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Posts Tagged ‘book tour’

in canada with an empty calendar and an extra-foamy cappuccino

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I am in Toronto, last night’s Read for the Cure event with me and Vincent Lam and Audrey Niffenegger was absolutely lovely and raised $38,000 for cancer research and I cannot imagine a better way to finish with book events for 2012.

Partially because I got to reach the mythic nothing-on-the-calendar stage in this city which I have visited so many times in the last year or so that it feels familiar and friendly, even though there are little banners on the street that say “Welcome to Toronto, We’ve Been Expecting You” which is kind of creepy.

So I’m sitting in my hotel room with an extra-foamy cappuccino facing an empty calendar and I’d forgotten what this feels like, as it’s been a year and a half or more since the calendar was properly empty, but so far I like it.

I am going to drink my cappuccino and also eat as much food as I can while I’m here because this city has fantastic food (went to the new momofuku Toronto on Monday night which was so, so delicious, particularly the pumpkin soup and the halibut) and then back to Boston where the main things on the to-do list are moving related (the logistics of the actual moving are, as of this writing, still up in the air) and then hopefully there will be moving and holidays and then it shall be 2013 and I think it will be a good year because 13 is my favorite number.

I’m sure there will be appearances and signing things and such in 2013 but nothing is scheduled and the first half of the year, at least, will be very much about writing, which I am excited about. I’ve spent a lot of time in other places and it will be nice to retreat back into my head and spend some quality time with my imagination and the new-not-yet-novel characters that have been waiting (in some cases rather impatiently) for me to pay proper attention to them.

I realized I haven’t done that capture-the-moment-in-song thing lately (had that for the end of tour 2011) and while I’ve had more moment-appropriate songs, this is the one that’s been on my iPod and in my head as I type this in a Toronto hotel room, so I suppose that makes this the song for the end of the tour, 2012 edition.

parenthetical-laden post of not-terribly-thinky thoughts that amount to the erinland state of the nation

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Hi internet, I avoided you for a little while and I forgot to tell you first. Sorry about that.

I’m also sorry I am still lacking in time for proper blog posts that involve thinky thoughts and not just quick updates and occasional kitten photos (warning: this post will not contain kitten photos as kittens are currently being kitten-sitted because I leave tomorrow for a week or so of travelling). I feel bad about that and I hope that this winter that shall henceforth be known as The Winter of Writing Hibernation involves proper blog writing as well as novel writing, which is of course the main point of the Hibernation.

Also my brain is not so good at thinky lately. I suspect it is still quite tired from being so busy over the last year and a half. I find when I am not actively busy with something that requires immediate or time-sensitive attention my brain says “can we sleep now? or at least not think?” regardless of time of day. I’m trying to be nice to it and feeding it books and avocados and other brain-happy things. I suspect it will still need some time to recover from the whirlwind, not that the whirlwind is completely non-whirly yet. Off to Minnesota tomorrow, Toronto next week and then after that the travel will be finished but then I need to move, trying not to think about that too much just yet.

For the moment, I am sitting on my couch in my Bon Iver hoodie and comfy pants, drinking dark roast coffee and wondering if the rain outside my windows is going to turn to snow. Here, have photographic evidence that includes a plushy white lion in the background, which is sort of like a kitten:

I’m happier than I look, I just feel strange smiling at the computer. I’m particularly happy about a lot of last night’s US election results, and probably tired-looking from staying up to hear them. I did drink a lot of really nice wine while watching & compulsively twitter refreshing and this is currently my favorite thing on the internet: isnatesilverawitch.com

I’m reading Cloud Atlas right now (not very far through, hopefully I’ll finish it in time to go see the film while it’s still in theatres) and I really will post a proper long blog post about Books sometime… let’s not say soonish, but definitely before the end of the year. Possibly I will roll it into a 2012 Favorite Reads post. (Hibernation time will also include lots of Reading, I hope.)

I just picked up my mail and had two galleys (one unsolicited, one expected) to add to the unmanageably tall pile of quote-requesting galleys along with a package from Random House that had my name misspelled on the label. In email mail I have a not-yet-completely-final schedule for Minnesota.

I should probably pack. I will likely wait and pack in the morning. I should do my nails today, though. First I need to finish this post and also finish Friday’s flax-golden tale and possibly figure out dinner. Oh, and laundry.

This turned into a non-thinky stream of consciousness post, didn’t it? Ah well. Haven’t done one of those in far too long, either. Let’s make it extra random, here is a photo of the vintage 40s evening bag I bought last week that is one of my new favorite things:

The top slides up the handle to open and it’s in really good condition. Also, I love having an evening bag that doesn’t fall over when I put it down. Also also, sparkly.

