After Christmas, I’ll try to explain what it means to market a debut picture book. Right now, I’m caught in the whirlwind of it all. For one thing, I’m making my final plans to drive from the Ozarks [where I currently live] to Mississippi [where I lived most of my life]. I hope to stop at several places along the way, and only today, I began planning another stop in Memphis.
I have lived in several places near the Mississippi River. In fact, when I was a child, I lived in Southeast Missouri in a tiny town called Gideon. It is marked on the above map in green. Gideon is near the Mississippi River, and one of my favorite authors was Mark Twain, who also lived in Missouri–in Hannibal, just north of where I grew up. The blue line on the above map shows where the Mississippi river runs along the southern part of its course. I have written, but not submitted, stories about almost every state that I have lived in this region–most of them in spots near the river. I call the Mississippi River my home. But back to my current book tour:
I’ll launch my tour in Tupelo, MS, a town where I lived for several years. I’ll do a book signing/story hour at Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore in Tupelo.
You may remember that Tupelo is where Elvis Presley was born.
The next day, I’ll d another book signing/story hour at Square Books Jr. in Oxford.
Oxford is the home of another of my favorite authors William Faulkner. It is also the home of John Grisham and Ole Miss. Ole Miss is where I attended college and complete almost 3 degrees. While I was in college, I worked as a junior curator at William Faulkner’s home Rowan Oak. I wish that I had enough money to be one of the throngs of students who never left Oxford. In my opinion, it is the perfect little town. Watch the following video [give it a few seconds to quieten its buzz]. This video is the best I’ve ever seen, as far as painting a picture of Oxford, Mississippi, the place where people never want to leave.
In December, I’ll go back to Jackson.
Jackson is the home of the author Eudora Welty. My house in Jackson was near Welty’s house. Mississippi pulsates energy that many authors have tried to capture. I am very thankful for the years that I lived in Mississippi.
I lived in Jackson and in the nearby town of Madison, for many years. My house in Madison burned down and flushed me away to New Jersey for several years, but I’m back in the south again. And again, I’m going back home to My Mississippi.
I am especially thrilled to make my first-ever school visit to St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. I taught art there for several years, and again, going back to St. Andrew’s is another part of going back home.