I've been home now for several days since returning from my Texas book tour to promote Cartel, and finally feel like I'm catching up on things! I've also had some time to look back on the adventure, and I know I'm going to have nothing but great memories about the whole experience.
I also know how lucky I am to be a first-time author who actually got to go on a book tour! Fewer and fewer of us merit any sort of travel budget, and I don't take the responsibility lightly. I have the best publicist, marketing manager, and editors EVER over at Palgrave who bust their behinds for me. In return, I feel like the least I can do is work even harder for them, and do what I can to make their jobs easier.
Probably the most amazing part of the tour was the opportunity to finally meet in person so many people who have been following my work for a long time. And just seeing so many strangers who gladly parted with their hard-earned money to read my work...there's nothing more humbling - and motivating - than that.
Then there are all the kind strangers who helped me all along the way. Many of you may not know that I've had MS for about seven years, so often I have to walk with a cane, and lugging a heavy suitcase and laptop bag around was no picnic! So thank you to the man in my South Padre Island hotel who took my bags to my car from the elevator. Thank you to the cab driver in Houston who was so moved by the message I'm trying to get across in Cartel that he refused to accept my money. Thank you to the man next to me at the Houston airport, next to me at the Eddie V's bar, and the couple next to me at the Austin DoubleTree hotel bar who bought copies of my book on the spot after hearing me talk about it for a few minutes. Thank you to the golf cart driver at the Texas Book Festival who went off-road on the city sidewalks to make sure I didn't have to walk three blocks with my cane to get to my hotel. Thank you to the airplane crew in the Austin airport who wheeled me up the jetway because the wheelchair driver was taking so long to arrive; the pilots turned out to be huge "Border Wars" fans! And a huge thank you to anyone and everyone who offered me help before I even thought to ask for it. Kind people still exist, and many of them are definitely in Texas!
So now I'm back home, but there's no rest for the weary. I'm still doing radio shows (I was on Minnesota Public Radio this morning, as a matter of fact), working asylum cases, and writing for Homeland Security Today. In two weeks, I'll be heading to Phoenix, Arizona to be a speaker at the GovSec West conference, and three weeks after that I'll be heading out west for the California leg of my book tour (with a stop in Salt Lake City for a human trafficking conference). Book promotion can be a lot of fun - heck, I got to sleep in more on my tour than I have in years! - but it was also a lot of work. I wasn't just signing books then leaving. I was giving hour-long (or longer) presentations, answering questions, going to and from the airport and hotels and in and out of cabs every day. For someone with MS, and in the mid- and south-Texas heat, that can be extremely draining. But I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! And I guess I am in a few weeks :).
Causes Sylvia Longmire Supports
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Wounded Warrior Project