It’s practically dark outside even though it’s not quite 4pm as I type this and it reminds me why I hate/love this time of year, with its early darkness making me sleepy and cold. I want to curl up with warm beverages and tall socks. It’s starting to feel like winter already, you can smell it in the air. I will like it better when there is proper snow and twinkly lights on strings.

I suppose this is enough babbling for now and I should get to the non-babbling things on the to-do list. I’ll try to babble more coherently relatively soon.

I hope your days are merry and bright, even if it is early to wish such things.

happy hallowe’en!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

So tonight I was actually supposed to be in London but instead this afternoon I was virtually in London thanks to the wonderment that is Skype. It went fairly well even though it was very odd from my end because I couldn’t see the audience and Audrey was a lovely disembodied voice, though I suppose it would have been weirder if I could have seen myself all giant and looming over everything.

Not to give too much of a peek behind the curtain, but I was sitting here and y’all were pretty much on my stove:

And I really did meant to carve my pumpkin but I got all distracted with the lovely conversation and I forgot. Which was good because when I did carve it afterwards it shook the whole table rather loudly and also it took me ages to carve even a fairly simple design so it was likely for the best.

Now it is all proper All Hallow’s Evening here and I have wine which I will raise later in a toast to Herr Thiessen which I have done this evening for a few years now and I find it lovely that more people will know what it means this time around. Also there is chocolate and a properly carved pumpkin.

The cloak I am wearing is my favorite Hallowe’en costume which I am glad I got to wear since it wouldn’t have fit in my suitcase as it is floor-length and rather heavy. (It was made, I believe, by a friend of my mother’s sometime in 70′s when such things were acceptable for everyday wear.)

I wish you all a very Happy Hallowe’en, a Blessed Samhain & a Merry NaNoWriMo Eve!

not in london

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A little story about weather and travel:

Last year on October 29th I was supposed to be flying from Toronto to New York and then there was a blizzard. I actually got on the plane which was supposed to land at 1pm, but instead circled and circled and was then diverted to Connecticut and then delayed and then moved to the next day, so then I took a cab in which I thought I was going to die because the roads were so snow-terrible in order to get elsewhere in Connecticut in order to get on a train which then stopped (still in Connecticut) for hours and this is already too long for the little version of this story but it involved tears and kindly Amtrak guys and strangely empty trains crawling toward the city in the dark and getting to my hotel in NYC just before midnight. It was a long, horrible day.

This year on October 29th I was supposed to be flying to London and then there was a hurricane.

I am not in London. I am still in rainy windy Boston. I am now extremely wary of the 29th day of October.

I am sending well-wishes to everyone as the storm continues and cleanup efforts begin and I hope everyone reading this is safe & sound. Especially big well-wishes and hugs to my lovelies in New York and New Jersey. I’m fine and the sun is even peeking out from behind the clouds at the moment.

But, again, I am not in London and I will not be able to get to London before tomorrow’s scheduled event. My flight yesterday was cancelled, of course, and any flights today that actually might depart are booked and truthfully I’d rather those seats go to people who are trying to get home and were previously stranded.

I am truly sorry to not be there for Hallowe’en stories and book signing and chatting with the lovely Audrey Niffenegger. The plan right now is to try to embrace the whole living-in-the-future thing and have me virtually there via Skype though that’s a hopefully and not a definite yet. As far as I know Audrey will be there live and in person though she could be a hologram or other such apparition, I suppose one cannot be certain of such things, especially on Hallowe’en.

I will hopefully get to have a proper London visit without inclement weather at some point in the not-too-far future. And I think I might make some sort of rule about not travelling on October 29th ever again.

fall 2012 schedule

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Since I am terrible about reminders regarding such things, here is my fall schedule of appearances:

Friday October 5th, 2012

JP Reads One City One Book
7:00pm The Footlight Club, Jamaica Plain, MA

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

7:00pm Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville/Reading & Signing
123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, Illinois 60540

Thursday October 11th, 2012

7:00pm- Fox Valley Reads
Oswego High School, 4250 Illinois 71, Oswego, IL
On-stage conversation and book signing

Saturday October 13th, 2012

Details to come, Wordstock Literary Festival
Portland, OR

Wednesday October 31st, 2012

Waterstones Halloween Special with Audrey Niffenegger
Prince Charles Cinema London, England

Friday November 9th, 2012

7:00pm Talking Volumes
Fitzgerald Theatre, 10 E Exchange St, St Paul, MN

Tuesday November 13th, 2012

Read For the Cure
The Liberty Grand, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

come one, come all…

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Brookline Booksmith

Tuesday July 3rd, beginning at 5 o’clock in the evening

The Night Circus paperback release extravaganza

featuring music by Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys

(this will very likely be epic.)

on time and the not having of it

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This post has been a long time coming and I suppose that’s fitting, since it’s mostly about not having time to write. Apparently that includes proper blog posts. Though this is not a proper blog post, this is a long rambling thing about what my life has been like lately.

