July 11, 2006

Scenes from Tour

Tour is WEIRD. It's very feasty-faminey, and if you get feted until you grow The Big Head, fear not, someone will be along to pop it directly.

Scene One: I see a Bookstore that is not on my schedule, but I have a rental car and some time, so I drop in to do a stock signing.
I walk up to a long, thin young man who is putting discount stickers on a gift book.

Me: Hi...can you point me in the direction f the manager on duty?
Him: *straightening* That's me. What can I do for you?
Me: I'm Joshilyn Jackson---

I stop talking because I see I don't have to say "and I wrote gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia." When I say my name, his eyes widen, his mouth opens up into a delighted grin....HE KNOWS WHO I AM. And he is HAPPY TO SEE ME.

He gets all the store stock out for me, and tells me I am going to be at his sister store and that he ordered a copy of gods in hardback to be signed by me when I am over there, and gets me to do him a Between, and calls over another bookseller who has read one or the other of my books and SHE is also quite happy to see me, AND, on TOP OF THIS, a passing woman doubletakes when she sees me signing and stops and is VERY excited because her husband has been wanting to read my book and NOW, she says, she can get him a SIGNED COPY and surprise him, and everyone is all PLEASED, me most of all, and as I leave the manager thanks me for coming by, and I say, oh no THANK YOU for the warm welcome you have made my day, and its back and forth like that for a little, me and him with a stream of OH NO thank YOU! Oh NO, thank YOUs! in this orgy of good manners, and when I finally stagger out into the warm sunshine I am POSTIVELY SHOCKED that the papparazzi aren't waiting in a crafty pack to snap me. Because of me being so notoriously famous and and universally recognized and, dude, I didn't even have to sleep with a Greek billionaire's son!!!!

But then....

Scene Two: I go to a signing. I am pretty much the only one who does.

Eventually, three people show up for the discussion part, and I always think if ONE person comes, you do the WHOLE THING because that one person's time is as valuable as mine. You have to respect that they came out to hear you and give them something to hear. SO, I drag out the dogs AND the pink ponies and tap around HA-CHA!

Then I move to a table at the front of the store, but foot traffic is SLOW. The event manager is a DOLL and keeps me company and assures me they like my book and that they will handsell the signed stock and etc. Two guys show up to ask me ENDLESS questions about who my agent is and how I got him, and then leave without getting a book.

Shoppers hurry past, afraid that if they meet my eyes I will leap on them and make them buy something. I begin to feel like I have GAZE leprosy, so quickly do folks avert their peepers, EXCEPT for one gently rounded little elfy looking guy with tufties of white hair sprouncing out by his ears. He stares right at me. His face is impassive but then he flares his nostrils, as if his nostrils are amused, but the rest of his face is reserving judgement.

I say HI! and in my wake the store's Event Manager says, HOW ARE YOU?

The elf man looks me UP AND DOWN and DOWN AND UP and then turns to the event manager and says, "I'm doing better than HER, anyway" and then walks off, snickering.

The bookstore people were SO nice and encouraging and ethusiastic about my books that, up until that point, I was actually feeling okay about the whole thing, but that was sort of like getting hit in the face with a pan. WHANG!

AH WELL, what are you going to do? For every lovely someone who takes the time to come tell me they enjoy my work and talk about it with me, there are an equal and opposing number of little poos who MUST spit in my Wheaties. There are times on tour when I feel an inch tall, and I pray for a huge and merciful foot to come stamp me.

OH MY DROOGIES, if you live in the south, you should come see me--- here are my tour date for July. Just think, if we get enough FTK regs at an event and that ELF guy shows back up, we can grab him up and throw him in the stew pot and cook him and eat him. MMmmmm, nothing like a tender haunch of boiled jerk to make a girl feel better...

Posted by joshilyn at July 11, 2006 2:27 PM

I like to stew my jerk in Guinness and hot sauce. Elfin Jerk may require marination first.

Posted by: Courtney at July 11, 2006 3:03 PM

Tiffany and I will be at Lemuria to see you on the 24th. Up for drinks after?

Posted by: Heather at July 11, 2006 3:37 PM

So who do I have to bribe to get you to Asheville?

I could do a write-up/interview for the newspaper beforehand, plus blog about it on EM AND Blogasheville, and I promise that more than three people would show up. And we'll put a big sign in front of the bookstore that says ONLY NICE ELVES ALLOWED.

