The book tour starts tomorrow, except it doesn't because tomorrow's an election day, so the tour really starts Wednesday, though the book comes out on Tuesday. I've never quite figured out why books, CDs, and DVDs come out on Tuesday but movies come out on Friday (and occasionally Wednesday) but never on a Monday, which is when hairdressers are closed (but not barbershops). But I digress (never a rarity)...
So I'm blogging and it feels weird. I've never blogged or tweeted or gone on Facebook (though my wife tells me it's quite nice). I don't even play video games. I am to computers what an abacus is to the NASA mainframe. I own a Mac specifically because Macs are designed, at a base level, for morons. And I am that moron. So thanks for putting up with me as I enter the cyber world.
My 10th book tour. Book tours are weird beasts. They beat the ever-living hell out of working for a living, and it rocks to meet anyone who takes the time to buy your book, read your book, and who thinks so much of your efforts that they leave their home to meet you in person. No matter how jaded I could get about anything else in my life, I could never get jaded about that phenomenon — people read my stuff and show up in person to tell me they enjoyed it. Takes the top of my head off every time I pause to think about. No higher honor in this profession, I swear.
Unfortunately, my toddler doesn't understand that. She's just pissed I'm gone and not playing R. L. Burnside and Arcade Fire for her. Or reading to her. Or firing up the Elmo videos. If I could teleport from bookstore to bookstore, do like five states in a day, I'd hit every bookstore in America. But the travel is, in its current 2010 state, displacing at both a physical and a mental level. You stop feeling like yourself after maybe three or four stops and you become this weird alterna-you that exists in the margins of atmosphere in airports and cabs and hotel bars. You're that little blinky thing that snaps out of the corner of Edward Norton's eyes in Fight Club. Or you're George Clooney in Up in the Air without the benefit of being, you know, George Clooney. Then you go back to a hotel room and watch On-Demand because baseball season is over except in northern California and Texas. I never go to movie theaters for months before a tour because I want to be able to watch a movie in the hotel that I haven't seen before. Unfortunately, even if I didn't have a tour, I wouldn't have gone to the movies because most everything this summer looked pretty sucky (except for Winter's Bone, which was a masterpiece.) So, I dunno, Predators, anyone?
But then someone's going to come up to me in a bookstore and ask me to sign a falling-apart copy of one of my books, the binding all bent, the pages thumbed soft from re-reading or from being passed through the hands of an entire family, and it's all worth it. Even the two hours I lost on Predators.
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Dennis Lehane is the author of nine novels including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone, Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Books mentioned in this post
Dennis Lehane is the author of Moonlight Mile