Things To Do Before the Book Tour, for Both You and Me

Things I need to do before I start my book tour next Tuesday (in no particular order):

1. Get a haircut

2. Finalize my reading selections (currently: A deleted chapter from Lock In, a sneak preview of the upcoming sequel to The Human Division, and… see, this is why I have to finalize selections).

3. Finish up a couple more promotional pieces/interviews

4. Go shopping for travel-related items

5. Sleep as much as humanly possible

6. Decide whether or not to keep the beard or go out on tour clean-shaven

7. Finalize tour commitments

8. Make plans to see friends and such at various stops

9. Pack

10. Something I’m no doubt forgetting at the moment which I will remember at the last minute, or not, in which case I’ll be on my way to Houston when I loudly proclaim, “oh, fuck,” on the plane, causing the incognito US Marshall to take me down with a taser, followed by an emergency landing in, oh, let’s say, Omaha.

Things you need to do before I start my book tour next Tuesday (in no particular order):

1. Find out which tour stop of mine is closest to you

2. Procure a large van and shove every person you have ever met into it

3. Drive them all to the tour stop of mine that is closest to you

4. Enjoy me be a performing monkey for you

5. Get a copy of Lock In or another one of my books for me to sign

6. Have me sign it for you and share a very special 30 seconds with me and also a picture and possibly a soda

7. Drive yourself and everyone you know back home in the procured van, stuffed with happy memories and signed books and maybe some Taco Bell because you all got snacky

8. Return the van, remembering to wipe away any fingerprints

9. Act surprised the next day when your neighbor rants about the damn kids who stole his van and returned it smelling like chalupas and Baja Blast Mountain Dew

10. Floss. Because that’s just always a good idea.

Let’s get these things done, people!

58 Comments on “Things To Do Before the Book Tour, for Both You and Me”

  1. HYSTERICAL! I love when a post makes me laugh right out loud at work!

    You’re not coming to South Florida (and I don’t blame you), but I hope you sell more books than you ever imagined you would!

    Be Safe!

  2. Wow. I feel so incredibly special. I got a very special SIXTY seconds during the Human Division tour!

  3. > Decide whether or not to keep the beard

    I love the opportunity to try out new facial styles when getting rid of a beard. Sometimes I like them enough to keep them around for a while.

    I suggest a Zappa.

  4. All my friends stuffed in a van after a Taco Bell Gluttony Episode is a very, very bad idea, John.

    Whatever that van smelled like on it’s return, it wouldn’t be chalupas.

  5. THD preview? Oh sweet!

    And sorry/not sorry I can’t resist: John, are you channeling your inner Rick Perry in #2?

  6. I think that #6 should be a Krissie choice. See what I did for you there! Knocked one off your list already!!

  7. Instead of shaving the beard, shave part of it so you can achieve that old-timey mustache we saw as a drawing earlier this week. You may have to grow that beard a bit longer before you get the desired effect. Feeling a little out-of-place with the long beard? Attend a lot of ZZ Top concerts ^_^

  8. Not really close enough for me to get to… but Troy OH MIGHT have been doable, if I didn’t already have something else scheduled. So. Bummer. But hopefully you’ll get to one of the conventions near me someday soon. Meanwhile, I’ll just admire your work from afar. Well, from my house, which isn’t actually all that afar, but it’s afar enough that I can’t stalk you.

  9. For the beard, I vote for shave before you go. Then don’t take any shaving implements with you, and see what it looks like at the end of the tour.

  10. Given that your nearest tour stop is 800 miles away or so, I’ll probably have to forego the grand theft auto and just wait for my audible pre-order. I also really can’t blame you for avoiding South Florida in August, but hey, it sounds like I have a compatriot who’d love to see you at the Miami Int.l book fair come November…

  11. Not a single stop in Pakistan? Again?!? Man, your booking agent is the worst. We’ve got bookstore!

  12. Can’t deal with the large van of people since I live walking distance to Quail Ridge Books. I might bring a mob from the neighborhood though. Okay?

  13. If you do get diverted to Omaha, I’ve got a nice guest room chock full ‘o’ books. Some of them are even yours! (And why the only reason you’d come to Omaha would be if the Air Marshall forced a landing to dump you off the plane, well, I’m just baffled.)

  14. I recommend a clean shave.
    It’s quick, easy, low-maintenance, and it always looks good.

  15. Sounds like a win for Omaha. I wonder what they did that karma has rewarded them thusly.

  16. John, please come to Alabama! I swear we are literate! LITERATE REAL GOOD-LIKE.

    Plus if you come to my neck of the woods up we can take you to the Space and Rocket Center, and, uh, a field with goats in it! ARE YOU NOT TEMPTED?

