#5: “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag to Spill the Beans”

26 Pickup, the Half-ton

When you go out on your book tours, is it difficult to keep on track the book you are promoting, or do you sometimes let out tidbits from the upcoming book?

  • Eileen Everitt

Hi Eileen,

Really good question.
Most people don’t realize the scheduling of publication, and that it can get a little confusing when you’re going out on tour with a book you wrote a year ago as opposed to the book you just finished or the one you’ve been doing research for and just started. Obviously the one that you’re writing is the one that’s on your mind, but the one the farthest out and the one you need to talk about the least.


Whew.


It’s tough, and I always feel a little for the readers who are there at the beginning of the tour which I usually start with the statement, “The good news is that you’re here for one of the very first events for this novel—the bad news is that you’re here for one of the very first events for this novel…” I’m usually better at doing the event after I’ve done about twenty-five of them.


(You get better at everything the more you do it, except drywall, so if you can’t do drywall just hire somebody.)
Then there are the paperback editions that come out a year after hardback release, which complicates things all over again. It’s only fair that readers want to ask questions about last year’s book, but it sometimes takes a moment to remember the storyline.
People sometimes ask how a writer can keep track of all the fictitious characters in the novels they write, but in all honesty, I spend about eight hours a day, six days a week with those characters. . . and cheat on Sundays. So, in all honesty, I spend more time with the characters than I do with my actual family…


Due to the nature of Crime Fiction, you have to be careful and not give away too many plot points because you might reveal the story of your next book. Last year I posted previews on social media with excerpts from the upcoming book and a lot of people enjoyed them but then a lot of folks refused to read them because they didn’t want to ruin the experience of reading the entire novel, and I can understand that. I was really careful about not letting the cat out of the bag, but there were still segments of the book lifted out of context. I started worrying that they were right and didn’t do it again this year.
Nevertheless, you do sometimes slip up, but I try to be careful and not give too much away about future books. Usually, I try and give those present a preview of what’s coming up next year—at least when I remember. Generally, I have my wife, Judy, to remind me at the end of the event.


I guess I’m odd, but I really enjoy doing the events and the one starting on September 5th is kind of a whopper with twenty-three stops. An awful lot of publishers are pulling back on touring their authors, but I still enjoy getting out there and meeting and signing for folks.
So long as I don’t spill the beans…

See you on the trail,
Craig

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