BEA was something else...a weekend in the bright shiny city. Los Angeles is a sunny, hot, tanned and cement-filled mecca. A huge change from the soft rolling green hills of Southern Vermont. I had no idea the show would be such a big deal - halls and halls of a giant convention center filled with publishers and their wares. If you could sell it in a bookstore, it was there.
I met some other Storey authors and got to sign advanced copies of Made From Scratch. My first ever book signinng Which, had a nice humble stream of people that came to get their copies signed. It didn't helo that I was siginig next to Salman Rushdie's (who's line was out the door) but hey, some of his folks overflowed into my line, and how many people can say they got to hang out by Rushdie? On the other side of me was the guy who wrote "thirteen reasons why" which I knew nothing about, but apparently if you're thirteen it's the biggest thing since Judy Blume if she was hipper.
People who did come to my signing were a mixed lot. Some said they thought my homesteading book would be a lot of help to people who will be forced to live more locally when gas hits a peak price. Others just said their dream was to run off to a farm and saw my adventures with chickens and snap peas as a romantic escpae from regular life. I think a lot of people get the perception that I quit my job in Knoxville to live pay-check free in Idaho. While that would've been amazing... but truth be told, I worked a 9-5 job the whole time I was living my simple life in Sandpoint (which the book explains plainly). It may not be as romantic or cool, but proves that homesteading isn't just for survivalists or farmers. I want people to know that anyone, anywhere can start living off their own land (or, um, apartment). Which is what I do, and what the book is about.
My brother was with me. He is planning on moving down to LA in a few years, or sooner, and decided to join me in downtown Los Angeles while I was there. He wandered around the Book Expo, meeting comic book authors and some horror writers and then when the hullaballo of the Expo was winding down we jumped on the subway (yes, LA has a subway) and toured Hollywood. We visited the Chinese Theatre, a wonderfully campywax museum, ate pizza by the slice, and were even asked to take a stress test.* What could be a more perfectly cliche Hollywodod afternoon then that?
I had a big time. I got to kick up surf in the Pacific ocean, eat amazing meals, drink and laugh in good company, play a little fiddle, and feel more important than I am for two whole days. It really was a vacation, and my first ever book signing. Also, my best book signing. there's a chance I might get to travel more for the book in the future, which will be welcomed. But I can't tell you how great it was to wake up, roll over and kiss jazz between the ears, and walk out with a hoodie to feed the hens. I like the world out there very much. But I like my world in hollow between Bald and Bear mountain even more.
*believe in aliens and angry volcano feelings