March 19, 2005

TOUR! And Baby's First Signing

HEY! I got a bunch of the tour dates up----THESE dates are pretty much SET, but I will be adding the later stops as soon as they are confirmed. GO LOOK and see if I am COMING SOON to a TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU. And then my lawyer (father of the fantastic AYEX THE MIGHTY) has told me I have to include the following paragraph:

By reading the word "DINOFLAGELLATE" (which you just read) the READEE (this is you) agrees that he/she is morally, ethically, and contractually obligated to come and see THE DINOFLAGELLATE INVOKER (this is me) should said invoker's book tour bring her within a 30 mile radius of READEE's house, job, or regular hang-out spot. This contract is legal and binding and READEE agrees that he/she has committed his/her IMMORTAL SOUL to show up, even if on the way to the bookstore he/she crossing the street and a truck knocks him/her down and runs over his/her legs. He/she must suck it up and DRAG him/herself the last few feet.

(Not that I am worried about throwing a party and having no one COME just because this is my first novel and NO ONE in AMERICA knows me from Adam's off-ox and the book will have been out for fifteen minutes so it's unlikely great herds of people in, say, ARKANSAS where I have NEVER BEEN EVEN ONCE IN MY LIFE will have read it yet. NO NO, not worried at ALL! But by the way, my lawyer says to mention also that READEEs who no-show will have their forfeited souls fed to THE FOOT ATTACK CAT DEMON who tore open my instep as I was sleeping because I moved my feet under the covers and IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?)

When last we spoke, I was prepping to leave town and go speak at a book trade show luncheon in Nashville. I was nervous, but... I DID NOT VOMIT. Point for the home team! The event was held in two-winged GINORMOUS event tent set up by the hosts (a big Nashville book distributor). In one wing there was a huge lunchroom (they fed us and the 300 or so booksellers and librarians who had gathered) and then the other side was a trade show floor where the three writers who spoke did signings and where all the publishing houses had little booths set up with reps and their spring line on display.

I sat through lunch picking all the cheese out of my salad, feeling too nervous to EAT CHOCOLATE CARAMEL MOUSSE CAKE, and worrying about when I should pee so that
1) I would NOT be in the bathroom when they went up to introduce me and hear my name and have to come leaping out with my skirt tucked into my stockings and a long toilet paper streamer waving jauntily from the back like a tail.
2) I would not be dying to go pee the whole time I was talking.

You will be MIGHTILY RELIEVED TO KNOW that I peed at the perfect, optimal moment, and it was smooth sailing after that. IF I CAN STOP WITH THE HEART PALPITATIONS, I think I may end up being good at this! I really do! THANK GOD. The bad part was, I was up FIRST, so there went my clever plan to see what the first person did. And I didn't want to sound REHEARSED and STIFF and READ-ALOUD-Y so I basically thought of the SHAPE of what I wanted to say, wrote seven PROMPT sentence fragments on a sheet of a paper, and took that up there with me to look at if my brain went dead.

But it was all FINE. People were laughing at all the parts where I hoped people would laugh, and in the between-laugh pauses, it got quiet in there, you know? That kind of UN-RUSTLE-Y and COUGH-FREE quiet you get when a large group of folks are engaged and listening. I talked about the book, about my beloved narrator, Arlene, I read a couple of short, funny scenes and basically tried to get the FEEL of the book across to people, so they could see if it was the sort of thing they liked. (When I got back, I immediately hoovered up BOTH my neglected dessert AND the dessert of a Warner VP who had to leave right after I spoke to catch her plane.)

After, at the trade-show, TONS of people came up to my little booth wanting a copy and being REALLY interested in reading the book etc etc. WE RAN OUT!!! The rep had to put down sheets of paper for people to order more copies to be sent to them.

People were saying. "I BET YOU'RE SICK OF THIS, HUH? I BET YOUR HAND IS TIRED." And I would LAUGH because it was my first book signing, and the books were FLYING off the table and people were excited about reading them and um, NO, I WAS NOT SICK OF IT. If I ever DO get sick of it, if I ever DARE to NOT THRILL at the AMAZING OPPORTUNITY to talk to and sign for people who have read and loved and are supporting my book, or who are interested and engaged and eager to read my book, then I will have OFFICALLY become a BUTTHOLE.

My lawyer says to tell you, "Ms. Jackson is not actively pursuing plans to become a butthole at this time."

