Friday, June 17, 2011

Touring in Cyberspace: Part 2

Oops! I just counted: there were 28 (not 16) stops on the blog tour for A Golden Web.

The whole thing started last October, when a YA book-lover named Sandy, author of a blog called Pirate Penguin Reads, apparently recommended my novel to an all-volunteer, three-girl Internet organization called Teen Book Scene.

Would I like to have my debut YA novel featured on a blog tour? Would I ever! I wrote to Kari and Corrine.

We decided to wait until the spring, when the paperback edition of the novel was due to be published. That seemed a good time to launch a blitz of publicity.

Meanwhile, I went to Italy to do research for a screenplay, tagging along with my fiancé, a violist, on the San Francisco Symphony’s fall tour.

By the time spring rolled around, I had more or less forgotten about what suddenly seemed like a completely cavalier promise to give 28 different bloggers a piece of myself—an interview here, a 250-word biography there. Three video interviews for which I served as producer, talent, set dresser, make-up artist and videographer until my ex, who is a professional, kindly stepped in to save the day. Interviews in which I was to “be” one of my characters. Revelations about “My Secret Life,” my “Ten Favorite Disguises,” what you would be likely to find at a garage sale of stuff I had as a teenager—and on and on.

It was all marvelously imaginative, on the part of the bloggers. And tremendously time-consuming for me. When it came to trying to figure out how to use the camera on my computer to make a movie of myself and post it on You-Tube, I thought my brain would explode.

I was still writing my bits and pieces for the blog tour when I joined Wayne for the last ten days of his actual tour—the Symphony’s spring tour in Europe.

And so I was sitting in a Spanish cafe in Düsseldorf’s Japantown, watching a fantastic parade of German kids dressed as manga characters milling up and down the street like something from a jet-lagged dream, when the first video interview went live on Cindy’s blog.

My virtual self was tossing off character interviews while my actual self (in red high heels) listened to my sweetheart playing Mahler in Paris.

Kelsey, Kayla, Melissa, and Jessica blogged about my book while I ate gaspacho in Barcelona.

More split in two than my Gemini self has ever been, I was a guest on Danna’s site even as I climbed among the ruins of a castle in Molina de Aragon.

And finally, in Madrid, I solemnly wrote on Kathy’s blog why I could not conceive of my characters tweeting—how the only creatures who tweeted in the 14th century (when A Golden Web takes place) were the birds in the trees.

After the Symphony moved on from the unbelievably gorgeous public spaces of the Palace Hotel to their next all-too-brief gig in Lisbon, I moved into a much more modest lodging for my last night in Madrid at a clean and spare little hotel called Miau (with the face of a cat on their logo).

For the first time since embarking on the Symphony tour, I had free Internet in my room, which had windows that opened and its own little balcony looking out over the Plaza de Santa Ana. I walked all over the city in a light rain, ate a supper of tapas and returned to my room to write my last post, for Jessica at her Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile blog: “What I Do When I’m Not Writing.”

In my hodgepodge of Latin languages that will have to serve me until I get serious about learning Spanish, I asked the cab driver who picked me up at 7 a.m. about the name of the neighborhood where I had quite arbitrarily chosen to lodge. He told me that it was the barrio de las letras, the writers' quarter. Cervantes himself lived on a neighboring crooked little street. I'd noticed, the night before, as I walked around in the rain after supper, taking my last photos, that those streets were lined with bookstores.

Back at home and utterly jeg-lagged, I didn’t feel that I needed to watch the You-Tube version of myself answering Kari’s questions for A Good Addiction—although I did revel in reading the thoughtful, appreciative and sometimes wildly ecstatic reviews of my book written by Ashley, Danna, Lexie, Melissa, Julia, Kathy, Britta, Kayla, Jessica, Christie, Erika, and Cindy.

What I would have done for a dozen such friends and supporters when I was a lonely girl in high school!

Come back tomorrow for my final post about Touring in Cyberspace, along with some photos!

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Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing

Barbara Quick, Vivaldi's Virgins Book Signing
Barbara Quick

My Garden

My Garden
My flower and strawberry garden (bathtub view)