I know—I've gotten way behind on my blogging. I've been battling a particularly nasty cold/flu all week, the details of which I will spare you. I haven't left the bed except to do events and get food. Currently I'm holed up in Oxford, MS, where rumor has it it's spring outside... Backing up a bit: Had my biggest crowd yet at the Barnes & Noble Preston Royal in Dallas on Tuesday night, thanks to my mom & her partner Michael, cousin Marie Fisher and old friends Chris and Kaari Molsen, who beat the drums and brought out everyone they know. My old friend Julie Brinker from sixth grade (!) put in a surprise appearance, along with Jim Cox and Gus & Evelyn Katsigris. Afterwards Marie had a lovely soirée at her house. A wonderful return to my old home town.
Flew to Memphis on Thursday, where my publisher was kind enough to put me up for two nights at the Peabody (location of a key scene in Mudbound). Historian David Cohn once wrote, "The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel... If you stand near its fountain in the middle of the lobby...ultimately you will see everybody who is anybody in the Delta." Alas, I saw mostly the inside of my room this trip, sipping chicken soup and ginger ale from room service in lieu of hitting the bars on Beale St. I did a quick signing at David-Kidd Booksellers Thursday night and two interviews Friday morning, one for "Live at 9," a local TV talk show and the other for "Book Talk," a radio program. Friday night we had a big, scary thunderstorm — part of the same front that hit Atlanta.
The next morning I drove up to Mary Gay Shipley's excellent bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas, aptly named That Bookstore in Blytheville. Had a lovely, warm crowd and was treated to lunch and Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert. It's nice to be back in the South — everyone is so gracious. I fear I've learned Yankee manners over the years. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and make small talk ("How are you today?" "Just fine, how are you?" "Sposed to be a beautiful spring day today, that's if you believe the weatherman." "Well, I hope he's right.") before getting to the point ("What aisle is the Nyquil on?").