US Day 17|
October 28, 2011
Like Reacher, he's out there somewhere.
All we know is—Lee had a great time in North Western Arkansas, meeting and hanging out with some fine folk ahead of the Rogers Public Library benefit. We know he was up early the next morning and on a flight to Chicago. We know he made his connecting flight to LaGuardia, and we know the surprise snowstorm hit at about the same time, and his plane was diverted to Syracuse, where he rented a car and drove south into the worsening blizzard. Beyond that, we have no information.
US Day 16|
October 22, 2011
West Virginia Book Festival
Woke up to a misty morning—and to a plane flying seemingly inches from my window on its way into Charleston’s famously inaccessible airport. The plane was OK and the fog burned off by the time I had finished breakfast.
The event this afternoon was delightful—60 minutes talking and 90 minutes signing in a basketball arena. Met some lovely and charming people and had dinner with some of them.
Tomorrow I head to Pittsburgh to check in with the movie folk, and then the blog will resume Friday for this year’s final event.
US Day 15|
October 21, 2011
New plan: Don't get caught!
A little bit of personal history was made today…but first the context: since getting back from the UK, the US promotion started up again, with what felt like wall-to-wall TV and radio Monday through Thursday. Then today I got back on the road—literally: I decided to drive to West Virginia rather than fly. Flying is such a drag, and the poor old Jag was feeling neglected. So I left at six and got here by two, and I just attended a library reception ahead of the Book Festival events tomorrow.
The personal history? For the first time in my life I drove in a state with “Virginia” in its name and didn’t get a speeding ticket.
UK Day 14|
October 13, 2011
0730—Car pick-up from hotel to airport.
Back to the US travel day…
UK Day 13|
October 12, 2011
0800—Car pick-up from hotel.
0830—Arrive at TV3 Studios.
0905—Live interview with Aidan/Sinead/Mark on Ireland AM, TV3.
Drive to Newstalk Studios.
1000—Pre-recorded interview with Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain on Newstalk.
Walk to hotel.
1030—Interview and photos with Myles McWeeney for The Irish Independent.
1115—Interview with Marie Louise McCrory for The Irish News.
1200—Break for lunch.
1300—Formal signing at Dubray Books, Grafton St.
Car pick-up from Dubray Books, drive to RTE Radio studios, Donnybrook.
1500—Record interview with Sean Rocks on Arena, RTE Radio 1.
1530—Record interview with Marie Louise Muir, Arts Extra, BBC Radio Ulster.
Return to hotel.
1615—Interview with Declan Burke for The Irish Examiner.
1700—Interview with Ed Power for Metro Herald.
1915—Car pick-up hotel, drive to Easons O’Connell St.
1930—Formal event at Easons O’Connell St. Lee will be interviewed by author Sean Black followed by a signing session.
Return to hotel.
Like Reacher, sleep when you can.
UK Day 12|
October 11, 2011
This Patsy's living room comes
Had a decent sleep and left the London hotel for the last time and headed out for the BBC “One Show” recording. They wanted soundbites for a “how to write a bestseller” item, and they wanted to record it in a domestic environment, as if from my living room. My living room lies 3000 miles west of London, so Patsy volunteered hers, which was nice of her.
After that Brad dropped us at London City Airport and we flew to Dublin for a heavy day tomorrow.
UK Day 11|
October 10, 2011
Telula, the Cribbs Causeway
gorilla, who somehow was left
out of Lee's blog entry...
First up was a sit-and-sign at WH Smiths in the giant Cribbs Causeway mall outside of Bristol, and then we headed back to Cheltenham for photographs, interviews, and the evening event in front of about a thousand very nice Literary Festival-goers.
The format was an on-stage interview with Aussie journalist Caroline Baum, who did a superb job. The signing line was long but fun, and we were back on the road to London by 11:30.
Now it’s 1:30 and I’m hitting the sack ahead of some BBC TV tomorrow morning…
UK Day 10|
October 9, 2011
Lee's idea of breakfast
Sunday went like this…up early-ish for a car (not the Bradmobile, shock horror, because even Brad needs a day off sometimes) to Cheltenham, where the very upmarket Times literary festival happens at this time of year. First up was Sky TV’s book show, with the lovely-as-ever Mariella Frostrup, and then BBC radio, and then onward to nearby Bristol ahead of some stuff tomorrow. Another light-ish day, happily, and a chance to rest my weary and aging bones.
UK Day 9|
October 8, 2011
Lee as an English nanny? No.
Very light day today…up at 9, an interview and photos with the Daily Mirror at 11, an afternoon’s shopping, during which I bought an umbrella—a handmade specialist item from a venerable London maker…a so-called straight-stick design, for those familiar with the umbrella maker’s art, which I am, since about 3 o’clock this afternoon.
