We kicked off the tour for Kiss the Dead in our home town, St. Louis, Missouri.
We were not amused when a random peon knocked coffee creamer into our lap. So we summoned our royal court and had them remove their pants so we would not feel out of place.
Venue was the downtown location for Left Bank Books. Thanks to everyone at the store that helped make the event work so smoothly.
Just so you know, this is the first St. Louis event of this type that I've heard of in years.
That said, I guess since Borders died this is probably the biggest bookstore around. I googled it and… well, it actually looks pretty cool. Too cool for LKH's books.
I signed books ahead of time, because the ticket admission gets you a signed book, and the show.
…. if the author is there, aren't they supposed to sign the books PERSONALLY when you're, you know, standing right in front of them?
Yes, it’s supposed to be a question and answer session. What Jon, my husband, and I have come to call, “Laurell and a microphone show.”
My husband, Jon, Jon my husband, who is my husband named Jon, says that it's awesome when I do that. Did I mention that my husband's name is Jon? Jon, my husband? Have you forgotten that Jon, my husband, is named Jon and that Jon, my husband, is my husband in the last fifteen seconds?
Anyone who’s ever seen me on stage for a Q & A will understand why we call it a show.
There's musical numbers and spotlights and magic tricks and ALL SORTS of fun stuff!
I pace and prowl the stage like one of those big cats in the zoo that paces their cage.
- Assuming that the big cat moved at a leisurely stroll and wore ill-fitting corsets.
- No, seriously. I've seen videos of LKH's "shows," and she looks nothing like a predator or a graceful large cat. She looks exactly like what she is: a woman in too-tight clothes who just sort of meanders around.
- In fact, after studying the art of speech, I can tell you that what she does is more like nerves.
- Also, how does pacing onstage make it a "show"?
I’m not sure why I do it, the pacing I mean. I was taught to use most of a stage so that everyone gets a good view, but it’s more than that. It’s something about the energy of the crowd, the night, the event, something that makes me need to move. Years ago people would put me in a chair, but I can’t sit still and do this, I can’t. The only time I’ve sat down on stage was when I came into the event injured, or when I shared the stage at a convention. The latter wasn’t a full two hours, but if I have to share the stage and the microphone I can, and do. I’m all about the sharing if you guys have come to see more than just me. Charlaine Harris and I shared the stage in St. Louis for an event to benefit the library there, and it was a lot of fun. She’s good people, and we’ve known each other for years. But most of the time it’s just me, with an occasional guest spot on the mic from Jon, as we answer questions.
In St. Louis it was a space in the basement, and my microphone was on a cord like a leash to keep me in one spot. It does short leash me, so that I can’t wander as I’d like, and there’s always the chance I’ll trip over the cord. I managed not to do that, but it had been so long since I’d been on a cord that I forgot one important safety tip. I tend to bundle the slack of the cord in my free hand, so I don’t trip. But I also sometimes try to gesture with my hands, I forgot that I had the cord in the hand not holding the mic, and I hit myself in the face with it. All I could do was laugh, and not do that again. Important safety tip: don’t talk with your hands when both hands are full.
I think the original audience was supposed to be about two hundred people, because that’s how many books I signed ahead of time, but as always seems to happen the audience magically grew. Jon and I estimated about three hundred because most ticket holders brought at least one person, sometimes two, to four extra people, sometimes more. Though, I don’t think there were groups larger than that in St. Louis. There were more people than seats, and some stood for two hours. Thank you for being willing to do that.
The bookstore had put a microphone on a stand near the front. That works much better than someone trying to move through the crowd with a mic. It’s much quicker to have the mic set up, so that people can line up and I can answer as many questions as possible. The only issue was the aisle was so narrow people couldn’t line up without getting in each other’s way, so important tip for next time, wider area so we can have the line, and people can move back and forth without having a traffic jam at the microphone. There’s always a learning curve for each new space, and venue, like trying to fit the whole band on a stage, you learn how each space works best. Before someone asks, no we do not travel with a band, it was a metaphor. (For those who thought, of course, it was a metaphor, why did she over explain, trust me sometimes over explaining on the blog saves time and disappointment for fans later. I will leave live music to Neil Gaiman and his very talented wife, Amanda Palmer.) We have had music by S. J. Tucker at one event, she played while I did a more traditional signing, but she kept playing some of our favorite songs, so that Jon and I wanted to dance. It’s hard to sign books and talk to people when you’re trying not to dance. It was a great night, but S. J. is a wonderful singer/songwriter and it was like being at a concert, but having to work the whole time. Wanted-to-dance! *laughs*
We got one new question that I was anticipating, what did I think of Fifty Shades of Grey? No, I have not read the books yet, but lots of people have sent me scenes from the book and asked for my opinion, mostly the bondage scenes, okay, it’s always the bondage scenes. *laughs* Those who’ve been reading me know that I’ve been writing bondage scenes for years. E. L. James may finally have brought bondage into the mainstream, so yay! Anything that makes people more comfortable with their sexuality is a good thing. I’ll probably be hearing this new question a lot this tour.
There was one brand new question from a fan that we first met in Milan, Italy. *waves* Had I thought about a reality show? In fact, yes I had, or rather I’d discussed it with my agent, but in the end we decided not to pursue it. Why? Because I can’t imagine having cameras following me around filming my life. How would that work? I think that about the time things got “interesting” I’d be making them turn off the cameras and get out. Some reality show contracts have clauses in them that dictate under what circumstances you can tell the cameras to leave, or stop, and what they are allowed to film, or not allowed to film. I just don’t think I’d be comfortable exposing my family to that. One of the reasons not to do it, was illustrated in the follow up part of the question. She said, I’d save marriages across the country if I’d do a reality show.
I asked, “What about me doing a reality show would save marriages?”
I can’t remember the exact wording, but the gist was that I’d inspire couples to have better sex by sharing my fantasies on camera. *blink, blink*
“And that would be an example of when I would make the cameras leave,” I said. Though, laying out a line of toys and props, letting the camera do a loving close up of it all, then kicking them out and locking the door has it’s amusement value. But actually filming “fantasies”, um, I think that would be over my comfort level of sharing my life. Ah, nice lady fan, you naughty girl you. *shakes finger at you* *laughs*
We put one of the new business cards in every book I signed. The card had a new bit of technology on it, a QR code. If you use a smart phone to scan it, or have Jon give you the uber secret code at the signing you can get to a secret website that will have Easter eggs that you can only get with the code. For those who don’t know what I mean by Easter egg in this context, it’s extra, or bonus material. Best example is the very last scene in The Avengers where all our heroes are eating shawarma, as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Junior, suggests at the end of the fight. Its just this little scene at the end, but it was totally worth waiting to see it. To see the bonus scene in The Avengers you have to wait through all the credits, to see our Easter eggs you have to be at an event, or get someone who was at an event to share the super secret code with you.
What kind of bonus stuff is there? Little videos and pictures, and some explanation, or written content that isn’t available anywhere else. It is actually the new tech of the smart phones that gave us the idea to try. If all goes as planned I’ll be putting up new content throughout the tour. Something new every day.
We did pictures after the show in St. Louis, and found the images already up on my Facebook that night. You guys are fast! Thanks for making our kick-off for Kiss the Dead so much fun! See everyone in Seattle, Washington next!