Two days ago I wouldn’t have believed it was almost October. Summer came so late in the Pacific Northwest this year, and we had our second hottest September on record, with ten days at the beginning of the month in the upper 80s and low 90s. But the rain snuck in Saturday night, and now it feels like fall.
Some locals may want to kick me in the head for this, but I’m happy to see the return of that “liquid sunshine.” Summer really wore me out, especially the past month. I spent the last week of September in California, which meant the two previous weeks were full of preparations, including cramming appointments, landscaping customers, and author events in around the trip. It’s been at least a month since my life felt like it belonged to me, so I was happy for a cool, gray, October weekend where I could hide out in my office and catch up on things. The yin energy feels so soothing after a particularly yang summer.
On September 20th, the day before we left for L.A. I did a TV interview for Veronica Esagui’s Author’s Forum. Alice Lynn went along with me for moral support, the way I did for her when she was interviewed back in January. I was scared out of my mind because the last time someone shoved a microphone in my face I started shaking like I was gearing up for one of those legendary California quakes. I knew what the questions would be in advance, but still I worried that my brain would freeze up and I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to say. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Veronica’s a super-nice person, and her production crew is fantastic. They all put me at ease. Author’s Forum is a public-access show, so it has odd viewing times and won’t even be on the air for a couple of months. I’ll get a DVD, though, which I’ll be able to break down into ten-minute segments and post on YouTube. The thing is, I’m not sure I have the guts to watch it. 🙂
Saturday night I took part in an author event, the first stop in the Rain Boots Required YA Author Tour, along with Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Angela Carlie, and Rebecca Knight. These gals are an awesome bunch—very friendly and a whole lot of fun. We spoke at Cover to Cover Books in Vancouver. Each of us did a short presentation then followed up with a reading. Stacey covered young adult voice and believable dialogue, Angela talked about edgy YA fiction, Rebecca discussed creating flawed characters, and I addressed using life experience as research. We had a crowd of about 30 people. If you live in Southwest Washington and want to support a great indie bookstore, drop by Cover to Cover Books at 6300 N.E. St. James Road, Suite 104B, Vancouver, Washington. Mel, the owner, is awesome, and they have a very cool cat, Smedley. Books and cats, what more do you need, except maybe chocolate? But wait! They have that too, at least in liquid form, since they’re also an espresso bar.
This coming Friday we’ll be making the next stop in our tour at the West Linn Public Library between 6:30 and 8:15. Author Laura Elliot will be joining us there. I also plan to attend Wordstock at the Oregon Convention Center, along with Alice Lynn, all day Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be in the Starving Writer booth with Laura Marshall. If you look at the tabs at the top of this blog, you’ll see that I’ve added an events page so people can keep up-to-date about my public appearances.
For those of you who are curious, I’m still whittling away at Getting Sideways. I’m up to chapter 22 now. I tried to write while I was down in California but only managed to get a few chapters done. I’m getting caught up on other things, though, and it looks like the leaves are going to be late in falling this year, so I hope to finish it up in the next couple of weeks.