Friday, October 26, 2007

San Francisco - Day One


On Thursday, we arrived in San Francisco. I'm always seeming to arrive in cities just in time for a radio show. This time it was with A Matter of Taste, a show on food and wine hosted by David and Rachel Kane. The couple have the cutest little dog, who is well behaved enough that he can stay in the studio while they tape. Most TV and radio folks are a bit on the hyper side; the Kanes are cool and collected, and the air had a more serious air than any of the other shows I’ve done, but still warm and friendly. Their show airs this Sunday on 960 AM in the Bay Area, but you can also listen to the archive.

From there, we had about an hour or so before our media escort Lisa came back to pick me up to head over to Books Inc., one of the oldest independent bookstores on the West Coast. So far, I’ve been lucky. I’ve heard the stories of book readings in which no one shows up, but I’ve never had that happen. Even in Chicago, where a snafu sent a dozen people to the wrong store location, we still had about a dozen people in the audience. But at Books Inc., at 7 p.mt t, only my high school friend William Hull showed up. (This was the first time that Mike decided to stay back at the hotel, suffering from jet lag.) Another woman sat down in one of that back rows. Slightly gothic, with dark eyeliner and a shifty, fidgeting nature, she kept rifling through papers in her backpack. and immediately her energy darkens the place. Fortunately, Eric and Rob from the bookstore hung out and we joked and chatted about book tour war tales. At 7:15, I approached her and asked if she wanted to sit in the front row. Immediately, I sensed it was like approaching a hostile dog.
“No, I just want to sit here.”
I asked what attracted her to the reading, and what she might want to talk about.
“Just read something from your book,” she snapped.
Abot then, Eric said he’d ask others in the store if they wanted to join the discussion and the Gothic One got up and huffed out. Oh well. Two other people joined the reading and, with Eric, Rob, Will and my medis escort, Lisa, we had an audience of seven. And it was just fine. We all had a good time, the browsers turned audience members asked great questions. I totally bonded with the booksellers. So, a lesson to all authors on tour out there, a small audience isn’t always a bad thing.

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