52 Pick-up, #35, 9/15/2020
“I wonder if the fact that Craig’s books are always released right at the Autumn Equinox has any significance. Is this on purpose, or just a fluke?”
-Elizabeth Robertson Waggoner
When I first started my writing career back in ’05, Viking/Penguin placed me in a January spot for the release of the first Walt Longmire novel, The Cold Dish. The reason for doing that was in hopes that as a debut author I would get more reviews from newspapers and magazines because the big guys don’t publish in the middle of the winter. The downside of that was touring out of northern Wyoming in January… The nearest airport at that time was Gillette, about an hour away and at that time was notorious for cancelling flights due to weather. I tried to explain to the folks back in New York that if they had me flying in and out of Wyoming in January there was going to be a point when I was going to be stuck somewhere and that was going to be the end of my “Local Author Events” tour, so instead, I drove my four-wheel-drive truck all across the West and they reimbursed me for gas.
I got a number of glowing reviews that played a large part in kicking off my career, but Wyoming Winter continued to loom large. Next they tried March, which worked pretty well, but the weather was still a factor.
They finally moved me again this time to late May in hopes that June would avoid the weather problem which it did, but there was another problem with the weather… May and June are some of the most spectacular months on the high plains, the point when Wyoming wrests the shackles of winter and the days are sunny and warm and nights are cool and soothing.
The problem? I was on the road everywhere else in the country.
I asked my editor at that time, Kathryn Court, if I could move to sometime in the Fall, a time when things start winding down on the ranch. I like touring in the Fall, for me it’s like going back to school, I suppose. Viking/Penguin still moves me around a bit, but only within a week or so.
I don’t know, maybe they check the Farmer’s Almanac back in Manhattan, but somehow, I doubt it.
Next To Last Stand comes out September 22nd, a week from now and with the COVID situation I won’t be physically touring, but there will be a virtual event with not only video readings from the cast, but a number of very special guests at each book store in the virtual week-long tour extravaganza.
See you on the trail,