I was thinking of getting one of those rock band tour tee-shirts made, the kind of shirt that features a crazy, wild-eyed, horned and drooling creature with blood-dripping fangs on the front, and lists the dates and locations of the band’s latest tour on the back, to promote my own recent book tour. But, alas, I only had four cities to list and, with the possible exception of our dog, Duke, I don’t have any groupies. So onay to the tee-shirt idea.
Instead, I’m going to share a few photos.
The first photo is of the amazing, incredibly talented Melinda Pittman holding a copy of my book and mugging for the camera. This took place at my Portland book party, where I gave three readings and more than 75 people attended. The turnout warmed the cockles of my heart, which needed warming since the weather was both cold and wet, a chilly combination I rarely experience in the middle of semi-arid Mexico. However, thanks to Foster Church, who generously hosted my book party at his house, warm cockles were had by all.
My Portland book party took place on a Sunday; two days earlier I had been interviewed by Jody Seay, in Corvallis, for her televised show “Back Page,” an Oregon Public Broadcasting series about authors. My interview hasn’t aired yet, so stay tuned. That is to say, do not stay in front of your television set waiting for the show to suddenly appear. It’s okay to go outside, get in your car, and drive around a bit. I’ll let you know when my interview is available. I asked the producer to “photoshop” the face of Matt Damon over my face, which might account for the delay. Apparently, acquiring the rights to use a movie star’s image is not as easy or as cheap as it used to be.
The second photo is of the backs of a bunch of lovely people who attended my Ashland reading at Bloomsbury Books, where it was standing room only. Well, at least I recall standing while reading. Truth be told, it was, indeed, a packed and enthusiastic house and I would like to thank Bloomsbury Books, as well as the fronts of those lovely people, for making me feel so welcome. Ashland rocks!
I also want to thank Geoffrey Riley and the Jefferson Exchange of Ashland, a radio program on the regional NPR station, for interviewing me live (which is always preferred to being interviewed dead). Geoffrey is a true pro and has a mellifluous voice and infectious laugh. As mutual bonus points, we learned that we are both huge Robert Benchley fans (Las Los rocks!). Geoffrey performed feats of on-air magic and made me sound taller than I am. If you don’t believe me, here’s a link to the interview:
And the third photo is of my long-time friend, former neighbor, and relative by marriage (my sister married her cousin), Annette Rodriques of San Jose, who hosted a book party for Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak at her gorgeous house. Annette has a beautiful singing voice and opened the reading by leading us in a round of the popular Spanish song De Colores. Unsurprisingly, my Spanish isn’t any better when I sing. (In fact, I believe I am the only gringo in all of Mexico who has been told not to sing in the shower because of his voice, instead of for that other reason.) What was surprising, however, was meeting someone who has a close friend in the Bay Area who owns a condo unit in San Miguel de Allende. After the reading we conversed with her friend via text messaging and learned that her friend owns the condo above two of our closest friends in San Miguel. It is a small world, after all.
Corvallis, Portland, Ashland, San Jose: thank you, one and all, for your support! And thank you, FUZE, for making it all happen.
Maybe that’s what I should put on the back of my book tour tee-shirt. The names of those who cheered me on, laughed at my corny jokes, bought copies of my book, and struggled to decipher my handwriting after I autographed their copy. Now that shirt makes perfect sense to me. I might even put Matt Damon’s image on the front.