Written in the sky, flying to Phoenix, May 30, 2014 It's been a busy first week for The Lemon Orchard book tour, with much excitement and joy along the way. I haven't been out on tour in a couple of years, so visiting every bookstore, seeing every reader, being on every radio show means so much to me.
Here are some highlights so far, a sort of sideways diary--not linear or organized, just an impressionistic view of the journey so far. I am taking many of these posts and photos from my Facebook page, which I update frequently.
Yesterday writer David Handler and I met at the NPR studios in midtown Manhattan and got patched in to the Colin McEnroe show in Hartford CT. We had a great time discussing books, writing, setting novels in Old Lyme CT, missing Dominick Dunne, and quite a lot more. Here is the link to our conversation.
The day before I'd gone on WVIT, NBC Connecticut Channel 30, for an interview with the lovely Kerri-Lee Mayland. The segment felt good, we had a fine discussion about where I get my inspiration, how The Lemon Orchard starts in Old Lyme CT and moves out to Malibu CA.
More Connecticut TV--On Tuesday May 27 I appeared on WTNH's Connecticut Style with Teresa Dufour. Newlywed (as of New Year's) Teresa asked a lot about the love story in The Lemon Orchard, and she wanted to know whether Roberto was inspired by a real life person. That is always hard to discuss in public, but much easier to write in an essay.
RJ Julia Booksellers was great as always, welcoming me and all readers with open arms. We had a slight but wonderful glitch--the store was fully reserved but without enough books. So on the way out of NYC I swung down to my publisher on Hudson Street, loaded up the trunk of the car old-school, and delivered a few cartons of The Lemon Orchard in time for the event.
Before it began I stopped across the street at Cafe Allegre to meet my dear friends and fellow St. Thomas Aquinas High School alums Paula Gilberto, Janice Tordanato, and Linda Kozikowski Lohmeyer. They have come to Madison for my talks before, and I am incredibly touched that they do that. It's always good to have mini-reunion before meeting my readers.
We had a good talk with gentle yet intriguing questions to follow, talking about the novel and how a Connecticut native wound up in Malibu CA writing about a family of undocumented Mexican immigrants. The answer is very simple--if it comes from the heart the writing is never hard, the stories flow, and inspiration and compassion are everywhere.
I felt a blast of energy coming from the loving crowd and gathered them around me at the podium and we attempted a series of Ellen-style selfies. I thank Janice for being our photographer. Many friends are in the shots, but some are Edyse Smith, Julia Vallati, Janice, Lisa from RJ Julia, and others. Thank you all for making it so much fun.
An hour or so before the bookstore I went to Hubbard's Point for a swim, then met my sister Maureen and brother-in-law Olivier. We grabbed a bite at A.C Peterson Farms--formerly Hallmark--I always call it Paradise Ice Cream in my novels. Here's a photo of Maureen and me at one of the picnic tables, the Connecticut River and Old Saybrook in the distance.
Right now I am heading to Phoenix AZ for tomorrow's signing--"Afternoon Tea with Luanne" at 2 pm Saturday 5/31 at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale.
Sunday 6/1 at 3 pm I'll be at Diesel: A Bookstore in Malibu California We'll have snacks and lemony drinks catered by the Godmother of Malibu.
Hope to see you along the road. I'll report in along the way, but in case you want to join me, here is the Book Tour 2014 schedule. If you can't make it and would like a book signed, please just contact any of the stores I'm visiting and I will personalize it for you and they will send it to you.