I just read Ann Patchett's "My Life in Sales" in The Atlantic; it's true, I read anything with Ann Patchett's name on it. And perhaps because I'm in the middle of promoting The Wednesday Sisters - just back from two weeks in the South and Midwest, with readings in California still lined up before me like the empty chairs we writers fear when we go out on tour with our work - I laughed so hard as I read it that the tears literally streamed. It ends with a moving anecdote about an aspiring writer who comes to one of Patchett's readings. And it captures the way I, at least, feel about wanting to encourage others who want to write, as well as how very important readers are to me.
The support I've gotten at the readings for The Wednesday Sisters has been amazing. And the booksellers I've met along the way have been even more so. I was thinking as I left my reading at A Great Good Place for Books last night that stores like that - and the readers who support them - are a big part of what keeps literature fresh. Booksellers like Kathy and her wonderfully knowledgeable staff provide much of the fuel for the trip unknown writers take to becoming known and loved.
I'm trying to catch my breath from traveling, but plan to post a few photos in the coming weeks from some of the places I read as well as talk about the stores and booksellers who were kind enough to host me. In the meantime, I'm sharing one of my favorite tour photos, from my Kepler's reading in June. The crowd is definitely a hometown crowd, and the t-shirted gals standing in the Wednesday Sisters t-shirt are some of my own book group friends. The photo was taken by Susan Bradley, wonderful photographer and next door neighbor. Talk about support!