The last item probably took the most time because (shameful confession here) I'm afraid of the telephone. Seriously. I'm a grown woman in the twenty-first century, when phones are fashion accessories and you're never truly out of reach, and I'm afraid of telephones. I don't mind so much when someone calls me (although sometimes I will scream and jump because sudden noises startle me), but I dread making phone calls. I have this weird fear that I'm going to be disturbing the person on the other end. It takes me half an hour to psyche myself up to call and make an appointment for a haircut, even though I know my stylist wants me to call because that's how she makes money. Calling a stranger out of the blue makes me shake violently and feel sick at my stomach. I was in the totally wrong careers when I was working in journalism and public relations, two fields where a big part of your job is calling people who'd really rather not hear from you. It's a wonder I escaped with my sanity (mostly) intact and no ulcers.
So, anyway, I needed to call the events coordinator at the Borders store. The signing was set up by my publisher through their corporate office, and I had a paranoid image of me showing up for the signing and the store having no idea it was going on. After a long pep talk, I forced myself to pick up the phone and dial. I went straight into one of those automated menus, then from there into voice mail, which is cool with me because it means I don't feel like I'm disturbing someone. They can call me back and disturb me, most likely when I'm in the shower (the only time my phone rings). But then the voice mail box wasn't initialized, so I couldn't leave a message. Then I noticed that the business card had an e-mail address on it. Whew. I LOVE e-mail. It's the best invention ever. It's got almost the speed and immediacy of the telephone, but it's not as intrusive. I'm never afraid that when I e-mail someone, they'll be in the middle of something important and hate me. They can read my e-mail when they feel like it. So I e-mailed the events person, and while I was still psyched up to use the telephone, I made an appointment for a haircut.
Then it was off to the bookstores. My neighborhood Barnes & Noble still didn't have it out. Don't they realize this book was practically born in their store? From there, I went up to Lewisville, where there are three bookstores in the general Vista Ridge Mall area. It wasn't on the shelves at Waldenbooks in the mall. It wasn't on the shelves at the Borders in the mall parking lot, but I did find the area newsletter for Borders, which did list my signing at the Uptown store. Then I went to the Barnes & Noble across the street, and bingo! There was my book, all nicely stacked on the front "new fiction" table. But just before I went in search of a manager, my cell phone rang/buzzed (I have it both ring and vibrate because, oddly enough, I never hear it ring, but I can hear it vibrate). It was the guy from Borders. I felt it was probably rude to talk to Borders while inside a Barnes & Noble, so I went outside to chat. The signing is all set up, and he even has a spare poster I can put up in my church to remind people. Whew. Then I went back inside and signed all the books. One of the booksellers remarked that she'd noticed it when she put it out, and she was planning to read it because it sounded like just her thing.
So it looks like I'll have to return to a few of those stores. Fortunately, I didn't waste a really cute outfit. The moderately cute outfit was a retro-80s style hot-pink top with thin black stripes worn with black boot-cut jeans. I avoided the toenail polish problem by wearing pointy-toed flats with buckle trim that echoed the buckle detail on the neck of the top (I had red nail polish, which would have clashed with the pink).
Today I'm taking a day off from the touring. I have some stuff to get taken care of at home. I also need to clean house a bit because I've got a friend coming over tonight for a Battlestar Galactica marathon. I'll be spending the day doing some more interview questions, answering fan mail (yes, I'm already getting e-mail from readers! That's so exciting!), obsessively checking my Amazon ranking, etc.
Trauma of the day (aside from so many stores not having my book out): I tore a nail. And I'm not talking an "oh dear, my perfect manicure is marred" kind of tear. If this nail tore off completely at this point, there would be blood and excruciating pain because it's about halfway down the nail bed. It is currently Super Glued together, in hopes I can keep it intact long enough for it to grow to the point where no blood will be spilled when it tears further.
My virtual tour stops for the day: The blog of Johanna Edwards has an interview with me, as does Melanie Lynne Hauser. I'll have a couple more to post later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Out of the Blogosphere tour has begun. This week's touring author is Marianne Mancusi, author of A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court. I interviewed her for the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit a couple of weeks ago, so rather than make her go through another interview, you can find that one here in case you missed it. This is a fun book, and if you've ever wondered what Lancelot would think of a modern woman, here's where you can find out.