Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Illinois Pandemic Book Tour: Hezada! I Miss You

Small lost airplane by Shannon Clark, used under CC license

Although I did write many pages of a novel featuring a plague, I never imagined going on a book tour during a pandemic.

But, here we are.

Hezada! I Miss You came to being in February, published by Awst Press. There was a book release party, a black formal dress, friends and more friends, and a good enough launch that I looked forward to all the events that would take me from Washington to Texas, from Spokane to Seattle, from home to hometown in Illinois. And I did make it to Missoula, Montana and to Austin and San Antonio, Texas, but that's when everything started shutting down and the virus counts began rising.

April was not only the cruellest month, according to T.S. Eliot, but it was also the month I should have arrived in Illinois and gone to several places to share the book, from the library in the town where I grew up, to a nearby art gallery, to the Champaign-Urbana public library. 

The pandemic unfurled, and April was rescheduled to August.

Funny, in retrospect, to imagine that anyone would have thought August would have found us in an improved situation. 

Now, it's August. My mother has turned 81-years old, I continue to distrust the way death winks at hope, and so I believe more in the pandemic's ability to cast me and my loved ones down than I believe in many other things more or less invisible than the virus.

Hence, I cancelled my flight, and while I have until December 13th to use my flight "credits," I don't know what means or what the world will mean by then.

So! I'm going to try the virtual route, luddite though I may be. 

Here's the plan.

The Plan

Before I go virtual, I'm going to try hosting a reading from my front yard, with an audience of no more than five people. We'll see how that goes. I hope it will go delightfully so.

Then, I'll transport to Illinois via the computer. I hope to meet you there.

Casey Township Library, Casey, IL
On Saturday, August 29th at 2 PM (CST), I'll give a virtual reading for the Casey Township Library. The event is free and open to anyone, but I will be talking primarily about my relationship to the library, why I keep writing about the Midwest, and I'll read a bit from Hezada! I Miss You. You can attend the event on Facebook, via this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/777719309723187

The Vault Art Gallery, Tuscola, IL
On Sunday, August 30th, at 2 PM (CST), I'll talk about Hezada! I Miss You with my brother, writer Kirby Pringle, and read from the book. Those in the area will be invited to view the discussion in the gallery via a projector, and those who prefer the internet can attend on Facebook, via this link https://www.facebook.com/events/736635116828476/

Ordering Hezada! I Miss You
  • To purchase Hezada! in time for the virtual events, please order at least a week before from Awst Press: https://awst-press.com/shop/hezada
  • I'll give away one copy of Hezada! at each virtual event; those who attend will be eligible to participate.
  • If you live in Illinois or Indiana and belong to a book group, I'd be happy to call in to talk about writing and Hezada! For those purchasing the book for a book club, please message me for a possible discount.

Let's do this.