Just back from the Virginia Festival of the Book

I'm just getting back from a quick trip to Virginia, where I spoke on two panels Friday: one about writing about dogs, the other about disasters. At the end of the dog event, someone said something to me about "92." I thought they were saying that's how many people attended. Later someone said that's how many copies of my book were sold. I'm assuming that included sales during the previous week. I certainly didn't sign that many. There were two left at the end, which would add up to four cases total, so maybe it is true. I went directly from that event (at the Senior Center) to Barnes and Noble for the disaster panel, which included Katharine Weber and her novel Triangle. There were three copies of my book on display. This made me relax. Certainly I could manage to sell three copies. Later, the manager came to apologize: they had sold thirty copies in the previous two days, after having reordered earlier in the week. I find all of this bewildering, since the book has been out for a while. A year, in fact.

I got to catch up with some old friends, including Micheal Lowenthal and Gabriel Brownstein, and met a number of friends of friends and agents of friends and regular people and pit bulls out on the pedestrian mall. And then last night went to the big reception at the home of the president of UVa, where Nancy, who runs the festival, told me that my friend Amanda Davis had been on her way to the festival four years ago when her plane crashed, killing Amanda and her parents. I spent the rest of the evening thinking of Amanda, and how strange it was that I was there now, instead of her.

On a brighter note, I received a great email from a man who has been traveling the country via motorcycle with his brindle pit bull Spirit riding--safely--in the side-car. They ended up camping near the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where he found a copy of The Dogs Who Found Me at the gift shop. (They have a supply of signed copies there.) I'm hoping to get a photo of Spirit to post here later.


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