“Book tour” has such a glamorous ring to it, doesn’t it?
During my tour for Girl Boner these past six weeks, I thought of Cheryl Strayed. The esteemed writer has shared publicly that her rent check bounced when she appeared on Oprah for the first time. While Wild was a New York Times bestseller, her credit cards were maxed out and her splurge involved a $5 top from Goodwill. (It can take a while for traditionally published authors to start earning and receiving royalties.)
I’ve yet to make such a list and room remains on my credit cards, but I relate to the more glamorous bits the public sees not fully matching up with reality. Like Strayed, I have publisher support, which I value tremendously, but as she’s also expressed, even when you have such support (and in her case, from one of the biggies) promoting your work is a lot of work and nothing to be ashamed of.
There’s also no shame in celebrating and savoring the good, aiming to stay present in and enjoy it, or in allowing ourselves to feel the weight of challenges that crop up. Since I’m all about transparency and authenticity, I thought I’d share some of the glam and not-so-glam parts of my book tour* so far.
I’ll admit, parts of my Girl Boner book tour have felt pretty glamorous.
I have a stylist! Even saying that feels chic. *flips hair*
I finally “shopped” with my friend and gifted professional stylist Rayne Parvis. I used quotes there because she really did the shopping. I merely had to show up at Nordstrom and try on outfits she’d put together in my size, style and color palette, all the while hoping they were on-sale (most were) and that heart palpitations wouldn’t take over at checkout (they didn’t!).
A week or so later when Rayne sent me a photo from Barnes & Noble at The Grove, one of LA’s trendiest shopping attractions, revealing Girl Boner on display beside works by some of my favorite authors, TEARS. After a rocky start to the launch, the sense of validation the image instilled was overwhelming.
I’ve since traveled to Minneapolis, Vegas and NYC, doing events and mingling with some of my favorite people and meeting many more. I’ve done Girl Boner readings (on everything from sex education to a life-changing orgasm), a sex-positivity panel at the Erotic Museum and a live podcast at an upscale wellness boutique, and more than once shared the stage with my dear friend and comedic powerhouse Heidi Mastrogiovanni, whose second novel, Lala Pettibone: Standing Room Only, released this month.
After our Book Soup event in West Hollywood, Heidi signed (and signed and signed) copies:
This past weekend, my publisher arranged for wonderful events in Boise, including a meet-up with body-positivity activist Amy Pence Brown, an Idaho State Public Radio appearance and a bookstore event stocked with Girl Boner signage, a store display and “I am worthy of pleasure” buttons.
As Laura of Rediscovered Books shared with the audience how amusing it was to see passersby do double-takes at the store window, all decked out in Girl Boners (okay, copies of Girl Boner), I swooned. To have anyone see my book is groovy. Folks feeling compelled to look twice? Even sweeter.
There have also been not-so-glamorous parts, from attempting to be coherent before an audience after a sleepless red-eye flight to getting lost while literally running—late—to an event. (I imagined a review: “That Girl Boner chic was nice and all, but she sure was sweaty!”) Cutting back as I could on writing work that pays bills while still meeting necessary deadlines between trips, plotting out travel and event logistics, troubleshooting and aiming to promote multiple things at once while squeezing in rest and other types of self-care isn’t easy.
But hey, at least I look great…
Whether for a handful of people or a packed house, and regardless of my rest or sweat level, every event has fueled my heart and cemented in me the reasons I do this work.
At each one, I look around in awe of the folks who made the efforts to show up, thinking “Your time is so precious, and here you are.” And when someone shares a piece of their heart with me during or after, every rock in my own path seems to dissipate or, at the very least, become 1,000 percent worthwhile.
And I’m not merely talking about the professional challenges. Difficulties that come along with running a business and launching a book into the world are nothing compared to the hardships so many of us face in effort to overcome sexual repression and lead more vibrant, self-embraced lives. I wouldn’t trade my personal challenges earlier on for any of this.
My biggest thanks to every person who continues to show up, for me and for Girl Boner, definitely, but especially in your own life. It’s some of the most important work you can do.
You really are worthy of pleasure.
Side note for podcast listeners: You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting a blog feature for every Girl Boner Radio episode lately. I decided to cut myself some slack there, but I’m still releasing a new episode every week! For the latest episodes and additional streaming/subscribing options, click here.
More events: For news on upcoming Girl Boner events, sign up for my mailing list or visit my appearances tab. I’ll be at The Pleasure Chest in LA on October 7th and at Powell’s in Portland on January 11th and would love to see you!