The official Random House publicity push for Doc ended on Friday. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive — lavish, even. We sold a ton of books in two dozen great independent stores. Doc has already earned a second print run and every time someone refers to him as Dr. John Henry Holliday, I do a little victory dance. That’s my boy, I think. They’re starting to respect him.
Bonus: I actually lost a couple of pounds, despite all the road food and restaurant meals!
The tour ended without my making a single tasteless, self-pitying joke about the Bataan Death March. A few nights of solid sleep in my own bed, and I’ve recovered from eight weeks of travel, interviews, bookstore events and social media work, leavened by visits with family, friends and fans. (Some overlap in those categories!) I’ll continue to do everything I can to get this novel noticed. There are a number of Cleveland-area library talks coming up, and Terra Communications is scheduling appearances in the autumn. The spring tour has been so exhilarating, I’m actually looking forward to more.
My very own real-life son has contributed to the sense of joy and well-being that I’m reveling in. Dan and his wife Jessie moved to Los Angeles two years ago. Dan’s a digital media and film editor, and L.A. is where the jobs are. The entertainment industry has gotten through the Great Recession better than most, but breaking in is always a struggle and the past two years have shocked even veterans of the show biz roller-coaster. Nevertheless, Dan has gone from exploited intern to respected professional. He sounds happy and energized, with a confidence tempered by realism and experience. Don and I are pleased and proud, as are Dan’s wife and in-laws. Going West was a big gamble but it’s paying off. And my husband’s company is flourishing, as well. AllTech Medical Systems is actively hiring now. They’re shopping for a manufacturing facility here in Ohio, which is good news for the local economy and maybe a sign of better times generally.
As for me? The laundry’s done. The fridge and cupboard are restocked. The grass is mowed. Post-tour resolutions include regular piano practice (Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C, Well-Tempered Clavier) and regular exercise. I need to build up some stamina for five days on horseback this October when I participate in the Earp Vendetta Ride in the Arizona mountains.
Many of the reviews of Doc expressed hope of and enthusiasm for a sequel that would cover the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and I intend to deliver it. I’m confident now that I can bring something new to a story that’s been told and retold. Time to get my head back in the game…