Then dinner with Darley, my agent, at the Orrery on Marylebone High Street, with a bottle of Pol Roger “Winston Churchill” to celebrate…Darley is a walking PR slogan-coining machine, and pointed out that I’m the first British writer since JK Rowling to have the overall bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously. Very cool, as was the champagne. Dom Perignon has a serious competitor!
UK Day 9|
October 7, 2011
Not this Thriller Hall of Fame
Woke up in Manchester and jumped straight into the Bradmobile (well, after breakfast and a shower) and headed south to London again. First stop was the editorial offices of Empire magazine, for a web chat on their web site. Then came a sprint west to Transworld Towers, where I was able to say thanks to the troops who actually make all this stuff happen. Then I got into my posh suit (OK, my 200 buck Lands End mail order suit) for the very glamorous and televised awards show at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. I was inducted into the UK Thriller Hall of Fame, which was nice—and met the Danish cast of The Killing, which was even more fun. Now I’m on my way to bed, ahead of more stuff tomorrow…
UK Day 8|
October 6, 2011
What Lee's mugshot might
have looked like
A very civilized 9:40 a.m. start for the short drive to Goldsboro books, to sign a few hundred UK copies for collectors and for shipment to certain US stores—including The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale AZ, so if you want a British first, you know who to call.
Then we drove to Birmingham, where I grew up a long, long time ago. I did an interview for the local paper—which I have been in before, but at least now I’m on the arts pages, rather than the police blotter.
Then onward to Manchester, where the traditional Waterstones Deansgate event migrated to the old church in the square in back, because of attendance numbers. What with Dallas last week, I’m in church more often than some vicars. The crowd was big and boisterous, with plenty of discussion about a certain Hollywood casting decision. Then we had the traditional Gaucho steakhouse dinner, with Zoe and Andy and legendary north-of-England sales rep Martin Myers…who has been pushing Reacher up the hill since 1996.
UK Day 6 & 7|
October 4, 2011
Warp speed in the Bradmobile
So…after getting back from Philly I packed my little bag and had a short nap before getting up early for the day flight to London. The jetstream cooperated magnificently—we flew at 40,000 feet with a 150 mph tailwind that gave an effective ground speed of more than 700 miles an hour and made the trip in 5 hours 45 minutes. The Bradmobile’s inbuilt radar tracked the approach and I was in the hotel less than 60 minutes after wheels down. I slept well and ate a hearty breakfast and set out for radio, print, photography, print, photography, radio…and then Transworld’s celebratory dinner. THE AFFAIR is no. 1 in Britain, and the after-coffee petit fours were enhanced by a call from New York…
THE AFFAIR is no. 1 in the U.S. too.
So what does the happy author do now? Sends items to the hotel laundry, and packs his little bag again, ready for London, Birmingham and Manchester tomorrow. Good night!
US Day 5|
October 3, 2011
Grease: The Next Generation?
Not too long a trip from NYC to Philadephia, but this time someone else was driving so Lee and I sat in the back and debated important matters such as, “Where can we get more coffee?” Our first stop was to meet Paul Wright at the Radnor High School. It’s a great school whose stage may be the basis for the movie Grease (the director was a student there). I know he’s a Brit and all but I could see Lee in a white T with a pack of cigs rolled up in the sleeve and a greasy ‘do, can’t you? Kenickie Lee. He chatted with about 60 students from three classes (history and creative writing), answered questions and signed books. To that one student who couldn’t make it due to a team commitment? Hope you had a no choke day. (Don’t worry, your books are all signed.)
We had time to wander about Philadelphia (and suck down more coffee) before meeting up with an affable group from the Free Library of Philadelphia for dinner. Is there anything better than good conversation with people who love books? After dinner, we walked across the street to the impressive library building which opened in 1894. Free to all. Don’t you love libraries?
Excellent crowd, good questions, impressive signing line—the event was absolutely worth the trip. But I gotta ask, whose bright idea was it to schedule a book tour in the middle of the play-offs? Whoever it was, they don’t know Lee. Here we are in the library theater with 320 Philadephians in rapt attention and what does Lee want to talk about?
As the booing started and the stage lights dimmed, I figured let’s get outta Dodge but they’re very forgiving in Philly. Have to be, when your team isn’t the Yankees (come on, I’m a NYer!!). Many thanks to Philadelphia for their warm welcome and memorable hospitality. Hope you enjoy The Affair.
Click here to LISTEN to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s podcast of Lee’s appearance.
US Day 4|
September 30, 2011
Not the soft tire Lee means.
