As hard as many of us work at our writing, we may never get sent on a book tour. Author Anne Lamott might well say that is a blessing. When her latest book SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED came out recently, she tweeted about the whole experience: publication, reviews and book tour. Written with her son Sam Lamott, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED is the story of her grandson (and Sam’s son) Jax’s first year of life. It follows a 1993 book in which Lamott chronicled Sam’s first year of life.
Lamott has written some 13 books. Most notable for writers is her 1994 BIRD BY BIRD which is full of advice and lots of comfort for writers. “(Readers) will be seduced by Lamott's witty take on the reality of a writer's life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer's block and going for broke with each paragraph,” writes Amazon on its website. Lamott extols writing but is less enthusiastic about publication.
Her book tour tweets reflect that in typical Lamott tone: on the edge of hysteria, pain-seared and very funny. Here, you can go on tour with her:
3/15 Hell in handbag; comparing SAR's sales # hourly at Amazon w/ great Marilynne Robinson. Maybe not as bad as year I got into it w/ Dalai Lama
3/15 When Dalai Lama had book at same time, if his Amazon # was higher, I'd be bitter– unfair advantage! If lower, I'd think What a loser.
3/15 My publicist urged to stay off Amazon, and to relax about HH Dalai Lama. Easy for her to say. She's never had to go mano a mano with him.
3/16 So self-serving BUT great review of Some Assembly Required in People, w/ photo Sam took of us w/ 5 minutes to spare–in Lucy and Ethel mode
3/18 New low @30,000 feet–checked Amazon sales rank of Some Assembly…@SAMLAMOTT trying to wrestle Ipad out of my hands. I need air marshall.
3/19 On plane 7 hours; got to hotel late and there's no room service; no tiny fridge with snacks, juice: no food. Wild 1st night of book tour.
3/20 It's pub date & I'm totally the princess! Sam's asleep down the hall or I'd wake him to jump up & down w/me, wearing fine newspaper crowns.
3/21 I have TINY problem w/criticism–hah. Mixed review sent me running to my rat wheel, till God handed me a newspaper crown & escorted me off.
3/22 Live radio tour now; 10 shows/ 2 hrs. OOPS: thought last one was youth Christian station so was cross betw Joyce Meyers & Eminem. Nope-News
3/23 Blissed out in DC. Slept well, the morning is cherry pink & the coffee is strong, & I'm awash with gratitude, the definition of the Kingdom.
3/23 Now in Atlanta. Sam just ate a c-burger the size of his head, plus 10 chicken strips.
3/23 @SAMLAMOTT and I have been on tour 6 days, 4 cities in 4 nights, & we're still talking–that's proof enough for me there's a God in heaven.
3/24 Love our tour but SO miss my dogs,cat,hills. Doing radical self care but todays granola tastes like palek paneer; sigh. gold-plated problem.
3/25 Saying bye to Sam @ airport. Secret of tour was to ask, WAIT: Why Am I Talking? God, keep one arm around my shoulder, one hand over my mouth
3/25 Book tour at an end for me, sad I don't get to see the other cities but SO happy to see jax again and sleep in my own bed.
3/25 Was so beat in Chicago that I cried at bookstore.
3/26 Trying to write at hotel. Am scared; bogging in same old war btwn big ego & low self-esteem. Bird by bird, shitty 1st drafts, butt in chair.
3/27 Twitter and you guys have been my little buddy on tour. A hand-held R2D2 (May the force be w/ you is distillation of ALL wisdom traditions.)
3/27 Lonely in Denver, very Sloop John B. All hopeless. 3 kinds of elk on the menu–elk breakfast sausage, elk chili, & of course, grilled elk
3/28 Books: mano a mano at Amazon w/ HH Dalai Lama was child's play; now its Maddow & me. She has msnbc, genius & a topic, but I have Twitter.
3/28 Told students , Success will make u more mentally ill than u already are. It won't fill or heal you–that's an inside job–but writing will.
3/28 Good news, Some Assembly #9 on next NY Times bestseller list. @SAMLAMOTT & I are elated. All w/o NYT or national NPR. Twitter & bookstores!
3/29 Every (book) tour, you have to let go of control w/o leaving clawmarks. That's the victory. If you want to make God laugh tell Her your plans.
4/4 1st, tailspin: book dropped off the NYT list to #17. Called Sam to break bad news. He said, "So what, Mom?" Laughter IS carbonated holiness.
4/4 My 1st response to setbacks is ALWAYS to figure out whom to blame–NYT &NPR ignored this book 100%. But YOU didn't; real people didn't–Wow.
4/6 How did I used to get thru publication? You're like a Medevac Taco Cart. Thru Jesus, my dogs,chocolate & Twitter, I can overcome all things.