I’m writing this on Monday afternoon, February 20, 2017, the day before SETTING FREE THE KITES is published. At the moment all seems relatively calm.
I know from my previous books that the day of publication can be something of an anticlimax. Because here’s the shocking truth: the rest of the world has the temerity to continue on exactly as before, somehow oblivious of the grand momentousness of the day. Quite how this happens, I do not pretend to understand. All I know is that when you publish a book, the world does not, in fact, stop. I know. Horrors.
Tomorrow will be a busy one for me, though, and I’m grateful for that. I’m doing what’s called a “radio tour”, which means I have five hours of back-to-back radio interviews starting at 7.30 (drive time on the east coast) and going throughout the morning. I did this for A GOOD AMERICAN, too, and it’s a bizarre experience – or at least, it slowly morphs into one as the hours tick by. By the time you get to your sixth or seventh interview, a vertiginous sense of unreality sets in. You hear the words coming out of your mouth, but your brain is going: hang on. Is that really me talking?
I’ll be asking that question a lot in the forthcoming weeks, I daresay. I’m thrilled to be going on tour to so many wonderful bookshops, and can’t wait to meet a bunch of lovely readers, but the change in register between that very public way of carrying on and my usual one couldn’t be more stark. These days I do find myself standing up in front of large crowds of people on a regular basis, but it tends to be to talk about The Unbound Book Festival, and not my own work. Writing books is a strange job. For 99% of the time it’s incredibly private, but the other 1% is a veritable orgy of toe-curling self-promotion (as, ahem, you may have noticed.) I’m comfortable in front of an audience – as my wife would put it, I’m awfully fond of the sound of my own voice – but it still is strange to be talking about something so private in such a public setting.
So, first off, I’ll be at Columbia’s Barnes & Noble tomorrow night at 7.00 p.m. to launch the book – I’d love to see you there, if you’re in the area – and then I’ll be off to the wonderful Watermarks Books and Cafe in Wichita, KS, to chat with Newbery Award winner Clare Vanderpool. I’m hoping to post fairly regularly from the road, if the Gods of Hotel Wifi deem it fit.
Finally, I mentioned in an earlier post that the price of the e-book of A GOOD AMERICAN has been reduced to $1.99 at all online retailers for a limited time. Yesterday the thing started going absolutely bonkers. It crept into the top 100 bestselling e-books on amazon, and over at Barnes & Noble’s website, this happened (and, in fact, is still happening at the time of posting this.) It’s surreal, but, well, it’s kind of fun, too.