I am not saying this is how it goes for every author, the more authors I meet the more I realize that it’s a strange sort of career where everyone’s experience is unique despite some overlapping elements. There’s a lot more to being a writer than writing, between book promotion and public speaking and signing things.

The Night Circus came out last September. I spent the weeks leading up to it doing interviews and Q&As and trying not to freak out about the whole thing. I’d also moved over the summer so I was still in cardboard box land.

From September until mid November I was on book tour, or doing book-related things abroad. This involved near-constant travel, I was never in any one location for more than a couple of days at most. I was on more airplanes in the first month than I’d been on in my entire life beforehand.

Here’s the thing about book tours: Yes they are fabulous and exciting and it’s wonderful to meet people in so many different cities but they are also physically and emotionally exhausting. I’m not sure it can be properly explained, it’s likely one of those situations that is near impossible to understand unless you’re the person in it. I feel like I have a better understanding of it now, having gone through it, and a better idea of how I react and what I need to do to keep myself sane, but it was a learn by doing sort of thing.

(And by “learn by doing” I mean “learn by having a near breakdown in the middle of an airport.”)

I am endlessly thankful that having a theatre background makes the whole public speaking thing easier to handle, but being a writer still involves more talking than I’d expected. And it’s hard to find a balance when I’m relating the same stories and answering similar questions, I start to feel repetitive and awkward and sometimes my social anxiety kicks in despite the actor training.

The strangest thing, for me, at least, and this might warrant a separate thoughtful post of its own, is the sudden transition between being the center of attention in a room filled with people to being alone in an unfamiliar hotel room.

(Side note: in two hotel rooms on my tour the concierge left a bottle of wine and two glasses. I still cannot decide if it would be more or less depressing to have a single glass. Which one is a harsher reminder that you’re alone?)

December should not count as a month off because it has holidays in it, and for most of January I was too tired to function.

At the end of January I was on a mini-tour, in a different city every day for a week, and then I had a few days off and then I was in Toronto in early February, which was actually lovely because I heart Canada.

But that means it was mid-February before I was really able to start properly recovering from tour mode.

And it would have been fabulous if that meant I could sit down and work on my next book that has been languishing for months but I also have long-neglected email to deal with and extra content type things to work on for various upcoming paperback editions. More Q&As, this time from more countries, and now people send me books they want me to read and say nice things about and did I mention that there are a few cardboard boxes kicking around from last summer and I’m likely going to be moving again this fall? I’m also just tired, still, and some days grocery shopping or laundry or putting on shoes takes more energy than it should.

Also, my desk chair is broken.

All these things take time. Sure, a lot of the individual things aren’t that complicated or time-consuming but once you start adding them up they eat a lot of time. And I need to allot time to blogging and tweeting and try to have a life in there somewhere, too.

It gets hard to separate work time from non-work time with this sort of job. I have an office (I ordered a new desk chair) but it’s not like I’m in there from 9 to 5 because I don’t have typical days so I end up feeling guilty at 10pm when I’m sitting around eating gelato instead of answering emails even when I’ve spent all day working. This is a mental thing I’m aware of but I still struggle with it, a lot. I’m trying to be better about taking weekends off.

And then there’s that added complication of having people actually waiting for this book. No one was waiting for the circus. I got to write the circus in a bubble, and now the bubble is gone, it will be the only bubble book, ever. I am thrilled that I already had several other stories in varying degrees of not-yet-novel-shaped because if I was staring at a blank page right now I know it would be worse.

For comparison: the circus took five years to write (and rewrite), and I wasn’t dealing with book tours and outside pressure while I was working on it. I am hoping that I will have a draft of my next novel done at some point this year, but right now I have a few months and then a fairly busy summer (my sister is getting married in August, yay!) and then I’ll be touring again in the fall and then it will be Mayan calendar end of the world time and then 2013 because when you reach the end of a calendar you get a new one.

