled because the host has a medical problem.
News at Eleven - Lisa picks me up at 10:30 for a live in studio interview. Itís a do your own makeup show. I would like Lisa to teach me how she does hers. The interview is a good one. (I judge them by my own standards - do I enjoy it or not?) They announce tonightís signing at the Tattered Cover.
Lisa drops me at the hotel for lunch with George, then returns for my next interview: ďNot For Women OnlyĒ. Itís an interesting discussion that ends with me choking up over summer losses - the deaths of my grandmother, father, mother, close friend. When weíre off the air she says sheíll delete that if I want but I tell her No...itís okay. Then she tells me about having Isabel Allende on the show just after Isabelís daughter died and how emotional an interview that was. Just thinking about Isabelís loss is enough to get us both started.
Return to the hotel feeling down to find out Summer Sisters will be #11 on the New York Times Bestseller List on June 7! I cry...I bawl my eyes out. George thinks Iíve gone off the deep end. But I canít stop. I talk to Carole Baron, my publisher at Delacorte, and thank her for believing in this book. Iím ecstatic. I donít think I was anywhere near this thrilled when Wifey and Smart Women hit the list. Maybe everything is sweeter now, maybe itís that I was told there wouldnít be a market for a small, emotional novel (a third of it about kids.) I thank my readers. Theyíve made this happen. The stores are unprepared. But the women at Delacorte are celebrating. They got behind this book and stayed with it.