I promised on the last tour that I would be better at updating you this time around.
Turns out, I'm a filthy, little liar...
Honestly, your humble narrator might have bitten off more than he could chew when scheduling this past tour. I've been paying for it ever since. The exhaustion/flu bug hit me hard after wrapping up nearly a week ago and it's kept me laid out since.
I wouldn't change a thing.
I had an absolute blast running my tail off throughout my home state. Saw some familiar faces, met a slew of new readers, and, my favorite, spread the word about the importance of reading to a ton of students. More on all that to come, but first a video post.
Oh, and I'll give a free ebook of Taken With A Grain of Salt to the first person who correctly lists the number of times I say 'Awesome' during the video post in the comment section. Gotta keep things fun, right?
Tuesday, Dec. 2nd
So that was awesome...(see what I did there?)
Okay, so I'm going to break this tour recap up into at least two blog posts, maybe even three, rather than have one insanely long one that you give up on halfway through. I also plan to eventually post a few tips and tricks I've learned this past year to help any of you other authors who might read and benefit from my experiences.
Onto the recap!
First, let me say how awesome it felt flying into Indy. I joked with the wife how strange it felt to fly alone. I used to do it all the time when I worked as a management consultant, but haven't flown alone since Little Miss was born. Kinda nice to sit back and read in quiet.
Btw, if you haven't read Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers it out now. He offer amazing and unique perspective both of how success occurs and why.
But let's get back to shameless self promotion...
I practically skipped off the plane when we landed in Indy. Everyone looked at me like they would a crazy man, probably cause I kept exhaling to see my breath on the air. I know most of you fellow Hoosiers will think I'm crazy, but I truly do miss seasonal changes.
Mom and I ran some errands, picking up various items to use on the tour, as well as some undershirts for me.
Why didn't you pack undershirts, Galv? I hear you ask.
My suitcases contained 157 pounds of books...
In the end, I didn't need those extra 157 pounds of books I carted to Indy, but what can I say? I remain eternally optimistic.
I stacked those boxes either late Tuesday night or incredibly early Wednesday morning. In hindsight, I'm finding time becomes a bit relative in both prepping and during these tours. Anyway, I had a fond memory while stacking those boxes of books in my family's living room.
For those who don't know, I worked on the factory shipping lines of Pearson Education for two summers in between college. My job? Stacking boxes on the pallets and ensuring all were accounted for. I loved that job. Boxes arrived in various shapes, sizes, and counts, and each day was like fitting a puzzle together when you didn't have the picture in front of you. And I love me some puzzles.
I laughed when taking that picture above, thinking about how the guys on the shipping lines would've been ticked at me for stacking the boxes this way. 'We taught you better than that.' I can hear them saying.
Readying for the tour that night, I kept thinking back to that job and how I used to wonder what books were inside all those boxes that tumbled down the beltway. Even then, I imagined how cool it would be to have books I wrote inside boxes like those I stacked on the shipping floor pallets. It was kind of neat to think back on the guys I worked with and wonder what they would think if they knew books I wrote were inside the boxes we stacked.
Then I realized they would've barked at me to quit daydreaming and keep stacking. ;)
Wednesday, Dec. 3rd
Day 1 of a book tour, or film shoot, is always the most fun to me. Mostly because I think it indicates how the remainder of the tour/shoot will go. I couldn't have asked for a better kickoff to my Indy tour than beginning at Francis W. Parker Montessori Magnet, a.k.a. School 56.
First, I was pumped to learn the school is only about 10 minutes away from The Indianapolis Zoo. Craziness to talk with the students about the main setting of Salted and know we're just down the street from it, right? :)
My favorite part of the day? Watching the students perform at lunch. Any student who wanted could volunteer to stand before their peers and display their talents. Some told jokes, others sang, and a couple even did some voice impressions that put mine to shame. I loved seeing what each new student would bring, others nudge their less willing classmates to give it a go, and, my favorite, hearing the students cheer each other on.
No one booed.
No one made fun of anyone.
The students just did their thing and received both attention and applause from their peers. It was amazing to see. Not just because of their talents, but because I saw the act as a confidence builder. Many people talk about the dread of public speaking. I saw none of that at Francis Parker Montessori Magnet. Those kids rocked public speaking like it was nothing. It made me deliriously happy and, to my mind, speaks to the dedication of the staff in providing a safe environment for those students to learn in.
Afterward, I headed to West Lafayette Public Library. Unfortunately, I'd scheduled the two events so close together that I barely made it on time to meet my contact, Nick. Walking up to the library, I saw flyers posted with my books and picture taped to the doors. I'd seen their tweets, shares, and even received messages from teacher friends in the area who had seen the flyers in their school mailboxes! How great is that? These librarians were all over promoting the event! Running on adrenaline, I was amped up to face another crowd.
Instead, I found myself in front of five. None whom I had met before.
Oh, crap. Where is everyone? What'd I do wrong? I wondered. Both the library and I tweeted, shared, and messaged the crap out of the event...I told them I could deliver...Where is everyone?!?
I tried delaying a few minutes thinking clearly more people will show.
(*Technically that last sentence is untrue. Another RA friend from college showed up later. Shout out to Big Tone! Love ya, buddy).
To say I was bummed is putting it mildly. By that I don't mean I was bummed with the crowd. (They rocked!) I was disappointed because someone had stuck their neck out for me (even "highly recommending" me, according to Nick), and I hadn't delivered.
So what's a guy to do?
I put my big boy pants on. Thanked my lucky stars that five people had come to see me (and heyo, new readers!) and began the discussion.
The event was scheduled to run from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Our little group didn't leave until after 9 p.m.
That's how good of a time we had talking about books, authors, movies, radio, etc. We weren't even talking about my books the whole time. Just our general love of reading and storytelling.
Ladies and gents, it was amazing! I kid you not. There's just something about being surrounded by others who share the same passions you do and our collective enthusiasm was in full swing at the library.
Later, as I was packing up, (I had carted in four boxes full of books - remember, optimist!), I surveyed the room full of empty seats. This is supposed to humble me, I thought. How many stories have you read and heard, Galv, about authors who've had no one show up to their event? Suck on that, big guy. For all that talk you do, you laid an egg tonight.
The thought fired me up.
I looked at the librarian. "Nick," I said. "One of these days I'm coming back here and filling all the seats in this room."
Pretty sure Nick thought I was crazy, (though he was exceptionally kind and would never say such a thing.)
I saw my buddy, Tony, smirk as he looked at Nick, and I imagined Tony thinking, Yep, Nick. Galvin absolutely believes what he said...and he will make it happen.
Call me crazy, folks. A blind fool. Hopelessly optimistic.
They're all true.
But one of these days, I'm going to link back to this post, along with a picture of all those seats at the West Lafayette Public Library filled....
Even if I have to bribe people to get butts in chairs. ;)
Thanks again to Nick and all the staff at West Lafayette Public Library for hosting me. I couldn't have asked for better hosts, nor team of individuals to promote the event. You all rocked, and I hope to have the honor of visiting the library again.
Hope you readers liked this first recap. Check back tomorrow for part two!
(or click here to read about the next days of my tour)
Author. Actor. Rascal.