Sorry for the belated update, but this tour is more of a whirlwind than I expected! The dinner at Fore Street was fantastic, and I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from my days at Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Thank you to everyone who attended. You really did launch my tour auspiciously. In some ways it was like having a bottle of champagne broken over my bow.
On Tuesday I flew from Portland to Charlotte to Minneapolis. Then I spent the afternoon with my publicist visiting bookstores in the Twin Cities in the pouring rain (saw the Mary Tyler Moore statue!). We handed out galleys of The Poacher's Son and tried to leave a positive impression in three minute intervals.
Booksellers are besieged with authors wanting attention (I know this from the day job), so the only way to go about this business is with utter humility. I think busy people are so used to being bullshitted that they appreciate actual candor when they encounter it. I say this as a busy person.
Dinner at Kincaid's in St. Paul was also excellent (I recommend the filet) and I was interested that the conversation was so different from the night before. We really grappled with the character of Mike's dad (the poacher of my title) and with my less obvious literary influences (e.g. Tim O'Brien, who mentored me at Bread Loaf.) I found the discourse frank and engaging. No punches were pulled or dodged. (Again, I never make a point of pretending to know more than I do, because one is always found out in the end.) So I felt like I learned a lot from my dinner companions, and thank you all for humoring me. The Minnesota booksellers very graciously had me sign copies of their galleys. I've never done that before, and I have to say it was the first moment when I actually felt like a book author.
Now I'm off to Dinner #3. Stay tuned.