The Lock In Tour FAQ

I’ve gotten a number of questions from folks about the upcoming Lock In book tour, which starts in less than two weeks holy cow, so I’ve decided to post up this quick document to refer people to. Here are the questions I’ve been getting, in no particular order. All the responses are useful except possibly the last three.

1. Where is your tour going? Here’s the full tour itinerary.

2. Why are you not coming to [name of town I am not coming to]? Because the tour is already four weeks long and I will turn into pudding if I am out much longer than that. I will almost certainly be doing other tours in the future. Perhaps I will come then.

3. What about [name of country that is not the US]? If my local publisher there, and/or a local festival invites me to tour/appear, then I may do that. Ask them!

4. How much does seeing you cost? I am almost certain that every event on this tour is free — just show up at the bookstore at the correct time. That said, note that at least one stop on my tour is giving priority in the signing line to people who purchase Lock In at the store. So check with your local stop to see how they’re doing things.

5. Do we need to buy a copy of Lock In to attend your tour? No. BUT — you should buy a copy of Lock In from the store I’ll be doing my event at, to support that bookstore. You don’t have to wait until I show up at the store — you can pre-order the book from the store or buy it there when the book comes out. But please support the store that’s supporting me (Also note that every pre-order/first week purchase of the book — particularly the hardcover, but any purchase — helps in terms of placement on best seller lists, and that’s in fact pretty useful to me in terms of coverage, etc. So yeah, please, get the book early).

6. But I already pre-ordered/bought Lock In elsewhere! Then I would request that when you go to the bookstore to see me on tour, you buy another book at the store to show your support. It doesn’t even have to be a book of mine — any book will do. But give that bookstore some love, and by “love,” I mean “money.”

7. May I bring my spouse/significant other/friends/relatives/co-workers to your tour event? Please bring every single person you know or have ever met to my event. I promise you will all have a good time. I give good book tour.

8. What do you do at your tour stops? For the Lock In tour, I will be reading some new, exclusive material that you will only be able to hear if you come the tour, I will read a couple other funny short pieces, I will do a question and answer session which is usually entertaining, and then I will sign books. If someone brings a ukulele, I might serenade you. If someone brings hand puppets, I might do a puppet show. On a couple of stops, there might be special guests. And so on. And then I’ll be signing books.

9. Will you only be signing Lock In? I’ll sign (and if desired, personalize) any book of mine you set in front of me, and indeed probably anything you want me to sign. That said, depending on the size of the signing line, I may sign only three things at one time, so if you have more than that, you might have to go back and get in the line again for a second go round.

10. I am not able to see you on tour but I want a signed book! What do I do? If you live in a town I’ll be touring in, order the book (preferably Lock In, but any book) from the store I’m visiting and request that I sign/personalize the book. I’ll be happy to do so. If you don’t live in a town I’m visiting, just pick a store I’m visiting and ask for a signing/personalization, and I’ll do that when I’m in town, and then they’ll ship the book to you. I’ll also be signing book stock at each stop, so each store should have signed books from me after I go.

11. Hey, wanna hang out before/after your event? First, you’re awesome for asking and thank you. Second, at nearly every stop my time is spoken for either by business-related stuff or by friends in town who I already have plans to see. And then I have to get to sleep because most of my flights to the next town are early in the morning. So generally speaking I won’t be available for hanging out. It’s not you. You are lovely. It’s me.

12. I have a gift I want to give you! Is that allowed? Sure! Be aware that when I travel I pack very tightly (usually with just carry-on luggage) so depending on the size of your gift or the state of my luggage, I may ask the bookstore to ship the gift to my house. So if you see me hand it over to someone else, that’s likely what’s happening. With food gifts, let me request that you lean towards things that won’t spoil in a hotel room (cookies, etc).

13. Do people really give you gifts and food and stuff like that? Yup, and usually the stuff I get is pretty cool.


15. BUT DIDN’T YOU SEE THAT I HAVE UNGUENTS? I did. Not interested. Thanks anyway.

16. ALSO I WILL BRING YOU A COKE ZERO. Well, why didn’t you say so. See you in my room.

The Big Idea: E. Catherine Tobler

History isn’t history to the people who are living it — it’s their present, their world and their lives. This is a thought E. Catherine Tobler kept in mind when writing her novel, Rings of Anubis. Here she is to explain what it means for you, the reader.


My interest in all things historical started in elementary school when I discovered a National Geographic book called Secrets From the Past. The book explored tombs of the world, lost cities, and discussed how we could determine what people of the past were like by exploring the things that remained. It wasn’t until high school I heard about the marble Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, removed from the Parthenon in Greece. Many viewed Elgin as no better than a vandal and a thief–even Lord Byron took a position on the matter, the debate concerning the marbles long and fierce. The British Parliament purchased the marbles in 1816 and to this day, they remain in the British Museum.

I wondered, how could people do that? Had archaeologists carried such historical things away, knowingly or not? Surely they had. I knew I couldn’t write about Egypt of 1889 without keeping such events in mind. Within the time frame of Rings of Anubis, Egypt was occupied by the British and many treasures were accidentally and carelessly lost in the haste to discover what lay beneath the dirt. I wanted my heroine, Eleanor Folley, constantly mindful she was exploring a world inhabited by people who had been as real as she was. To make it as personal as possible for her, I placed her in both worlds: an Egyptian-Irish archaeologist, trained by her parents, both archaeologists before her.

Eleanor Folley wasn’t in the business of archaeology for the wealth or fame that came with it; while those who didn’t know her might consider her no better than a vandal and a tomb raider, she never profited from her discoveries. Eleanor Folley was always in search of something else–something more personal than gold or fame.

What would be like to face each tomb with the possibility of something personal beneath the stones? What it would be like to excavate a site and hold your breath as dirt parted to reveal bones that might belong to someone you loved? I wondered how a person might continue such a search in the face of never finding what they sought, how they might struggle if even their own family asked them to stop searching. How do you stop looking for part of yourself and what might you do if you encountered someone else on a similar quest?

The history buried beneath our modern lives isn’t only history. Living, breathing people called the fragmented walls we unearth home before we called them relics. The bones we carefully brush clean are someone who had a name, an occupation; someone who was loved or despised. Mummies aren’t just linen-wrapped bones–they were people who created and dreamed and dared just as we do. What we take from the dirt isn’t simply random debris to be swept away in the quest for wealth and recognition. I wanted to explore the idea that someone buried within the Egyptian desert could be greatly loved by someone still living, someone who, in the end, had no idea what she was about to unearth.


Rings of Anubis: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

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