The Great Northeastern Book Tour, "Live from the Cafe," and Other Musings...
Well, here we are again...fooling around with colors, fonts and other inane things as I sit here, trying to stay awake, and also working to figure out what on earth I am to do next.
It's been nearly a week, and my new book, "Live from the Cafe" is out...
It's just arrived in my hands, the physical books, and they look great. The book is 328 pages, but the print is of decent size, and I feel this will be a good, fast read.
I have been fooling around with a bunch of ideas in my head, and I have decided to try a few promotional things this summer. I've gotten an opportunity, and so I've built around it.
Seems like we're always on display and always on the make, so I figure best to embrace it. Before and after events, I am trying my own weird little concept:
NINJA BOOK SIGNINGS!
I know, you're asking, "What the fuck are those?"
Well...be vewy, vewy quiet..."
Since I've discovered that book shops (even indie ones!) and other places of business just don't have the time or wherewithal to have every single undiscovered and unknown author in their establishment, you have to do your own thing.
I am stealing an idea from Amanda Palmer...any fan of hers knows when on tour, she likes to do "Ninja Gigs." She'll show up with a ukelele (or if there's a piano, even better) at a place and do a free, spontaneous gig. Those are more fun sometimes.
Those just look like more fun, don't they?
So, I'm doing this...I'll choose random places, and then promote on social media that I'll be doing a ninja book signing. If you want to get a copy of "Live..." or one of my other books, just show up.
"Aren't you gonna get in trouble for that?" You may ask.
Well, I might. But it's like this. I put up NO signs. The book sits next to my laptop and my coffee, like so:
Sorry for the glare. But that's it. I'm just sitting here, enjoying my coffee, while a couple hundred people in various forms of dress/undress fly through this place and get tanked up.
Now trouble? As I say, I'm not bothering anyone. I'm not talking to anyone. I'm just here. If anyone sees the book and asks, then I'll talk to them.
If you come see me, and decide to buy, the transaction is done between two agreeing parties.
No one gets hurt, no one is bothered, and I'm also paying for my drinks.
I'll have fun with this, and refine it. I don't expect huge sales, but as I spend lots of time out and about, why not have fun?
Now...the Great Northeastern Book Tour, haha...well, I have a couple of events lined up, and here's what I'm doing so far.
On Thursday, July 13th, I'll be reading and signing (and hopefully selling) at DogStar Books in Lancaster as part of the Turning Wheel series of authors. This will be fun. Eliot White is the head of a site called Triangle, and he's working to bring the arts communities from around the region together. Really nice, enthusiastic guy...I like him very much and I think this is a great inroad for us all.
Later this month, I head back to my native New England for a needed vacation...but I'm not without enterprise.
On Friday, July 28th, I'll be at the Diesel Cafe on Elm St. in Somerville, Massachusetts to do a signing at the place that started "Live from the Cafe."
This is where it all began. And I didn't even know it.
Years ago, I went in there and saw a large, open place that had pint glasses of coffee, good food, and a cool place to hang out. I wrote, drank, and enjoyed it.
Back in York, PA, where I lived at the time, I was spitting distance from Borders. When it closed, I thought about opening my version of the Diesel there. The size, space, color and location made me think it could be a different place.
But different doesn't translate very well, does it? I don't think it would have worked, because change is not embraced too well at times. I also would not have had the money to get started, and who knows what a lease would have cost.
But it was a fun thought...and in my mind, I often asked myself, "What kind of coffee place would I run, if I opened one?"
From years of hanging out in coffee shops, corporate and otherwise, I started to find something that I thought would be cool. It might not make money in the real world, but I left it as a "Who Cares?" attitude for the story.
Le Cafe began to form in my head, and I drew upon the many people I watched, listened to and hung out with in places like these.
I had enough fodder for characters in my head to begin with, and then others started to filter in.
And here we have it...a strange little place in a strange little town. The people are recognizable, I hope, the issues they face are real, and I hope I put you into a land that is at least understandable to your own situation.
I had a lot of fun writing this, and now I hope to bring it to you.
So yes, that strange author will be sitting about, hawking his wares in a different way...getting rid of the middleman...usually.
Diesel has been kind enough to have me, and then comes the really interesting one.
The next day, July 29th, I'll be doing a signing at my college. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is having me at the 30th reunion...well, mine is 30 years.
I hope to see old friends, and find out just how different we've become (or not), and I hope they'll see that awkward radio geek didn't turn out too badly.
I'm still in radio. That's enough to certify me, but I had that to start with.
So I'm gonna do that one, too. That's gonna be fun.
Been years since I was up in Maine, so I'll be hanging out with my sister and brother in law in Freeport, in their amazing old house, hooking up with old radio and music friends...
And on the radio as a subject!
WMPG 90.9 FM in Portland was WSJB's rival back in the day, or one of them on the left side of the dial. On Tuesday, August 1st, at 7:30 pm, Christopher White will host me on the Tuesday Night Talk Radio Club. They have a stream and everything...that will be fun...one of my old friends from Rocky Horror days, DJ Pete, will do a swing show right after that...fun.
I will move about the region, and head to the midcoast for a bit of research, but also to help blast Pennsylvania out of my head for a time.
So many people I'd like to see, and also a time to consider what next I'll do.
Now...back to the house...I'm really enjoying living in the 'burg, and the home is a cool little spot. I don't spend enough time in it, and I wish I could. I spent the better part of two days home, while inspections went on.
My chimney needed a metal sleeve and a cap, after UGI found it clogged by birds, and who knows what else. Got that done, and on the same day, UGI came back to untag my water heater, clean it and do the same assessment to my AC.
Costly, but needed. That's life.
Well, I have some touring to do this summer, books to sell, and I hope you'll find it in you to pick up "Live from the Cafe," and my others...the labor of love that these are comes with various prices, but I have enjoyed this long several years of creativity, and there's more to come. Much more.
Enjoy...and I hope to see you so I can sign your work and thank you personally for the support...and just to see anyone these days is important.
Not starting at screens or our phones. Like in the cafe, the rule ought to be: "No Wifi. Drink coffee, and talk to each other."