Like 70 people showed up for Hollis Gillespie and while you don't cuss quite as much as she does, you're funnier.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at July 11, 2006 3:44 PM

Heehee... droogies... heehee ;) Are you up for a little bit of the ultra-violence?

And what of Little Rock--are we not southern enough for you?! Arkansas would love you, I'm sure of it!

Posted by: Angela at July 11, 2006 3:50 PM

I say we tenderize him first! Elf fricassee! Let him simmer in his own nastiness! Off with his head!

All in all the first experience sounded much nicer.

Wish I could come to a signing...SIGH. ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at July 11, 2006 3:54 PM

What Amy-Go said, I wish I could come to a signing too. If you'd ever come to Lexington, KY, I would BE there, with bells and elf repellent!

I hope all the rest of your stops on the tour are as lovely as the first one you describe and nothing like the second.

Posted by: DebR at July 11, 2006 4:00 PM

Here's the deal... I'm in Virginia, and we are SOUTH of the M-D line, AND we have Woolworth's, but we're not getting to see you. But hey, that's ok. Because I love you so much, and you are totally worth it, I am driving to the closest place you will be, which is Charlotte. Next week. It's 7 hours from my house, but I'm totally doing it. I will be there by 12:30. And I will be hungry. So if you're not busy, I will gladly buy you lunch after. Not that I'm some freaky stalker fan or anything... Just saying.
Oh, and I told my hubby that all I want for Christmas is to go on your cruise. I was even so helpful as to send him the link. He just laughed. You think that means he's gonna let me?

Posted by: dee at July 11, 2006 4:01 PM

So, I've been reading your site for the last three days, because I found it and then needed to read your archives, so yep, I'm current and ready to comment.

AND GUESS WHAT! Never mind you don't know me from Adam, but I get to come see you! We live in DC, but are visiting Oxford MS because we might move there, and guess what weekend we're visiting! I called my husband and squealed.

So I'll be the very tall, very young, and very over-enthusiastic one.

Posted by: Able Ponder at July 11, 2006 4:02 PM

Well, if you would come to Texas, or even to Louisiana -- both of which could be considered Southern -- I'd try to go on elfin jerk patrol for you. Or if you'd be in Atlanta at the end of July when I'll be there I might even carve out time from my oh-so-busy schedule. But I know when I'm being snubbed. Hmmpph.

But look on the bright side. If you were a romance author or wrote "fluffy" commercial fiction, you'd have people come pick your brain about getting an agent and getting published, and then after you spoke to them for a good half hour, giving them all kinds of valuable advice, not only would they not buy your book, but they'd give you a haughty sniff at the mere suggestion of buying a book and say, "I don't read that kind of book," in the kind of voice they might use to say, "I don't eat dog poo." And then you'd want to retract all the good advice you gave them, tell them you were just kidding, and then refer them to every scam agent and scam vanity press you can think of who will charge them a fortune to "publish" their worthy prose, and then you can grin because at least you're being paid to write "that" kind of book.

Posted by: Shanna Swendson at July 11, 2006 4:20 PM

Goddang iiiIIIT! Why oh why don't you come to Texas? We're in the south, I swear we are. San Antonio's even SOUTH Texas. We're practically Mexico, and you know what's next after Mexico? That's right - SOUTH America.

Posted by: laura at July 11, 2006 4:44 PM

But you're moving away from me on this road trip called summer! I can't catch you!

I promise I will nag my sister about going to Lemuria, with my copy of gods (which I left her). So if a stuffy lawyer shows muttering something about dynagirl... but I wouldn't count on her showing.

Get those book people to send you to Olsson's Books & Records in DC--or even Politics and Prose. I will get myself there.

Posted by: dynagirl at July 11, 2006 4:46 PM

Here in San Diego, we prefer our Elf with mole sauce. And speaking of book touring, would you please tell Warner that just because your books are SET in the South doesn't mean that all of your fans are? Some of us can't afford to take time off to travel clear across the country to see you. Would it kill them to plan a West Coast tour?!

Posted by: Aimee at July 11, 2006 5:59 PM

Come out West!!!!! We love you books!!!