I must have been on a thousand planes, but never for as short a time as this morning’s first try to Louisville, Kentucky. We got on, sat down, and got right off again. The crew had detected a soft tire, and the maintenance guys needed to lighten the load to change the wheel.
The delay was about an hour, but no problem, because there was plenty of time before the library event…which was lovely. Big crowd of nice people, and dinner afterward.
Right now I’m on a plane home—all tires OK so far.
US Day 3|
September 29, 2011
Lee & Reacher Creature Becky
Got up early for a 5:45 car to the airport and flew to Dallas for a busy day…a hot day, too, because the weather jacked itself back to 96 degrees specially for me. First came TV, then came four B&N stock signings, and then came the evening event, which was a gig for the Highland Park library, at a local mega-church, which was a first for me. Haven’t been in a church since a similar thing in Decatur a couple of years ago.
The upside was room for 500 people, mostly from the Dallas area, but some from Oklahoma and Louisiana too. They all seemed to enjoy the sermon according to Reacher.
Last stop was Javier’s restaurant for dinner with Dallas pals Alison and Harry Hunsicker, outside on a terrace during a ferocious thunderstorm that dropped the temperature 30 degrees and acted as an ideal accompianent to Javier’s recipes.
US Day 2|
September 28, 2011
Can you believe how big TV
ameras were back in 1936?
The tour started in earnest early this morning…up at 5:45, out the door at 7, off to Chattanooga TN, then Detroit MI, then Raleigh NC, Fresno CA, Pittsburgh PA, Memphis TN, Springfield MA, Fort Myers FL, Tampa FL, Miami FL, St Louis MO, then back to Tampa FL again, and Cincinnati OH and Bakersfield CA…and home again by 11 a.m. How? By sitting in a TV studio on 31st Street, nine blocks from home, and feeding into breakfast shows across the nation. Not many air miles, but a lot less wear and tear than actual travel.
Then the subway (oh, the glamour!) to Tribeca for stock signing at Mysterious Books … then home to pack a bag for Dallas tomorrow—a real trip, not an electronic one.
US Day 1|
September 27, 2011
The crowd at B&N 86th & Lex
Same old, same old … not. Even sixteenth time around, it still feels special. The day started with two radio stations and a Boston newspaper on the phone…then a trip to Partners & Crime in the Village to sign stock, then the full 22-minute shower routine ahead of the Barnes & Noble gig on 86th Street. I rode up there with Sharon in the limo and bumped into friend and (wonderful) fellow writer Persia Walker outside the store, so we all went in together and found Maggie waiting with coffee and pens…all set…cue Maggie for the 411:
If a first book signing is any indication, this tour is going to be fun. Everybody was in stitches. Lee’s candid and extremely honest with his answers. So don’t be surprised when you hear why A) the sex scenes are steamy in THE AFFAIR, or B) what you should do if you don’t agree with the casting for ONE SHOT. By the time Lee explained what’s up with the movie (which is already in production, fyi), you’ll see it with fresh eyes.
To cool down afterwards, Lee and a few Reacher Creatures went around the corner for some beer and book chat. A particulary nice way to end a hopping day. Thanks to everyone for your support and enthusiasm; you guys are the best!—Webmaven Maggie
September 1, 2011
The Random House gang who
wore out Lee's signing arm
Every year, Lee visits the Random House’s Westminster, VA, warehouse to sign stock for delivery to bookstores across the country. This year he figured, “Why not drive?” and invited me along to “keep him awake.” Okay, maybe I invited myself along. But he agreed! So, it’s his own fault that I talked his ear off, right?
It’s a long drive. We stopped for coffee along the way. Twice.
The gals at the warehouse are great—smart, friendly, funny, seriously organized and they work really hard. They arranged a conga line to process hardcover copies of THE AFFAIR: one person to unpack each box of books, another made sure the books and covers were in perfect condition, the next in line folded the book cover to hold the title page open, the fourth person lined up each book under Lee’s hand so he could sign it. Lee handed the signed book to a gal who slid the book jacket back in place (to keep them from crinkling on the edges when they’re repacked), and then she handed it to someone who put the book back into a box and taped closed each filled box. I believe Lee and RH’s Team Reacher beat every prior record-holder. 2,500 books signed in three hours. Sweet!
After lunch and with the book signing completed, photos were taken and then we all trooped outside to see if the license plate on Lee’s car really said…
Goodbyes said, we were back in the car for another 4 1/2 hour trip home. Lee had a blister on his finger, a sore shoulder, and me (“You know what I was thinking? What if…”) all the way home. He complained as much as Reacher would have. Man’s a prince. Or maybe it’s that I talked so much on the way back that he didn’t have a chance to complain?