02 August 2014

Why Book Tours are Expensive (More Comedy on the Road)

by Melodie Campbell 

I’ve recently been on a book tour for my latest crime comedy, The Goddaughter’s Revenge (winner of the 2014 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards for Best Novella. There. I got it in.  My publisher can relax now.)

Book tours are expensive.  You travel around to independent book stores and you sell some books and sign them. 

It’s fun.  You meet a lot of great people.  But it’s expensive.  And I’m not talking about the hotel bill and the bar tab.

I should have just stayed in the bar.  It was leaving the bar that become expensive.

Nice night.  We decided to go for a walk.  It was dark, but I had on my brand new expensive progressive eye-glasses, so not a problem, right?

One second I was walking and talking.  The next, I was flying through the air.

Someone screamed. 

WHOMP.  (That was me, doing a face plant.)

“OHMYGOD! Are you okay?”  said my colleague.

I was clearly not okay.  In fact, I was splat on the sidewalk and could not move. 

“Fine!” I yelled into the flagstone.  “I’m Fine!”

I tried to lift my head.  Ouch.

“That must have hurt,” said someone helpfully.

I write about a mob Goddaughter. So I know a bit about mob take-outs.  It may come in handy.

A crowd had gathered.  Not the sort of crowd that gently lifts you off the ground.  More the sort of crowd that gawks.

“Couldn’t figure out why you were running ahead of us.” My colleague shook his head.

I wasn’t running.  I was tripping and falling.

“That sidewalk is uneven.  Your foot must have caught on it.”

No shit, Sherlock.

By now I had tested various body parts.  Knees were numb.  Hands, scraped.  Chin, a little sore. 

But here’s the thing.  I hit in this order: knees, tummy, boobs, palms.  My tummy and boobs cushioned the fall and saved my face. 

Yes, this was going through my mind as I pushed back with my tender palms to balance on my bloody knees.

“Ouch!”  I said.  No, that’s a lie.  I said something else.

I stood up.  Surveyed the damage.  My knees were a bloody mess, but the dress survived without a scratch.  It was made in China, of course.  Of plastic.

The crowd was dispersing.  But the pain wasn’t over.

Next day, I hobbled to the clinic.  The doctor, who probably isn’t old enough to drive a car, shook his head.

“Progressive glasses are the number one reason seniors fall.  They are looking through the reading part of their glasses when they walk, and can’t see the ground properly.”

Seniors?  I’ve still got my baby fat.

“Get some distance-only glasses,” he advised.

So I did.  Another 350 bucks later, I have a third pair of glasses to carry around in my purse.
Which means my purse isn’t big enough.

So I need to buy a new purse.

And that’s why book tours are so expensive.

Melodie Campbell is an infant Sleuthsayer, and this is her third column.  She writes comedies (No shit, Sherlock.)  You can find them at www.melodiecampbell.com and all the usual book places.


  1. Melodie, your column today reminds me of a trip I made to Atlanta to appear on a radio show. I was sixty years old, so I didn't have any "baby fat," though I confess to other varieties.

    I'd been nervous during the interview, but it went well. My driver told me to wait while he went for the car. I stood there a few minutes, then decided to just step off the curb so I'd be ready to get in.

    You guessed it. I stepped off the curb and landed flat on my face. About that time, the driver appeared, jumped out, and helped me up and into the vehicle.

    "Are you okay? Shall we go to an ER?"

    "Oh, no, I'm fine," I assured him as I sopped blood off my face with my left hand.

    We stopped for lunch on the way back to SC where I discovered that while I could put a fork into my right hand, I could NOT lift it to my mouth.

    My driver put the majority of my lunch between two slices of bread, and I ate it as a sandwich with my left hand.

    Back home, I agreed to see my doctor who sent me on to an orthopedist to deal with my right arm --broken at the wrist and the elbow.

    Yes, book tours are expensive, but let me warn you--so are interviews!

  2. Sorry about your glasses. That's a tough way to get material for a Sleuthsayers column!

  3. I love your humor! We are looking forward to your guest post with us August 17! Thelma Straw of Crime Writer's Chronicle . www.crimewriters.blogspot.com

  4. Fran, what a story! And what a trooper you are - I swear writers are the toughest of the tough. Your story beats mine - but I just can't laugh at it. And I shall beware of interviews....

  5. Thelma, thank you! I'm looking forward to guesting with you on the 17th :)

  6. Melodie, I enjoy your sense of humor in these blogs.
    As a side note, the wife and I ordered new glasses this week. She decided to try out progressive lenses, so I made sure she read today's blog. And, when I told the eye doc about me missing a step while looking down, he lowered the top line in my bi-focal a couple of millimeters to give me a better chance.
    As Ben Johnson's character said in an old John Wayne movie just before the big shoot out scene, "Don't ever get old."

  7. Hilarious, Melodie. Er, I mean how awful! I'm so sorry!

    I think this picture could be part of the problem.

  8. The one thing about getting old, RT (and I'm not old! I'm not! I'm...what was I saying?)
    It gives you lots of material for comedy.

  9. LOL! And frighteningly real... I too went splat earlier this year but luckily it was in a garden, so besides the tummy and boobs, a large bush cushioned my fall. Age, of course, had only a coincidental relation to the incident....


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