Wednesday 18 June 2014

Book touring, pleasures and surprises

Before Imagined Sons came out, I'd forgotten how much pleasure it is to take a new book to audiences and feel such gratification in their attention and appreciation. Now I've read from the book in--wait, let's do the t-shirt version:

27/2 Seattle
18/3 London
22/3 Plymouth
28/3 Bradford on Avon
6/4 Cheltenham
11/4 Bristol
26/4 Providence
30/4 Claremont, New Hampshire
1/5 Cambridge, Massachusetts
5/6 Cardiff
7/6 Oxford

Here are the scheduled readings yet to come:

20/6 Reading
26/6 Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
4-5/7 Ledbury Poetry Festival
16/7 Nottingham
8/9 Norwich
17/9 Arvon Foundation, Sheepwash
3/10 Swindon Poetry Festival
4/10 Exeter Poetry Festival
13/11 Leicester
26/11 Chicester

So it seems I'm just past the halfway point. I feel the quality of my readings from the book has improved over the ones I've already done, and I've learned a lot about what it takes to be a good reading organizer and host. One organizer failed to mention that I had books available for sale, but nearly all of the others have given me moving introductions and done their utmost to promote sales. Dennis Harrison at The Albion Beatnik Bookshop in Oxford even asked what kind of wine I liked so he could get some in!

One thing I hadn't expected was how many people approach me or buy the book because they or someone they know is an adoptee, adoptive parent, or birth parent. People want to tell me their stories, some right then, some later via email or Facebook, about their own adoption experiences. Sometimes the stories are sad ones, such as women being forced to give up their babies, while others are heartening tales of reunions of birth parent and surrendered child. If I'm just halfway through, and the reviews are just beginning to appear, I have many more stories yet to hear.


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