The next morning I headed out for the character-building "Who the Hell are You?" tour of downtown San Francisco. In theory this is when an author goes into a bookstore and sees stacks of her books on the front table and book-sellers rush up to her to beg her to sign them. In reality (at least for me) it involves praying that they have my book or if they don't, that they'll order it. A great big beautiful Borders didn't have my book in stock. City Lights didn't have it, but will order the next time they order from Random House, for which I thank them! I should note that on the way to LAX, my driver (I rode in style baby!) took me to a Borders in Culver City, which did have 1 copy of my book in stock (which I autographed). Back to San Fran. While I was in Chinatown, I decided to wander. I found myself at a tea bar with the world's greatest tea salesman, who is now my Chinese Uncle Gee. (This is Gee saying he will kick the ass of any bookstore owner who doesn't carry my book. ) They have wonderful teas! In you're in San Francisco, Gee puts on a great show, introducing you to a wide variety of teas and educating you about how to brew them. Just be sure not to share anything embarrassing. A young woman sitting next to me whispered that she was looking for a tea to help her have a bowel movement and Gee announced it to the whole room! However, to show you just how charming Gee is...she didn't go running out the door, but stayed and drank tea. I bought the lichee black tea. Yum! Check them out online.
That night, a driver picked me up and took me over the bridge to Marcus Books, the oldest black bookstore in the country. It's managed by Blanche Richardson--book-seller, writer and editor extraordinaire!
We had a great turnout (due mostly to a large contingency of cousins who came out to support me--thank you cousins!!!), and it was so much fun to be there. I've done many signings and 2 other book tours to other cities, and this is the 1st time that people who've actually read the book are showing up (and I'm talking about people not even related to me!). It is a great feeling to be able to discuss the book with folks who read (and, so far, enjoyed) the book. Dera from APOOO Bookclub was also there. Orange Mint and Honey is an upcoming selection for their bookclub--thank you APOOO! And thank you Marcus Books!!!
Books purchased on the road:
Conception by Kalisha Buckanon
The Darkness by L.A. Banks
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner
Song Yet Sung by James McBride (who also writes and plays music!)