The Book Tour As an Athletic Event
The book tour begins in a couple of weeks (the complete list is here and please come say hello if I’m coming to your hometown!), and as I’ve been getting ready for it, I realize that preparing for a book tour is a lot like training for a marathon. Training activities include:
Airport Sprint: I’m not a cardio freak, but running for a plane with a carry-on is an endurance test. I’m strapping my walking shoes on every morning. It’s hard to get going, but I just tell myself, "You’re at Gate 30. Your flight is about to depart from Gate 72" and I’m off.
Sleep Depravation: Let me just explain that I became a writer so I wouldn’t have to get up early. In fact, when Scott and I quit the rat race and moved up here, we had a ceremonial running over of the alarm clock with the moving van. And yet I’ve been warned that there will be many days that start at 5 a.m. (East Coast time, no less), and that I won’t just need to be awake, I’ll need to be made up, dressed up, and camera-ready. Experiments with chamomile tea and melatonin have begun. I’m hauling myself out of bed earlier just to try to re-set the clock.
Germ Warfare: Flu shot? Check? Trip to dentist, which resulted in detection and filling of cracked tooth, thus averting potential dental disaster during book tour? Check. Hand sanitizer for combating cold & flu season in 15 cities? Check. Airborne? Check.
Diet Regime: Eating on the road is a surprisingly difficult task, especially when many days will include a TV interview, radio interview, and bookstore event, all in a strange city. I’ll be living on power bars, trail mix, yogurt, and bottled water. What I won’t get much of: Coffee (makes your mouth sticky–bad for radio interviews), and alcohol (sleepless nights, bags under eyes, and cranky, hung-over author does not make good TV). Damn!
Gear Acquisition: Motorola Q? Check. Shoes that are both stylish and up for the rigors of the airport sprint? Check. Liquids and gels in single quart-size bag holding 3 oz containers? Check. Hand sanitizer in handi-wipe form so as not to take up precious space in quart-size bag of liquids and gels? Check. Clothing that is (a) TV-appropriate, (b) lightweight but somehow also warm, (c) does not require ironing, and (d) can be washed out in hotel room and dried quickly? Check.