Posted by: Alicia in Arizona at July 11, 2006 7:50 PM

Ugh. Even with long simmering in glorious green chile sauce, I'd bet that troll would be bitter. We could put the dish out for the coyotes, crows, and vultures though. You are too kind to call him an elf. 'Little poo' is much more accurate.

Here's wishing you more adoring crowds of lovely people while you're on tour!

Posted by: Lulu at July 11, 2006 9:16 PM

I am getting this mental image of your next book signing, when a gross of Joss Jackson's protective fans show up regaled with anti Orc spray (because really elves are lovely beings.)

Gracious, I am totally SOL normally I love that I am in the Pacific Northwest, but for once it means I'm in the exact opposite part of the country from where I'd like to see. When do we advance to teleporting?

Posted by: Cele at July 11, 2006 9:46 PM

Shoot! I would totally come to Park Road Books on the 19th (Charlotte) to see you, as I am surely one of your biggest fans and have pimped you to everybody I know, on the internet and off. But showing up somewhere at 12:30 would mean I would have a cranky, tired 2-year-old in tow who likes to rip the covers off books. (Noon is prime nap time, dontcha know.) You don't want that. So I will just have to say how much I fervently wish I could be there to fawn over you and tell you how much I LOOOOOOVED gods, and that I'm skeered to start reading Between (which I snapped up at B&N probably about the time they unpacked it) for fear that the laundry and dishes will pile up while I sit with my nose in your latest fabulous work. (You see? Fawn, fawn, fawn.)

Posted by: jenn at July 11, 2006 10:39 PM

Couldn't help but notice all of your media hype in the library's Book Page publication. I assume you were aware your new book is in there? Gives great props to you. Can't wait to read the new novel. Getting it tomorrow I think.
Odd that not very many authors choose Indiana as a stop on their book tours. Wonder why? (laughing because I know why no one comes to Indiana. Agree with previous post - Kentucky would be nice, even.)

Posted by: Sweet Pea at July 11, 2006 10:42 PM

Well, at least it wasn't just you and the shop owner and one customer, where the customer turned to said author and shop owner and told them to Shut Up because their talking was interfering with her shopping!

True story, swear to god. gods. You know.

And yes, we at Seattle Mystery Bookshop would fawn on you and have customers all over the place and your head would swell up enough to FLOAT you back to your corner of the country if you'd just let us! Nag your publisher into an extended tour for TOG-WISS, please!

Posted by: Fran at July 11, 2006 11:08 PM

Okay, I'm Pacific Northwest-er number 3 to post here... And we're south of, um... Canada. I'm sure in British Columbia they refer to us as the south. Maybe not the deeeep south, but the south nonetheless. Does that count for NOTHING?? If you came to Seattle you would have at least three people, and they would *gush*, yes they would.

And we like our nasty little elves roasted on a cedar plank.

Posted by: Laura at July 12, 2006 12:20 AM

*alternative history at the second signing* White Tufties lies sprawled face down and groaning in front of the exit doors, the victim of a drive-by booking by a renegate TOG-WISS (who seems to have made good its escape after the fact). Beside him lies an unabridged dictionary open to the J's (for jerk). That's WAS doing better than her, Bubba. Past tense. I think he's been suitably tenderized. Is that broth ready yet?

Posted by: David at July 12, 2006 8:00 AM

DITTO on the Texas thing. Houston, we have problem if we can not get you HERE even if we have no idea what Kudzu looks like. hey, I was in B&N the other day and saw this other book that was titled somethin, somethin Kudzu and I was like, Oh my gosh, someone STOLE Joshilyn's word! I didnt buy it though and am buying Between instead : )

When you do come Texas, I am offering up myself as your bodyguard and I will smash all elfish dudes.

Posted by: Andreia at July 12, 2006 9:34 AM

I'll be waiting to meet you in Nashville. I'm working out, so we'll be able to take the wee beasty elfie!!!

Posted by: Cheryl at July 12, 2006 9:45 AM

Well, kuddos on the drive by signing - that was great at least!

Dude, I wish you could drop in Turnrow Books in Greenwood, Miss. Barring that I would love to get a book signed at Square Books or Lemuria.

Posted by: Keetha at July 12, 2006 9:48 AM

Joshilyn, I loved your blog tour visit at Anne Frasier's site, Static. This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

Signed, a new customer. Hopefully, a new fan.

