Book Passage in Corte Madera, California on February 13th at 7pm. Come see Jimmy Carter the night before, and then just camp overnight. I'm sure they won't mind.
It's going to be a great trip, mostly because I am going to get to see a lot of old friends and meet some people I've known online for years. I'm also visiting some schools, such as the famous Bridge School, that have similar programs to the one Schuyler attends here in Texas. And I plan to be a shameless, generic San Francisco tourist, all Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars and giant trees and Rice-a-Roni. Sorry if I embarrass anyone.
The following Monday night at 7pm, I will be speaking at the regular meeting of the Writers' Guild of Texas, along with my friend Karen Harrington, author of Janeology. The topic will be "A Year in the Life of Two Debut Authors", and it should be a lot of fun. The meeting takes place in the basement conference room of the Richardson Public Library in Richardson, Texas.
I was going to apologize for bothering everyone with book promotional stuff yet again, but you know what? I'm not going to do that.
I recently read an excellent post on author Gwen Zepeda's blog that really made me think. (You should read Gwen's wonderful new novel, Houston, We Have a Problema, by the way. I am digging it muchly.) Hers is a common experience for authors. We find ourselves almost in an apologetic position for actually getting our work into print, and especially for being expected by our publishers to market ourselves in the process.
Gwen writes about being confronted by the stranger who has an axe to grind about publishing, but it happens with the people in your life, too. For a while you just tell yourself that it's probably hard for them to watch someone they know "suddenly" find success. You cut them slack because you think they'll come to terms with it eventually. The person who you are hasn't changed, after all, and neither have the reasons you wrote your book in the first place, reasons that have very little to do with being a Fancy Pants Author. You got published, not because the system is broken and only rewards hacks, but because you worked your ass off and created something you believe in. Still, you don't make an issue out of it because you don't want to look like a dick.
To be honest, I'm tired of feeling like I need to apologize for it. I don't think I'm going to do that anymore.