My first book tour . . .
Twelve years ago when a novel idea was brewing in my brain while on tour overseas, a book tour wasn’t even a wrinkle of thought. So when the time came and Welcome to Groove House was about to be published, it’s only natural that I’d choose an unconventional book tour. That’s how I roll. How many debut authors can say that their book tour rocks?
Combining my book tour with the world tour of the band that I manage made perfect sense. And the first 2-month leg of the tour was fantastic! Fortunately, we came away mostly unscathed; other than allergies and a few colds, only the tour bus sustained a bit of damage–a busted off side mirror (thanks to a speeding ambulance) and a cracked windshield (thanks to a bouncing rock on the highway).
We even enjoyed a little downtime: in Miami, we were invited out to see the Who (my first time!), enjoyed an amazing dinner at Cotton Restaurant in Manchester, NH (many thanks to chef/owner/rocker Jeffrey), and had a fabulous Mexican meal in a Minneapolis suburb, where the local police so graciously played along with us on their dinner break (sorry that not everyone in cyberspace “got” the joke). And it was thrilling to see my book (and me) featured in newspapers in several markets around the country. On the music front, we revisited the usual haunts, plus I brought Y&T to a few regions that the band hadn’t played since the ’80s (if ever), and the bonus is that the venues (as usual) already want the band back. I’ve done my job.
The guys had a blast, and I had fun signing loads of books across the States. Some fans even had the entire band sign my book! Thank you to everyone who picked up my novel on tour. I loved hearing your comments in person (as well as seeing those online).
Some of my favorite comments on this first leg of the 2015 tour:
- In Vegas, one fan insisted it was me on the front cover, but her friend argued that the character looked nothing like me. That was a fun exchange. For the record, it’s not me on the front cover, nor is it Dave, nor Phil, nor any of the other real-life rock stars that people have been guessing. Welcome to Groove House is a fictional story (naturally, it’s peppered with real life), and the silhouettes on the front cover depict three of the characters in the book. Do you know which ones?
- Outside Philadelphia, a fan told me she that as she was reading my novel she visualized Alice Cooper as Mike Mays. And a fan in Houston insisted that Mike Mays is Don Dokken. Ha! So now I’ve heard Lemmy, Don Dokken, Alice Cooper, and Nick Nolte. Who did you visualize as Mike Mays while you were reading the story?
- A couple in Dallas told me that they were reading Welcome to Groove House together (she was reading it to him) and that they were loving it. The husband said he’d never heard his wife drop so many F-bombs. When I grinned and apologized (c’mon, rock stars don’t say “gosh darn”), he laughed and said he thought it was great to hear his wife swearing. (OK, I admit–I do have a potty mouth.) What’s your favorite cuss word?
- In Minneapolis, two different fans told me they couldn’t put the book down. (I love it!) One said she finished the book at 3:00 a.m. because she couldn’t wait to see how it ended. The other told me it was only the second book he’d ever read in his entire life! Wow, I feel truly honored! (BTW, he said the other book was Catcher in the Rye back in school.) He also said that he envisioned Brayden as a young Joe Bonamassa . . . cool.
- And that fan is not the only person on the tour to express that he’s not a reader but that he loved reading Welcome to Groove House. Even our own guitar tech said he doesn’t read books, but he read my novel on the tour and totally dug it! He couldn’t stop raving about it. I hope that inspires them to read more books. Reading is fun!
- A fan outside of Denver said (tongue fully in cheek) that she started reading my novel and couldn’t believe all the swearing coming out of my mouth. I replied, “Not my mouth–my characters’ mouths.” 😀
- One of the coolest comments on the tour came from our own John Nymann–guitarist extraordinaire! He was in the midst of reading Welcome to Groove House. And on the way to sound check in New York City, John told me: “It’s so cool to be in a rock band, on tour, AND reading such a great rock novel.” What an awesome testimonial!
And so my world book tour continues, on the road with Y&T. Next up: A short string of US summer shows, followed by European summer festivals and the Santa Cruz show on the beach. Then on to the 2-month European fall tour, where I look forward to signing books across the pond for the great fans in Europe and the UK.
Everyone in the States and around the world, please keep the Welcome to Groove House comments coming. I love hearing from you!