I’m getting ready to go on a book tour. As soon as January 2nd hits, I’m outta here, off to plague the world with my authorial presence.
Okay, it’s not a real tour, it’s a virtual tour, one in which I hop around the Blogosphere for two months, touting the virtues of my new novel, Plague. Every day or two in January and February I’ll be the guest of a different blogger.
I don’t have an itinerary yet, but I’ll post one here as soon as I do.
In the meantime, I’ll start packing my bags. Normally I hate packing for a trip, but in the case of this tour, there’s virtually nothing to it.
Wonder if I’ll have to eat virtual food while I’m traveling. I suppose that could lead to weight loss . . . simulated, of course.
Ah, the joys of virtual touring . . . I don’t even have to get up in the mornings to make it to my interviews. It’s all virtual reality. You’ll probably see a nice photo of me—-a spiffy electronic image—-on various Websites, while the real-life me sits in my office, red-eyed, grumpy and unshaven, dribbling coffee down my jammies.
One thing authors on tour, real tours, dread is no one showing up for a book signing. At least on a virtual tour, you don’t know whether anyone shows up or not. So I can be happy in my ignorance and just assume throngs are elbowing their way into my various blog stops to hear about Plague.
I like this. I’ve got it virtually made.
IMAGE: The author at a non-virtual book signing, the launch of Plague, September 15 at Peerless Book Store in Alpharetta, Georgia.A WARNING LABEL FOR PLAGUE?
So here it is! What do you think of my new Website?
With the recent release of my second novel, Plague, I figured it was time to spruce up my digital image.
Plague is a lot different from Eyewall, but just as much of a page turner. From the world of violent hurricanes in Eyewall, I venture into the world of bioterrorism in Plague. The inspiration for Plague sprang from my fascination with the Ebola virus, perhaps the deadliest pathogen known to man. The thought that Ebola could be weaponized is absolutely terrifying.
And terrifying is perfect for novels.
At the launch event last Saturday, I discussed some elements related to the novel that I probably won’t discuss elsewhere, like in a blog. But here are a few topics I feel comfortable addressing more publicly:
There probably should be a warning label on the book. The opening scene is pretty darn graphic, as are parts of chapters 15 and 27 describing death by Ebola. They’re paragraphs you wouldn’t want to read just before, during, or after eating.
My editor described the ending as “kick ass.” That pleases me. But here’s a point to ponder: How does a writer create a “kick-ass” ending with a female Methodist minister involved?
There’s a zinger in the epilogue. I thought that was kind of cool. It’s not something you see often. Usually epilogues merely wrap up what happened to the main characters in the wake of the drama. (Hey, no peeking at the ending and epilogue before you read the book.)
The original title of the novel was The Koltsovo Legacy. (The reason will become obvious as you read the book.) The name derives from the Koltsovo Institute of Molecular Biology, a real place in Russia. But I didn’t want people to think the novel was set in Russia. It’s not. The stage is Atlanta. Besides, my publisher, BelleBooks, wanted a one-word title, following along the lines of Eyewall and my work-in-progress, Supercell.
So, if you enjoyed Eyewall, I think I can offer you an equally as thrilling, but different, ride in Plague. Just remember my caution about the rather graphic scenes of death by Ebola.THE AUTHORING LIFE
For my non-Facebook friends, it’s time to bring you up to date on my authoring life.
First, my upcoming novel is now called Plague. It was born as The Koltsovo Legacy and went through three or four title changes before reaching the “carved in stone” stage. Plague.
Second, the release date for Plague is September 15. There’ll be an Atlanta Writers Club-sponsored launch party (book signing) at Peerless Book Store in Alpharetta, Georgia, that evening.
Third, my Website is currently in the process of being updated/upgraded. You should be able to view the new and improved model here by the middle of August.
Fourth, I’ll be on my way in less than two weeks to the Great Northwest and the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon. There, I hope to pick up some pointers on how to get Eyewall some visibility amongst the Hollywood crowd. That should be interesting.
Fifth, with a lot of PR and prep work going into Plague now, Supercell has been stuffed into a metaphorical drawer, at least for awhile. I’ll get back to it later in the fall. Got about 200 pages of an initial draft written so far.
See ya at Peerless in September.
-July 24, 2012-ON THE ROAD
A little over a week ago I took a brief trip to do a couple of book signings for Eyewall. Now unless you’ve written a blockbuster novel or have an instantly recognizable name, you aren’t going to have people flocking to your book signings.
I don’t have people flocking to my book signings.
I do them for PR: to get my name and face out there, to get a chance to talk with folks about writing and weather, and hopefully to generate a bit of goodwill for books and bookstores.
The first stop I made was Louisville, Georgia. Yeah, I know; I had to look it up on a map. It’s a tiny town (pop. 2000) snugged away about 40 miles southwest of Augusta amidst cotton fields and dairy farms.
Much to our surprise (my wife accompanied me), Louisville turned out to be a lovely place, a sort of Mayberry RFD with a really neat bookstore called the Book Worm. It’s really more of a regional store than a local one. It’s run by an engaging former school teacher, Margaret Newberry, and offers a downright homey atmosphere featuring an area where customers can sit quietly and leaf through books while sipping coffee or tea.
Oh, and right next door is a great little eatery, the Home Fresh Bistro, run by Mennonites. Both my wife and I had one of the best BLTs ever, there.
At the signing table in the Book Worm. Despite the event being on a Thursday afternoon, it drew well and I met a lot of really nice people. Sold over a dozen books, too! (Apparently, I have a thing for blue.)
Next stop, Brunswick, Georgia, and Hatties Books. Brunswick, where the shrimpers put out to sea, is on the mainland side of the Torras Causeway. The causeway leads to St. Simons Island, the setting for much of Eyewall.
The Hatties’ signing took place on a bustling Friday night, the monthly First Friday event during which the whole town comes alive. Shops and galleries serve snacks and wine, and live music permeates the air.
Did I mention the shops serve wine?
Hatties, thanks to its hard working and really nice owner, Marcia Stutz, was jumping. I met a gaggle of interesting people including a retired female FedEx pilot, and a lady whose son is an Air Force weather officer at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
I also hooked up with some old writing buds from the area. One was Dr. John House–no, not that Dr. House. This one is an urgent care physician and nothing like the acerbic, outspoken TV doctor. The other old friend, Dean Patterson, is an ICE agent. ICE, to refresh your memory: Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was probably making sure no one tried to smuggle a copy of Eyewall out of the country.
Like I said, lots of interesting people.
Signing books at Hatties. Yes, it’s a staged shot. Usually there were too many people in front of the table to permit a decent photo.
Finally, maybe the best part of the trip was a stay with my wife at the venerable King and Prince Resort on St. Simons and waking up to the sun lifting out of the Atlantic. Oh, and then to cap off our stay, drinks with my ace agents, Jeanie and Holly, in the lounge.
-December 13, 2011-