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The Best Part of a Book Tour (& 2 Upcoming Readings!)

By Nora Zelevansky / August 9th, 2012

My Signing at Powell’s in Portland; Photo Compliments of Anna Lobell

Unless you’re a serious bigwig, publishers don’t organize and send you on lavish book tours these days.  They do help you organize, but ultimately you take yourself.  That’s why I chose to visit places—to read from Semi-Charmed Life—where I had friends and/or family who I got to see (an extra plus!).

I started in NYC (where I live), traveled to LA (where I used to live), headed to SF (where Hotel Palomar had ever so kindly offered to host an event), then to Portland (where I just love it—that alone, plus getting to see friends, was enough of a motivating factor) and onto Pittsburgh and the Hamptons from there.

Powell’s Bookstores, a Portland institution, were an Oregon draw too.  I had visited the original Powell’s years ago when my husband Andrew “Drewser” and I took the most unbelievable winter road trip up into Oregon from LA (through Northern Cali wine country too!) and then back down the coast.  I am a lover of bookstores and this one made an impact.  Also, the city is so proud of Powell’s and that’s rare in this online shopping filled world.

Anyway,  the trip from city to city gave me new found appreciation for real performers.  Though the feeling subsided a bit as I gained more experience, I still got nervous and nauseous before every reading or event, I’d be comfortable while reading (and trying to turn on the energy!), I’d have a rush afterward and then, finally, I’d crash.  Then, it was onto the next city.  That tuckers a person out!

Two parts of that basic repetitive cycle stood out for me as my favorite.  I LOVE the interaction with readers, so the Q & A and/or discussion portions are great.  There’s something so rewarding about having people ask you fantastic questions about a project that you pondered mostly alone for the longest time.  (That’s why I hope to make myself available to Book Clubs for author discussions via phone, Skype or iChat.)  The signing is an extension of that experience and, in some ways, that’s even better because you get to have one-on-one conversations with readers about your experience.  And every so often you even meet a young person, who wants to be a writer and says she is inspired to try in part by your book.  What could be better than that?  That slays me.

My second favorite part of the readings is the dinner and drinks afterward.  Ha!  That’s probably not considered ‘part of the book experience” per se.  But to be in a slightly random city and to spend time with a group of friends who I rarely get to see and to go to some awesome local restaurant (which I don’t have to pick because I’m clueless about the AREA!) and to eat delicious food and sip stiff drinks—I mean, that is not an everyday occurrence.  (I also lucked out because two of my amazing friends came with me to SF and Portland, just to be supportive and fun!)

Next up, I have a reading on Monday, August 20th at 5pm at Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, SC.  After that, I have a reading in Rehoboth, DE at Browse About Books on Monday, August 27th at 7pm.  I don’t know a lot of people in either area, so—as usual—I’m just hoping (and worrying!) that a decent amount of people will show up.

I’m looking forward to the readings, of course, and I know I’ll see a couple familiar and hopefully some brand new faces at both!  And, in both of those delicious cities with specialties from fried grits to blue crabs, afterward I’ll likely stuff my face.

xo – N.

 

A Couple of Firsts: My First Book Event & My First Sighting of SEMI-CHARMED LIFE in Stores!

By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2012

The above left is a picture taken by my sister-in-law K. at my first ever book event this past week (along with a pic of the beautiful Georgetown Cupcakes — fitting because my hubby Drewser is from DC — on hand next to stacks of MY BOOKS)!  And that’s just the beginning of what’s been up, as I’ve gotten closer and closer to the book actually launching on July 3rd!

As you guys know, I’ve never done this whole novel thing before: So far, I know that it takes quite a while and that it’s a lot of hard work.  Now, I am just so grateful and excited to reap the benefits of all that effort (on my part and on the part of my agent and editor etc.)!

First of all, the SEMI-CHARMED LIFE reading, signing & shopping fest (at boutique 143 Ludlow owned by Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller, who I’ve known since my curfew was 11:30pm) was incredibly fun, at least for me.  It was organized in part by Gilt City, who not only created the below beautiful online invitation (which is blurry because I am a technologically challenged, which is code for “a dinosaur”), but also were incredible on the day of the event:

Anyway, I wore this Aryn K. dress that fits like a glove with a new Rag & Bone belt I got for not so much at their recent sample sale (which has changed my wardrobe, but that is really not the point of this post).  The people who attended the book event were beyond lovely, the reading seemed to go smoothly and the signing was probably my favorite part because I got to meet all these interesting and interested people.  And then about 70 of them walked away with my book, taking it out into the world for the first time for the public to actually read.  And that made everything feel amazingly real.

The wine at the party, donated by Suncé out of Sonoma County’s bucolic Russian River area, was not only really good, but they actually surprised me by putting the cover of the book ON the actual bottle labels.  I mean, how amazing is that?  It’s the little things.  And the big thing too (at least when it comes to presents).  I mean you, Drewser!  Aveda, Liz Earle and Stila donated beauty products for the gift bags and that included Stila’s soon to be discontinued (sad!) “Purple Tang” eyeliner that is featured in SEMI-CHARMED LIFE as a prop for marking the main character Beatrice’s way home.

ANYWAY, that was my only preview event.  The book comes out on July 3rd and since that’s a holiday weekend/week (when people will hopefully grab the book as a beach read!), the readings start on July 9th.  I’m traveling all over the country, so definitely do check the “Events” tab on my website for all the info!  Also, join my Facebook Author Page for updates of all kinds on readings, reviews and general book happenings!

So, here I am waiting for the book to show up on July 3rd, when I was surprised to discover my book ALREADY ON SHELVES!!!!!!! at Book Court in Cobble Hill, when I stopped in.  I actually surprised myself, as I literally almost starting crying right there in the store.  (I held it together because I didn’t want to scare the nice staff there.)  I snapped some photos (including the above) and then wandered home impervious to the heat, listening to music on my iPod and feeling … I don’t know … proud of myself.  And that’s a weirdly rare feeling, no?  Too rare, if you ask me.

Anyway, I will stop blathering on now!  More to come, when there’s … well, more to come!

xo – N.

THE BEST (Well, First) JACKET COVER!

By Nora Zelevansky / May 17th, 2012

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Usually the jackets I get excited about have zippers or buttons.  This one is a little different: It's the jacket cover for my book Semi-Charmed Life!

I am beyond psyched and not just because my name appears to be spelled correctly.  (My worst fear was that it will be wrong, which you no doubt understand if you went through life with a name anything like "Zelevansky.")  It's all getting a bit more real as I get closer to the release date.

Anyway, here's it is on the wooden floor of my living room.

And here it is below in black and white … because I have lost my mind and can't think about anything else.

That high-level distraction is ALSO why I missed this first Bachelorette recap post.  I know some of my friends and fellow fans feel like Emily is too much to take, but I am on board.  One episode in and I'm already hooked.  Plus, after Ben F. and Ashley H., I feel like I need this as a palate cleanser.  The Bachelor and Bachelorette should be all Southern or Middle American and Barbie and Ken-like, I think.  It works best like this.

xo – N.

P.S. If you'd like to find out about my upcoming book readings in various cities, you can become a fan of my author page on FB and you'll get alerted to all that information!  (Who am I?  It's so weird to say things like this!)

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