Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Special guest author Melodie Campbell: Why Book Tours Are Expensive

Melodie got her start writing comedy. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and has won 9 awards for short fiction. Her fifth novel, a mob caper, is entitled The Goddaughter's Revenge (Orca Books). Melodie was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer, and both the 2012 and 2013 Arthur Ellis Awards. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Catch Melodie's humour column for The Sage, Canada's magazine of satire and opinion.


I’ve recently been on a book tour for my latest crime comedy, The Goddaughter’s Revenge.  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 tab and the bar bill.

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 mob comedies.  So I know a bit about mob assassins.  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.

You can follow Melodie’s comic blog at www.melodiecampbell.com.

6 comments:

Liane Spicer said...

Welcome back, Melodie! Now I don't feel to badly about never having done a book tour. :D

Melodie Campbell said...

Laff! Thanks, Liane. I just heard great news: THE GODDAUGHTER'S REVENGE is shortlisted for the Derringer! (Now, I have heard that comedy never wins awards, but it sure is thrilling to be a finalist.)

Denise Willson said...

Too funny! Really, Melodie, you made me crack up.

'I've still got my baby fat.' Love it!

Denise Willson
Author of A Keeper's Truth

Liane Spicer said...

*too badly* [eyeroll at myself for not proofreading before hitting 'publish']

Huge congrats on being shortlisted! Fingers crossed for Goddaughter to become the exception to the 'comedy never wins' rule!

Nikki (Sarah) said...

too darn funny. Congrats on shortlisting.

Melodie Campbell said...

Thanks Denise and Nikki! And yes, I really do carry around three pairs of glasses in my suitcase of a purse now...