Tour Stops

copy{writer} fiction & publishing

Just back from the first leg of an incredible Florida book tour. It was truly an honor to meet so many readers, booksellers, media folks, and new friends, and to see old friends and family to boot. Thanks to everyone who came out. (And to Grove Press for the support!) Check the photos below, and please visit my schedule page to see what’s next. I’m making more stops through the year.

The first event was hosted at the inimitable Flagler College in my hometown, St. Augustine. Overwhelmed was hardly the word. I was stunned silly at the turnout, the good vibe, and the generosity of my neighbors. This is a special place.

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Next up, The BookMark in Neptune Beach. Years ago I lived just a few blocks from this bookstore, and I visited regularly to browse and attend readings. Hard to believe I gave a reading here last week. Thank you, Rona Brinlee–it was wonderful. And thanks to all my friends and family who turned out, especially Shawn, Lysne, and Monica (x2). Love you guys.

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The next day, I hit the road to Tampa. That I-4 corridor is usually a nightmare, as any Floridian well knows, but luck was with me and I skirted through the Disney logjam in record time. I’d been hearing about Inkwood Books for years but had never had the pleasure to explore the store until last week. New owner Stephani Beddington extended a glass of wine and a warm welcome, so I knew I was in the right place. Readers were especially friendly that night, including Pam Davis of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings society, pictured below. (And it’s funny how, when you’re from New Jersey, as I am, Bruce is pretty much always over your shoulder.)

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If you’re in Tampa, I recommend The Collonade restaurant. And the Key Lime pie. Yeah.

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From Gulf Coast to East Coast early the next morning. The famed South Florida crossing Alligator Alley is actually I-75, and it’s a straight shot across the bottom quadrant of the state. I had my mom with me for this leg of the tour, and we were lulled into a silent trance as we passed through the Everglades–truly a majestic river of grass, as Marjorie Stoneman Douglas called it–before we were literally gobsmacked with Ft. Lauderdale/Miami traffic as soon as we crossed the Broward County line. OK, I admit it. I’m not used to heavy traffic. In St. Augustine we get delayed by horse-drawn carriages and tourists on Segues. We rarely drive above 35 mph. Interstates in southeast Florida? ‘Nother story. But traffic notwithstanding, we made it to the stunning Books & Books Coral Gables, one of the most beautiful book-lover’s desinations I’ve ever seen. I met a long-time hero, Mitch Kaplan, and reunited with several old friends: John Dufresne, Leonard Nash, David Beatty.

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 Special thanks to Darby Collins and friends who hosted Judy and I for a lovely welcome dinner right in the main gallery of the bookstore. I’ll never forget it.

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Special treat! A next-morning breakfast with John Dufresne, Cindy Chinelly, Leonard Nash and Judy Cook.

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Back in the car, up the road a piece to the Florida Center for the Book at the Ft. Lauderdale branch of the Broward County Library. Lovely visit with Ken Cook, Margie Zupruk, Casey Cook, and the beautiful Kris Cook. Thank you, Tara Zimmerman!

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Have you been to the Vero Beach Book Center? Go. Go. Go. It’s a book-lover’s paradise–huge bookstore in the main building with a beautiful annex out back devoted to kids, teens and bargain books. I had a great time here. Thanks, Cynthia and staff for the hospitality, and thank you Pat for driving so far!

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I’m realizing just now that I’m wearing the same necklace in almost all of these photos. It’s a lucky charm, of sorts–has seen me through lots of early morning writing hours and countless draft revisions. I guess it’s a talisman. I’ll stick with it, see what happens next.

One of the best things about traveling is coming back home to St. Augustine, where I can sit on the fort lawn and watch my kid do this:

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It’s a good life. That’s it for now…more to come from down the road apiece.  Thanks for reading the story.

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