I’m on tour throughout 2015 to launch my third memoir, Coming Ashore, which covers my life from ages 20-25. When I was on tour for my first memoir nearly 10 years ago, I wrote an article for the Toronto Star as a thank you and tribute to my readers; the sentiment is just as real today as I cross the continent to meet as many of you as I can.
An excerpt from my article, entitled The Glory of the Book Tour:
“When I wrote Too Close to the Falls, a childhood memoir about my life from 4 to 14, I was thrilled that it made it to the best seller’s list. One of the best parts of the experience was the book tour itself.
Writing is a solitary activity. I was hunkered down on my third floor month after month pressing little keys and then one day I pressed print. Suddenly I was sent around the world to actually see the effect of my words. It is a magical moment to see a group of people you have never met respond to your writing with laughter or tears. It is a moment of shared intimacy like no other.
You know, you can sit in your room and write books if you want and never see anyone who reads them other than your small circle of friends. It’s easy to write for them. The joy of the book tour is in getting out and there and meeting people who are unlike you. The magic happens in realizing we all have enough common experience to share an emotional moment brought alive by a simple printed word. That, for an author, is a moving experience. Whenever I sit in my study thinking I have nothing to say, I think of all the people out there who thought I did.
When you write a book and someone buys it for what seems to me to be a hefty sum and then invests many hours of their precious time reading it, they deserve to meet you if they want to. They are the ones who are providing your living and, for a few weeks a year, they deserve some thanks.”