I’m also not going to write faster just for the sake of having the next book out sooner. I want to write the best book I can despite the complications of time and the general busyness my life has taken on. If I can do that this year, that’ll be fabulous. It’ll also mean the earliest that book could possibly be available would be very late next year or more likely sometime in 2014, because once I’m done with it it’s still a long way from being a finished shiny book.

So yeah, that’s the rough idea of why I don’t have as much time to write as I’d like.  I am learning to make time for it, though, all of this is a learning process. I have a whole new life and I’m trying to get the hang of it but I’m still a toddler so I have tendencies to fall down and cry and need a cookie and a hug.

And if blog posts are few and far between and I’m slow on email replies for the next while, I’m sorry. I’m trying to write another book, because really, that part is my actual job.

If you read this whole thing I’m impressed and I feel you deserve a picture of a kitten. (If you skimmed just to get to the kitten, that’s okay, too.)

 

post mini-tour, caffeinated yet sleepy

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I am back in Boston after a whirlwind tour last week. The theme of the winter tour seemed to be “chocolate.” I got chocolate in Nashville, too, look how pretty the labels are:

Also in Nashville I got to see the marionette storage room at the Nashville Public Library, which was both delightful and sort of creepy.

They look like they want to move, don’t they? I think there is something inherently disturbing about something created to move when it’s at rest. Like it’s just waiting.

But Nashville was splendid and so was FoxTale near Atlanta where I definitely received the most hugs of any tour stop and had a huge crowd that stood the whole time and I do apologize to anyone who did not have comfortable shoes while listening to me babble.

I truly thank everyone who came to all of last week’s events, I had a wonderful time despite being so busy and I am again so incredibly grateful, both for readers and marvelous, enthusiastic booksellers.

And now here we are, back in post-tour recovery mode. Not nearly as exhausted as I was after the fall tour but still rather beat and it is nice to be able to stay in one place for a while. I probably am somewhat exhausted as I keep falling asleep unintentionally. Am trying to ward off the sleepiness with coffee, which appears to be working, though I also keep forgetting what day it is.

Still working on catching up on all sorts of things, including FAQ-esque posts for the blog. If you have sent me something that required a reply and have not heard back please do re-send. I am still learning (mostly by doing) how to keep up with everything and sometimes things get away from me. Also I have a terrible short term memory and sometimes I do this thing where I think about replying and then my brain thinks I did even though there was no actual reply involved.

For now I am trying to take it easy for a few days, slowly but surely working on the to-do list and also sleeping a lot and trying to read and possibly write if my tired brain can handle it.

quick mid-tour update

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Hello! I am in Nashville! It is rainy here but otherwise lovely and I am very much looking forward to my event at the library tonight especially since it is called a Salon and that just sounds fancy.

My events in Cincinnati (technically near Cincinnati) and Lexington, Kentucky were both fantastic, thanks so much to everyone who came out for them and to all the lovely booksellers at both Joseph Beth locations.

Also, thanks to absolutely lovely people who came to my Lexington event last night I now have chocolate shaped like Kentucky and also ponies! I don’t think I’ve ever had state-shaped chocolate before. I apologize that Kentucky is upside-down in this photo, I was trying to get the label oriented properly.

I am sure it will be very tasty.

I am incapable of deep thought or poignant tour recounting as everything is mostly a blur of people and hotel rooms and interviews and perfectly placed pops of red amongst the black & white. It is dizzying in a good way, and I am still both baffled and humbled that so many people are interested in listening to me babble.

cephalopods & hats

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Hello internet, I was avoiding you all week, please don’t take it personally and if anything exciting happened in my absence please let me know.

Exciting thing I already heard about despite not being on the internet (much): The Night Circus was nominated for a Kitschie award which is delightful regardless but made even more delightful by cephalopod-y-ness. More awards should involve tentacles, truly.

In non-internet news, I have a top hat!

This fabulous hat was sent to me by the marvelous booksellers at The Booksmith in San Francisco. I love it because it actually fits my gigantic head even though it is quite difficult to photograph properly, I had to resort to laptop webcam photo which is not terribly dapper but you get the general impression. I am not smiling as much as I should be because I had been trying to get a proper photo on three different cameras but it is difficult under the best circumstances to take a decent photo of one’s own self and extra difficult when one is wearing a very tall hat. But thank you thank you thank you to my Booksmith darlings, you are more wonderful than my photographic skills can convey.

In other news I am working on long sprawling blog posts about Stuff and I will be at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA tomorrow at 2pm. I will probably not be wearing the top hat.