The sun came out on day 27! At Murfreesboro just south of Nashville I had visits from not one but two friends from my childhood in Amarillo. It seems that the Nashville area is the landing place for a bevy of Amarilloans. If that wasn’t awesome enough, half the Hastings Entertainment employees were budding writers, and we had fun chats. One even asked to interview me and review Saving Grace online, and you can read the resulting article RIGHT HERE. And to top it all off, two of the employees had Boston terriers. BOSTON TERRIERS! Soul sisters, I tell you, soul sisters.
We heard again about the “care and feeding of Pamela Fagan Hutchins” one page single-spaced memo from Hastings’ corporate office. The store employees were pleased to learn I didn’t really want or need help. Per the manager, the only other time they’d gotten a memo like that for an author was Rick Springfield, and he made them drive to Starbuck’s to get him a coffee, eschewing their Hard Back Cafe. Not me! I adored the Chai Caramel Frappucino made by Cody. Hey, please spread the word: I am not Rick Springfield.
The only bad part of Murfreesboro was saying goodbye for the week to my husband, as I put him on the plane back to Houston from Nashville.
I drove on to Chattanooga without him, melancholy, but not so blue that I couldn’t see what a gorgeous drive it was. About the time I crossed over the Tennessee River/Lake Nickajack bridge, the rain caught up with me again.
My brother called me when I was on final approach. “Yeah, well, the road to our house is basically washed out, and there’s water running across the highway up here. I’m coming down to lead you up.”
I didn’t say no. I was staying with my brother and saintly sister-in-law at their new property and recently remodeled home on Signal Mountain. Well, with them and their two precious little girls, one old labrador retriever, three hunting cats, and various and assorted wildlife (deer, turkeys, raccoons, and coyotes, mostly).
It was a harrowing drive, but worth it. The sky cleared the next day, and, after a fun early morning with my 2-year old niece, I met the awesome CRM of the local Barnes and Noble at the TV studio and did a live interview on “3 Plus Me,” a noontime talk show. It went well, although I had a tough act to follow.
A 65-pound python named Big Bertha. Whoa.
Meanwhile, look what my sister-in-law received in her email, at the very same time:
Another reader sent me an email they got announcing LA, before the cock crowed the next day. Thanks, Goodreads!
Afterwards, I snuck in a few hours of work time in the shocking sunshine, with a great view.
The event itself was wunderbar, despite the sun coming out. Bit of trivia: the best summer book events correlate with bad weather, and there is an inverse correlation with good weather. Of course it started raining the second my event ended. Still, I not only met my sales goals, but I had the company of CRUZAN friends (see a trend here in my last few posts??), high school friends, family, and new and old readers. This was the one night of my whole 60 days I didn’t have an assigned helper, so there are no pictures, which makes me awfully sad. I would have treasured those shots.
Even with a book event and TV interview as good as these were, the best thing about Chattanooga? Meeting my beautiful four-month old niece Kay and learning that “Aunt Pamela” is her two-year old sister Annie’s “best friend.” I even beat my mom out of honors there, woo hoo. Oh yes, my mom is now here, my mom as in GiGi who is my helper for five days while none of my kids are available. She has no idea what she is in for!
We finished up our visit with a rousing rendition of my speech “Colonel Mustard in the Conference Room With His Pants Down” for the Kiwanis Club, then GiGi and Annie joined me in the Bookmobile. Rollin’ on to Georgia, and #29.
Woot! Almost halfway!