It's not an original idea, but it's topical. I'll blog for the next few weeks on a tour I'm making to promote my book, attempting to present an honest view of an author's life on the road.

Today is packing day, and what a challenge! I'm heading from Michigan to Florida, so I need clothes for warm weather and everything in between. I'm signing at a Renaissance Festival so I need trappings for a booth: sign, decorations, prizes, etc. I'm doing several talks, so I need audience handouts, etc. I'm going to Sleuthfest, so I need bookmarks and outfits and a pitch. There are dozens of friends in Florida who've insisted that I stop in and see them, so I need addresses and a plan. In other words, I should just pack up my office, my clothes closet, and anything lying around the house that might come in handy.

Things that help: our son bought us a GPS for the car for Christmas, so hopefully I won't get lost. I've been planning for months, so I should have most possibilities covered (although there are always things I forget). I've paid attention to other authors' advice on such things and tried to include it in my plans. And I've done each of these things before, just not all in one trip.

Last but not least, I've learned to have a realistic attitude about selling/publicizing a book. The crowd of people in my hometown who lined up out the door last week to buy a signed copy of MACBETH'S NIECE was a big thrill, but I know better than to expect crowds anywhere else. My approach to this trip is to have as much fun as I can manage, to hand out bookmarks to everyone I meet, and to enjoy the scenery and the Florida sun. After all, it's been a long winter in Michigan already, and it ain't over yet.

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