Tales from the Moving Target Tour

This is Wednesday.  I usually write the blog entries on Thursday.  That’s not going to happen this week.  Tomorrow I have a morning signing at Green Valley outside of Tucson.  Then we have to drive to Phoenix–200 miles in all with the back and forth to Green Valley.  During the drive, with Bill at the wheel, I have two interviews schedule.  Then an evening event in Scottsdale.  Do you see a time to sit down and blog in all that?  Some of you are probably getting tired just reading about it.

Right this moment, I should be on my way to a Costco signing here in Tucson.  That was canceled earlier today because the store failed to get the books delivered on time.  I would like to think that the company will take responsibility for not having the books there rather than claiming it was some kind of temperamental diva turn on my part.  But we’ll see.  If they blame it on me, I’m sure one of my disappointed fans will be sure to let me know.

By the way, I’ve already heard from someone today who tried to get into yesterday’s event but arrived a few minutes late.  She wrote to me complaining that I should let people know if I have a “drop dead time limit” for entry into events.  The truth is, I don’t.  When I realized the volunteers had closed the doors and were sending people away, I had them reopen them, but by then the woman in question had already left.  Once I noticed the problem, I immediately corrected it, but when you’re the person on stage and speaking to 200 plus people, it’s not always possible to keep an eye on EVERY DETAIL!!  I do my best.

Twice today I’ve been asked how I do what I do.  The people asking the questing wisely refrained from adding the words “at your age” at the end of that question. And the answer is, I’m not entirely sure.

For one thing, I take my vitamins.  That reminds me, those have to be sorted before I head out of town tomorrow morning because I take MY vitamins and I also make sure Bill takes HIS!

Bella is staying home this tour.  She is not happy about it, but the pace makes it impossible to be dog-friendly.  (I’m sure the folks at the Ritz in Phoenix will miss her when we show up sans puppy.)  The people on the tour will miss her, too.  I have a feeling she’ll sulk for a day or two, but eventually she’ll get over it and her miniature dachshund hunger strike will end.  The truth is, at the end of a long, multi-event travel day, I need to have some time to rest rather than heading out to walk the doggie.  (By the way, on our Bella travels, Bill is the Executive Dog Walker.  That means he holds my purse, and I hold everything else.)

But part of the secret of surviving the killer pace of a book tour is to live in the present.  It’s one of the things I learned from Al-Anon.  You do the tour one day at a time.  You make the signing you are doing right then the most important event without thinking of the next one or the one after that.  Live in the now.  Be in the now.

Once, years ago, when I was a fledgling author, I had the great good fortune of going to a group-grope signing–that’s what we call a multi author signing event in the trade.  At this one, I happened to be seated at a table next to Ann Rule.  There were loads of people in her line and very few in mine, so I had a chance to watch her and see a pro at work.  The person standing in front of her, waiting for his or her book to be signed, seemed to be the only person in Ann Rule’s universe at that moment.  She gave him or her the gift of her complete attention.  It was a lesson I took to heart.  Every person at a signing is important, and so is every signing.  You never know which person in a particular group, large or small, is the one person you were destined to meet in that time and place.

So yes, I’m on tour, but along with the clothes I pack in my roll-aboard, I carry along another essential–the kind words and good wishes of my readers and fans.  Their smiles and stories and comments gladden my heart and sustain me in my travels.

Oh, did I mention this?  If not, it’s worth repeating.

I have the best job in the world.

16 thoughts on “Tales from the Moving Target Tour

  1. I enjoyed your talk/signing Wednesday night at B&N. I had pre-ordered a signed book from them some time ago. It will probably arrive today. “Being a woman of a certain age” I forgot I had ordered that book and bought an e-book version. Now I will have both a digital copy and a hard copy. Enjoy (or endure) your book tour, I know I will enjoy the book!

  2. We love going to the book signings. By “we” I meant my husband, I plus our service dogs (my saint bernard Brady-named for Joanna Brady); hubby’s (yellow lab Alex). The dogs love the special attention she gives them; the concern about why Brady started coughing while she was singing….he’s ok, he had eaten a piece of popcorn that didn’t go down right so it made him cough.
    We always look forward to these events, only have a couple of her books we haven’t read yet. Can’t wait til summer for next one. We Love you, all of your books!

  3. I can attest to you not being responsible for closing the doors on late comers. We came to a talk and sign event in Casa Grande a couple of years ago. There were no more chairs available so we resigned ourselves to standing to listen to what you had to say. When out of the blue you saw we were standing and invited us to the chairs behind you at the front of the room. We saw the back of you but heard every word. Thanks for being considerate of two late comers.

  4. I’m most of the way through reading Moving Target and enjoying it even more than usual. I’m looking forward to seeing you at Village Books in Bellingham on March 1.
    Happy book tour. I know it’s tiring, but I can assure you that it is a real positive for me and all the other ja jance fans I know.
    Thanks for your efforts, both to meet your fans and for being such an entertaining and absorbing author.
    Lynn Baker

  5. I did not know about this book, I just puchased your book Birds of Prey, which I thought was new, now I will head out a get this bookTales from the moving Target. I always have enjoyed your series with J.P Beaumont, which is the one I purchased. I like your writng so much that I will have to start reading all the other ones I have not read yet. in other series. Cynthia M. I Enjoy your your writing so very much, such a great author. Enjoy your tour.

  6. I love that you talk about things you learned in Al-Anon. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me that I wound up there. I learned so much about how to live a better life. Love all your books! Just wish that I lived in an area where you sign although I did get to meet you at ALA a couple or three years ago when you did a session with Harlan Coben. That was great! Thank you for your wonderful books! I have read them all, including your poetry book. Can’t wait to read this one!

  7. I loved your talk last night at the Poisoned Pen. It still think you should (in your spare time) Children’s Book about Bella’s Great Adventure. Maybe with some safety issues in it. Just a thought. I know you are a busy Lady and I guess I’m only teasing.

    But I did love your talk and I’m really liking moving target.

  8. Good blog. Sorry I couldn’t come to the GV library, but with our daughter in town for a short visit from Seattle area, we wanted to spend that time at the Desert Museum with her cousins. She is also a fan, so we would have enjoyed coming together, but that didn’t work out this time. Luckily, I have seen your talks 3 times now and enjoy each and every one immensely. Looking forward to the Ali #9!

  9. I’m happy to read those good words about Ann Rule. I’ve read all of her books including the one where she told about working next to Ted Bundy. An amazing story.

    I have a question about book tours. When did you start doing them? I don’t remember authors doing the signing and tours years ago, but maybe I missed it. It seems to be a requirement now. If you didn’t really want to do it, what would your publisher do?

    • Reply: I started doing tours from day one, from back in my original paperback days. My agent set up 30 signings for the first Beaumont book, Until Proven Guilty, and I did them all. On my own nickel. From then on!! The first publisher paid book tour was for my first hardback, Hour of the Hunter. Let’s see. Fifty books. Thirty signings per book–at least? That’s a lot of signings!!

      JAJ

  10. I am hooked on your books. I feel like I am right there in the plot and experiencing whatever is happening. Today I decided to check for a web site for you. I wanted to have the books in order of writing and YIPEE there it was. Sorry to say I missed you recently in Surprise. Will keep an eye out for your next visit to Phoenix.

  11. If you wish to be added to my new book newsletter list, please go to the contact page on this website. Send me your name, first and last, as well as your city and state. If you happen to be a snowbird with more than one city and state, let me know that, too. I want to try to target book tours to go where my readers are!!!

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