Throwing nostalgia in the face of 21st century expediency that snubs the book tour in favor of blog or media tours, I’ve been planning a number events in my favorite little book stores across the west. My family and I intend to make a vacation out of it, meet all the friends we have missed for too long along the way, and crown it by attending the long anticipated wedding of two of our best friends.
It’ll all begin when Sweet Land of Bigamy launches in Houston on July 19th, at Brazo’s Bookstore. It’s the first place I ever read my fiction aloud to a crowd, and so befitting. (There may be a secret Myton Daze launch the weekend before the 4th of July, if United will do me right with frequent flier tickets…)
On July 20th I’ll speed over to Dallas and have a reading in a very cool art space called Oil and Cotton. My good friend Evan Cleveland graciously set the event up, and I’ll read with him, and a Dallas poet Joe Milazzo. The Dallas trip means my daughter gets to see one of her favorite people, Evan’s daughter Kirin, and I get to see Evan who I worked with for many years and got used to right about the time he moved.
The Texas tour will dramatically pause, here, to resume in the fall…and the Northwest tour will begin in Utah. Utah, of course, makes sense because my novel is mostly set in Utah. We’ll start in Cedar City, Utah, at Braun Books. I’m excited about this because on this leg of the journey it may only be my daughter, my father, and I. Summer in Cedar City means the Shakespeare Festival, so I hope we’ll get to see something good. Maybe it also means book lovers, which would make me pretty happy. This will come a day after Pioneer Days: the 25th of July. I’m still planning with Megan, at Braun Books, to add a twist to the event catered to her book-buying audience.
On July 27th we’ll head north to Salt Lake City’s King’s English Bookstore: the first place I ever developed a book-buying habit, and one that holds many happy memories for me. The book is a Utah.
After Salt Lake we head north to Missoula, to read at Shakespeare and Company on August 1. I remember buying the Mists of Avalon here, when I was a child visiting my Aunt Patricia and Uncle Stephen. We’ll have a few days here to dip our toes in the Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers, maybe even Rock Creek, and eat good food, and make good talk with Patricia and Stephen, too. In late June, in Houston, Texas, there’s about no better fantasy than that.
We’ll wind on over to Spokane, then, to read at Auntie’s Bookstore. I’m really excited about this, too, because right in a middle-of-nowhere just northwest of Spokane lives my cousin Nancy, who is my mother Kathleen’s contemporary. I adored Nancy my whole childhood, because she reminded of my mother who I saw very little of then. But now I’ve seen my mother a lot, but I haven’t seen Nancy since I was a tween, I think. She’s bringing her reading group down from Daisy, Washington, and hopefully we’ll get to spend a night there and visit. I’ve always wanted to do this!
We don’t get much time in Spokane before we zoom on over to Seattle for a reading at the legendary Elliott Bay Books, on Monday, August 9th. I feel like a superstar when I think of reading here! Seattle is especially exciting because this is where the wedding we’re going to will be. But it also hosts some of my best friends from many different parts of my life: from elmentary school, and high school, and college, and graduate school, and post school. I think not even Salt Lake City or New York or Houston can boast such a varied bouquet of peoples I will always love.
Before the wedding, though, we head south to Portland for a reading at Broadway Books in Portland. This is the independent bookstore saved by a tweet a few years back. It’s small, and intimate, and just the right space for me and a number of friends I have missed a long time. We’ll also be able to greet some new friends of ours just moving to Portland.
Then we’re done. We can relax. We can see the wedding of some of our dearest friends, then make our way back to Utah pretty fast, and then as quickly, disappear into the Texas moistness.
I, for one, cannot wait.