Last week, I had the good fortune to do four successful book events in six days. If you follow me on Facebook, you know it was not your typical book tour and one that certainly raised my blood pressure.
|Signing at the Caribou Street Festival|
I say the tour was not “typical” because, in large part, of the impetus behind it. A single phone conversation spawned the trek.
“Can you run to the B Dalton in the mall to make sure my new books are there?” I asked a friend.
“Ah, that B Dalton closed,” he said.
“Well, can you buzz to Caribou and make sure they have them?”
“Well,” I said, “whatever. What’s the local bookstore?”
“Dude, you’re not getting the picture . . .”
My new series is set in northern Maine, along the Canadian border. The region is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined and home to 72,000 people.
And there’s no bookstore in sight?
|Delaney and Sharon Campbell|
My pitch was simple, “Do you like mysteries? I’d love to tell you about one I wrote that is set up here, and if you’re interested, I’d be thrilled to sign it for you. It features a single mother who’s a border patrol agent.” It’s about up here? People wanted to hear about the setting. We all love regional fiction. We love books we can identify with, and local bookstore or not, this community is no different.
And when all was said and done -- after book talks and signings at Houlton and Presque Isle libraries and serving as the Caribou library guest at a Thursday night street festival -- I sold out. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel toward the community members. The trip could have very well been a disaster. But the people of Aroostook County, Maine, came out and supported the series, I generated some media attention, and, hopefully, word will spread around the community that there’s a series being written about the area.
So now that the tour is over, where do I go from there? I might have found a small store, central to the region, interested in carrying the Peyton Cote novels. I’m waiting pass them on to my publisher.