Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Thursday morning I am doing radio interviews about my new book from 8:30 until 11:10. My voice will be heard on radio stations all over the country. It is a terrifying prospect. My friend Jennifer, a PR person, has been helping me to prepare. She has mock interviewed me and coached me on my answers. She has instructed me to dress professionally and smile when I speak, even though nobody on the radio can see me.

Then, next week, I'm going on tour. For the whole week, all up and down the East coast. I'm calling it my Read Lots of Books without Interruption week and am taking all kinds of novels and books about quilts. By calling it my reading week, I don't have to think about how tired I will be after talking to two or three or four groups of people every day, and saying the same thing each time. I am almost 46 and I still have the energy for all kinds of things, but I don't have the energy for this. I do, however, have the energy to sit and airports and read, which I'll be doing a lot of. So that's what I'm focusing on.

I'm trying to be a trooper, though. I am trying to remind myself that I might sell more books by doing radio interviews and going on tour. But, you know, I've never made a strong connection between writing books and making money, though it is actually how I make my living. The two don't seem to have anything to do with each other. Writing books seems deeply personal to me. How can it be a money-making venture?

On Monday night I went to my first local Quilters' Guild meeting (and I joined--I am a guild member--whee!). The speaker was so hilarious she was exhausting to listen to. What was funny was her quilts were absolutely beautiful. She seemed too funny to make beautiful things. I couldn't put her and her quilts together.

My favorite part was at the very end, when people came up to the front to show their most recent work. It was all amazing. What artists!

And it was nice to sit there safe in the knowledge that I will never quilt for money. I will never have to worry about what reviewers say about my quilts, or whether kids like my quilts, or whether not anyone will buy my quilts. I don't think there's any fear I'll start getting stressed out about whether or not I'm the best quilter in the guild, because I could make a quilt every week and take every class offered for the rest of my life, and I'm never going to be half the artist or seamstress that a lot of these women so obviously are. It's nice to be really mediocre sometimes. It's nice to do something just for the love of it. It's nice to do something and never, ever have to go on the radio to tell people how you did and why they should like it.

I don't know if I'll have time to do another post before I go. So I'll go ahead and say goodbye for now, and I'll see you again the week after next. If I survive. Which I might not.


Heather said...

Good luck! All will work out fine and I can't wait to read about your adventures on tour.

Safe travels!

Pom Pom said...

I get the feeling that you are being carried along on a very important mission. Your books have so much soul and your reluctance to go out and be Missy Rah Rah makes sense. These stories you tell take on a life of their own and you are the humble mouthpiece. The Lord will meet you on the road, carry you through the many conversations and sustain you. Someday, I'm going to focus on quilting because I love so many aspects of it. I'll take a class to get over my rotary cutter phobia. Bless you, Frances. I SO believe in YOU!

Tracy said...

PomPom is terribly can times her post by 2, for me!

I am in awe that you have the wherewithal to speak publicly with such frequency. I am facing the preparation and delivery of a women's retreat session in April and I feel like I'm in quiet a dither! Perhaps there is the good side of saying the same thing over and over. You'll be well polished in no time, as if you weren't already!

I hope your trip is a success in the way that matters to YOU. I hope that your moments of solitude revive you for the public responsibility you must perform. I can't wait to hear of you observations and experiences!

debbie bailey said...

If I were a published writer about to go on a book tour, I'd feel exactly like you. I've already decided that when I get published, I"m not touring. Unless, of course, I'm having to make a living. Then you do what you have to do in order to take care of yourself and family.

I'll be praying that you're refreshed daily along the way and come home excited and glad you went.

Angela said...

Wow! have a wonderful time [can we tune in to these programmes in the UK??]

Tracy said...

Hey guess what arrived all squished into my letter box yesterday??!!!!!


Thank you forever and ever. It is absolutely stunning. I adore the colours and I just cannot wait to start working with it. I'm scouring the Lion Brand website for ideas and patterns!


Gumbo Lily said...

You can do it! If it were me, my innards would be all in knots and I couldn't begin to speak to an interviewer let alone one who was making a radio broadcast, but you can do it. These books are your babies and if all we had to do was talk about our babies, we could go on and on and on. Yes?

Best wishes to you as you travel and speak. Will there be a podcast for us to hear you?


Left-Handed Housewife said...

Hey, everyone--Thanks so much for your kind words and good wishes! If you're the praying type, please keep me in your prayers this week. If you want to hear one of the interviews (and also see what I look like), you can go here:

or google WSUS New Jersey and check out their kids' book program.

Pom Pom, I believe you will quilt one day--I, too, was once very freaked out by a rotary cutter! I believe in you, too.

victoria said...

I hope all is going well on the circuit. I will definately be listening to the interview you linked to if it works across the seas. Also will be looking up you books!!
Congrats on joining the Quilt Guild.xxooo

Gumbo Lily said...

Hi Frances!

I just listened to your podcast and you *sound* like a wonderful, smart, beautiful person. Your description of Falling In was fun to listen to and sounds like another terrific book. I just finished Shooting the Moon and the ending really made me think and think and think. I just *knew* you had to be an army brat because of the way you wrote this book. When I listened to the podcast, you said so yourself. Excellent book!

Hoping all is going well as you continue plugging the new book!


GretchenJoanna said...

I've been missing your blog, so I went back to find the last one, and it turns out I missed it, this very one. So I am catching up, and just listened to the radio interview. You did great!
I hope you are just having a great time quilting and catching up on sleep or whatever you missed, that it is good things keeping you from posting.
I also love reading in airports and on planes, it definitely helps ease the stress of traveling.
It might be this week that I finish reading about M.F. and send those books back. He is keeping you on my mind.

Angela said...

Oh please tell me you have survived.
It is WEEKS since you posted any news!!