Posted by joshilyn at March 19, 2005 8:14 AM

Coming out of lurkdom to let you know how very much I've been enjoying reading your site for a few months now. Being born and raised in Gainesville, GA (now living in northern California), your 'voice' sounds so familiar to me. Can't wait to read the book!

p.s. - That's one helluva detour to Alaska you're taking in between signings in Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS ;)

Posted by: Cathy at March 19, 2005 11:11 AM

You forgot to schedule the book signing AT MY OFFICE (what? we have books there!) and therefore I am WITHHOLDING JUDGEMENT about whether or not you are on the road to BUTTHOLEDOM.

Will there be a New England section of this trip? We haved a lovely little bookstore in Milford called the Toadstool where they often have authors come and be pretty, and I think if your publicist hasn't looked into having you there you should fire him/her immediately. Cuz if you came to the Toadstool? I would be there in a heartbeat with every person I know. And I would only scream "HI JOSHILYN!!!!" from the back a couple of times, I swear.

Posted by: Mir at March 19, 2005 11:19 AM

I've bought books at The Book Mark in Atlantic Beach, FL. I LOVED that bookstore! Anyway, my brother and his family live in Jacksonville, and his wife is a book hound. So . . . that's at least 3 people that I can send your way. I'll tell Tim and Sarah to grab some friends and bring them along.

Posted by: Dana at March 19, 2005 12:17 PM

*marks May 7th on the calendar*

Posted by: AGK at March 19, 2005 1:23 PM

Um, hello? California??!?!? What are we, chopped liver?

Posted by: Amanda at March 19, 2005 4:57 PM

What about Texas/OK/Kansas/southern Missouri??? I'm thinking you don't love us anymore!! ;-(

Hope you'll be in the area down here!

Posted by: Beth at March 20, 2005 12:34 AM

Did you know there are stores in Cincinnati, OH, and Lexington, KY, where people buy books? There are! Really! Hope to see you signing some in one of them someday. :-)

(If Ohio and Kentucky DO get added to your tour and you have a say in where you go, push for Joseph-Beth in Lexington. If they had showers and beds, there'd really be no reason to ever leave that store.)

Posted by: DebR at March 20, 2005 9:17 AM

If you can't come to Canada, I'd settle for Dee-troit. Pretty please?

Posted by: Shelley at March 20, 2005 11:36 AM

Midwest...?? Anyone, anyone? Granted I live on the TUNDRA (Duluth) but hey, we read here 'cause it's cold more than half the year!

Posted by: carrster at March 21, 2005 11:55 AM

Joshilyn - Just wanted to tell you that I was at the Nashville book fair, as I work for the book distributor. Though I was not lucky enough to attend the luncheon, I did meet you at the booth. I must say that you are the friendliest, kindest author I've had the pleasure to meet at all of our book fairs.

I just finished Gods In Alabama, and I LOVED it. I'm recommending it to everyone I know. I'm a sucker for a darkly funny Southern tale, and yours continually surprised & entertained me throughout. Having been born & bred in a small town, there were so many characters that I recognized from my own family life. I can't tell you how hard I laughed at Burr's response to Arlene's Mama's comments that he "speaks so well."

I have just learned that you are a Joyce Carol Oates worshiper as well, and that's really the icing on the cake. Love her! Genius!

Thanks for sharing your story with us and for being so great to your fans. I know that your fan base will increase tremendously now that your book is getting more and more exposure.

I wish you all the best, and I anxiously await your next book. ~Hope to see you in Nashville again soon.~

Posted by: Leah at March 21, 2005 9:04 PM

You were the buzz at the Nashville Book Fair-and I was at the tail end of the long line to get a book signed...can't wait to get it.
You go girl!

Posted by: Debby at March 22, 2005 6:45 AM


I am looking VERY carefully at your tour itinerary, and I have yet to see a stop in Las Vegas on it. In fact, I do not see anywhere ever NEAR Las VEgas, or even basically out West at all. Is this huge gaping hole in the tour on purpose? Is this indicative of the level of love you FAIL to bear for us? Or is this merely an oversight...a missing page you forgot to put up..something along those lines? Surely you can't have forgotten ALL of us? *sniffle*

Posted by: hiai at March 22, 2005 6:38 PM

Geesh! I can't believe I missed this one. Joshilyn, I'm really looking forward to meeting you when you come to Nashville again to do the signing. As for the book...I'm impatiently waiting until you get here. I can't wait to read it!

Posted by: JerriLynn at March 23, 2005 4:46 PM