Posted by: jason evans at July 12, 2006 10:37 AM

Um. Do you suppose he is one of those people who feels your writing is DIRTY and DEPRAVED?

Or just that he talks to beer cans and takes directives from the Elf Lord On Pluto?

Cuz it could go either way, I suppose.

Posted by: Mir at July 12, 2006 10:44 AM

I suppose if the Texans can't get you to cross the Mississippi, there's no hope for us Coloradans... even if we offer up some 70ish-degree, humidity-free weather with a smidgen of shameless oohs and aaahs???

Posted by: Cathy at July 12, 2006 11:03 AM

And, hello, BERKELEY??? We have bookstores. Our elves wear Birkenstocks, so they can't run very fast when we chase them and stamp them.

But if you would come to Seattle I would go there. And Fran is way way way cool and so is Janine there and EVERYBODY!!!

Maybe the cruise could come up the west coast?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at July 12, 2006 11:13 AM

Hey...what about Memphis? We have Walmarts galore and a Walgreens on damned near every corner (not sure if they all have underpants, though!). Plus, the best bbq you'll ever put in your mouth!

If not, I guess I can drive down to Oxford, though.

Seriously, I love your writing. I think you are one of the more important voices in the South these days. Keep writing!!

Posted by: Gary at July 12, 2006 12:52 PM

Oklahoma is really more of the midwest... but I and a small group of fans/librarians would show up. Actually, if you go to TX I'd happily drive there. :>

Posted by: Christina at July 12, 2006 12:55 PM

Joshilyn! No!

I started reading this post nodding enthusiastically and thinking "Yes. I am going to write a book. And go on book tour like Joshilyn. And everyone will love me. And recognize me by name too!".

Then I continued reading and started shaking my head emphatically saying "No. I will never write a book and do a book tour. I cannot stand people being mean. I do not ever want to be famous. No, never. It's decided.".

You rock honey. You know it. And COME TO CALIFORNIA, PLEEEASE! I will stand there and be your Personal Insult Deflector. I will.

Posted by: lena at July 12, 2006 1:14 PM

Elf Jerk is obviously the meanest of the mean. He's making me rethink being a vegetarian...

Posted by: IrishGal at July 12, 2006 1:47 PM

As you know, I will be here in Charlotte. It's been on my calendar for over a month. I canceled a babysitting gig AND turned down giving a massage to make sure I'd be there. Woman, I turned down MONEY to come see you.

Don't worry, I'll even fawn if you like.

Posted by: Autumn at July 12, 2006 4:02 PM

Heh! Pulled pork of elf....the spit is turning as I type.

I will be at the MMH on 7/20 and will bring my special elf customized "barbie"

Although I hear smoked elf is good too....better pack the smoker and the spit to be safe.

Cause them elves...they be tricky.

Posted by: Lisa at July 12, 2006 5:06 PM

Hi Joshilyn,
You came through my line today and we talked about writing and club cards and I was very pleased to meet you.
Thank you for coming to our store today and signing all of our stock. Just after you left this lady came in looking for Between and when I told her you had just been in signing them she was thrilled. Her friend had told her about the book and that was her reason for coming in today. The fact that it was signed was icing on the cake.

Have fun on your tour, I will read your books probably in the next couple of weeks and then maybe I'll have something more to discuss with you.

Jason Brazeal

Posted by: Jason Brazeal at July 12, 2006 8:01 PM

I just heard about your book - Between, GA -this weekend. My Mother was born in Atlanta but moved to Between, GA because it was halfway from her husband and me. And she loved saying she was from "In Between" and then pointed out that Split Silk was just down the road. I wrote a short story about the experience of putting her in a nursing home and disposing of all of the stuff in her house on Hwy 78 into the Between Dumpster. It was called THE CRAZY CLUB.

I look forward to reading your book. Have there been any comments from the Between notables?

The South is really something, isn't it???

Posted by: chip at July 12, 2006 8:09 PM

Ditto to whoever suggested Olsson's Books in DC/VA, preferrably @ Arlington Courthouse. It's a mile from my house, has a number of drinking/eating establishments nearby, and it is in Virginia, technically, though we do refer to it as "Northern" Virginia. There's still some good ol' girls who've stood long enough in Alabama to have kudzu wrap around their ankles, though--- Come!

Posted by: daftaz at July 17, 2006 3:44 PM