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.

5 thoughts on “The Book Tour As an Athletic Event”

  1. “Let me just explain that I became a writer so I wouldn’t have to get up early.”
    I KNEW I liked you for some reason. I comsider myself neither an early bird nor a late owl. Though lately my hours have been running later and later. Over the past two years of working from home, my bed time has move from 11:15pm to close to 1:00am — yes, East Coast time. Not sure if that is a benefit or not. But setting one’s own schedule, seems great in theory. In oractice, everyone else seems to be setting it for me–from interview subjects’ govrnment hour (generally 8am-4pm) availability to the early morning arrivals of my printer’s delivery truck. *Sigh*. Still better than the 9-to-5 grind though!
    See you soon in DC! Check out my 1/28/07 blog post at

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