As you may have noticed, I was in Chicago earlier this week, doing publicity for Thirteenth Child. It was a little strange; I haven’t really done the school-visits-and-bookstore-signings thing in my home town before. Oh, I’ve signed at bookstores, but it’s usually been me calling them up and saying “Hey, I’m going to be in town that month; would you like me to stop in?”
This visit was arranged by my publisher, so things were a little more formal-there was a schedule, and contact people, and ads in the paper and everything. All I had to do was show up and talk (which is never a problem for me!).
The thing that made it a little odd was that the contact person at the publisher is used to sending authors to places they’ve never been before to do school visits and signings. And she’s very good at her job, which meant she kept sending me notes about where the schools were and what restaurants would be close enough to grab lunch at, and where to park at the bookstore. And I was sitting here thinking, “Oh, that school is half a mile from my folks’ house. I’ll just run home for lunch. I can swing by the grocery story and pick up some stuff for my Dad on the way.” and “I’ll just park in the ramp down the block; it’s free for the first four hours.”
The signing went well; there were enough people to fill the seats for the presentation, but it wasn’t packed so tight that no one could breathe. Several old friends showed up, and so did my sister-in-law (the rest of the family had prior commitments). The real surprise, though, was a gentleman who told me he’d been one of my readers for years. It turned out that not only does he live in the suburb where I was born, he taught at the grade school I attended until we moved. I didn’t think there was anyone left who’d heard of St. Eulalia, let alone been there.
Sometimes, it seems as if the world is the size of a pea.
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