Book Tour Review – Raven Oak

Book Tour Review

Two weeks ago, four authors kicked off a regional tour for a holiday speculative fiction book. And what did they learn?

Well, I can’t speak for my co-authors, but…

  1. Touring is exhausting. Driving, signing, smiling. All things hard to do with a migraine, as I discovered the last tour event.
  2. Touring is fun. Lots of new people to meet and chat with.
  3. Touring is expensive. What they don’t tell you is that new and mid-list authors pay all the expenses of a tour (gas, hotel, food, etc.). And if you have a party like we did, more so.
  4. Touring is time-consuming. Most authors working with small or medium presses arrange their own tour events, so lots of making sure everything is ready to go. Lots of promotion as well. And my husband and I tried to cram house hunting in during the tour. Exhausted isn’t a strong enough word.
  5. Touring is worth it.

I wanted to share with you some of the details of the tour since I know some folks missed events or live far, far away from the Pacific Northwest.

Begin the Tour photoGayle Clemans took the above photo. I thought it was fitting to share.

We held a tour kick-off party at a house in the Wedgewood neighborhood. I decided to wear something seasonal…red plaid.

Party picWe had a table set up at the party to sell copies of Joy to the Worlds, which was manned by my husband and I for some of the party. (My apologies for the low lighting in the shot.)

We also gave away a gift basket at the party as part of the SF/F prop selfie booth. The basket held autographed copies of our other works.Tour Partygift basket


The gift basket also had ornaments that we (the authors) hand-decorated. I went for decorations that fit my stories in the book.











We ordered a cake that was supposed to have our book cover across the entire front. Unfortunately, the cake decorator called in sick. The sub had no idea how to use the machine or do anything cake-y, so we ended up with a deformed cake. Not only was the book image half-size, but the sugar paper they use was all rippled across the cake because it was placed wrong. Also, it was supposed to be chocolate icing to go with the chocolate cake. It was interesting looking, to say the least, but they gave it to us for free since it was messed up. (It was a half-sheet cake normally costing $55.)

Deformed cakeBy the end of the night, we were pretty tired. If you’re wondering about the hats, Gayle made them and each one bore the symbols from one of our stories. Mine had bells because of my story “The Ringers.”

Group shot from partyAfter the party, I came home, gave DiNozzo his seizure meds, made a quick tweet, and went to bed. The next day was our virtual streaming event.

After the live streaming event came our Eastside event at UW Bookstore in Bellevue, WA. Here’s me before-hand. 🙂
after party UW Bookstore is always great about making awesome signs.

Bellevue sign

They had a huge display set up for the event.

book display

They didn’t just have Joy to the Worlds either. They had all our books.

book display

We also had a table of seasonal goodies, including a seasonal alcoholic beverage made by my husband and I’s friend Elise. We had another gift basket to give away, this one to someone who completed the mini-mystery hunt.

Bellevue table

After the hunt, we each did a short reading, followed by Q&A.

group reading

group reading Group reading group reading

Janine and I posed for a picture with our friend Jesikah Sundin, who is also an author.

Janine, Jesikah, & Raven

For this event, I wore a Captain America dress–because why not?

group shot

Sadly, there were a ton of mudslides in the days before our Portland event. So many that I-5 and several smaller highways were closed. It took 5 hours to travel 50 miles. Between all the traffic advisories and warnings, plus traffic, we had to cancel our Portland event. Even if we’d make it there, we’d have never made it back for our Seattle event the next morning.

Seattle Mystery Bookshop Sign

Our Seattle event was at the fabulous Seattle Mystery Bookshop. We had a small table and met a number of new readers and walk-ins in addition to those we knew. This included one gentleman with an awesome hat. It was pouring rain, and this hat kept him quite dry. Besides good conversation, we had chocolate.

Our table

We didn’t get a group shot here (not sure why we didn’t remember), but I took a selfie. Where I didn’t smile. ?? I wore an Alice in Wonderland dress to this one.


Pretty dress












We signed a lot of books. And joked about Janine’s special left-handed signature. (She had wrist surgery right before the tour.)

autographed Joy to the Worlds

The last in-person event was in Tacoma at King’s Books. This bookstore SMELLS like a bookstore–paper, ink, kitties, and dust. (Yes, they have a kitty in the store.) Part of the reason I liked this stop was that I got to see my former teaching coworker, Betty. She recently moved up here. I hadn’t seen her in about 12 years. She stopped to pose for a picture with us. We also gave away our third and final gift basket, which Betty won!

Authors with Betty White

Now the big store events are done (unless Portland gets rescheduled…which is a possibility), we only have one event left.

Tomorrow, 12/18, we’ll be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit’s /r/Books started at noon PST. Hop on over and ask us anything!

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