  17. I’m convinced.. time to book tickets on the flight to Houston so I can see the show. I’ve never gotten to see a US Marshall take down before. :)

  18. Just remember to tweet promptly if you end up landing in Omaha, so that we can get there quickly to observe the festivities

  19. #6 from the 2nd list:

    This seems like an invitation for everyone to bring you one can of Coke Zero for every book you sign, until there is a little fort on your table, that you won’t be able to bring with you. Bwahaha!

  20. And you need to do the ALS ice bucket challenge you received from Jim Butcher today. I want to see that video.

  21. *sigh* I have no book-buying budget at all, any more. Nor ferry money to get over to Seattle – otherwise, I’d be there. (Owner of the Kindle account – six devices on one account, *legally*, wheee! – may be persuaded to buy Lock In, though; she’s gotten us Redshirts.)

  22. I can bring a friend, and maybe my dad. My car is otherwise to full of kid-sized carseats to accommodate adult behinds.

  23. Well, heck. I was going to ask how many states away I had to travel, because book tours rarely come to Iowa, and there you are, scheduled at Prairie Lights. Guess I better get locating a van…

  24. A. Keep the beard it looks good on you. B. Taco Bell! Why do you hate us? Really, just why?

  25. a) keep the beard. Then you don’t have to carry shaving stuff with you.

    b) According to Wikipedia you don’t have to worry about getting tazed. Maybe beaten with a baton or shot with a P229 in .357 sig or maybe just put in a choke hold, but not tazed.

    c) According to the USA Today Federal Air Marshals only cover about 1/2 of one percent of flights (~4,000 marshals covering ~30,000 flights per day)

    I think you are safe to curse at least once on the flight.

  26. Do you spend more time on maintenance with the beard or to prevent the beard? That should guide your decision about keeping it or letting it go. Otherwise, count me in (but maybe not with a van) to your local visit.

  27. Shave one part of the beard off at every stop. Get people on the interwebs to vote which part you will shave at [INSERT BOOKSTORE NAME/DATE/TIME HERE].

  28. Beard. Once a week (or so) trim is much less maintenance than a daily shave.

    I don’t think I can make it to Borderlands on the day you’re there.

  29. Only share sodas? I was thinking of bacon peanut butter cookies, bacon cheese crackers, or a loaf of bacon Parmesan semolina bread — to offset the Coke Zero. (yes: all homemade. Preferences?)

  30. 1. Beard! or, alternately, goatee!
    2. See you at Gibson’s in NH – it’s a great store. And I already have a van!

  31. May the Coke Zero be Caffeine Free? Also, do we get bonus points if we use the HOV lane after stealing the van and stuffing all of our friends in it? For those of us in SoCal, it might be the only way we don’t spend either 3 hours in the car while still making it on time!

  32. I’m not driving — I’ve got vision problems — but so far I’ve persuaded three friends to join me and I’m sure one of them will be willing to make a stop for snacks. (Those same problems mean that I’ll be buying the electronic version rather than paper; sorry, John, but I need the large print. One of the others will bring up signable copies!)

  33. Epiphyta

    I’m glad you can get electronic versions to make things easier. I hope you have a great time at the the reading; from here, across the Pond, I will be envying you!

    Of course, I may be able to squeeze in more than one of the Seven Deadly Sins; I’m pissed off at the moment because I can’t get a decently formatted e-edition of Terry Pratcherr’s ‘Raising Steam’, so I’ve got the anger bit nailed.

    I’d have to do some work on the others…

  34. Contrary to rick’s comment above, a clean shave doesn’t “always look good”. The only reason I don’t sport a full beard anymore is because of job requirements.

    (Short version: With beard: Santa. Without beard: Grinch.)

  35. If we get to vote, I say: go bearded! Think of the extra Coke Zero–or two–you could imbibe instead of shaving every day….

  36. Hahahaha Now I want Taco Bell. But they closed the the second to last one in Vermont. :( Now i’m kinda sad. But anyways, good luck with the taser. I always wondered how that would feel. Take notes for me, would ya?

  37. Do you think the local library would mind if I checked out some of your books and brought them along to be signed?

    Taco Bell, feh. I’ll be seeing you at the Decatur Book Festival, where there is no shortage of actual good food to be had and nary a Taco Bell in sight. I need to decide between Leon’s, the Brick Store, the Iberian Pig, Thumbs Up, and a raft of others. (Protip: Brick Store.)

  38. I was looking forward to seeing you when you came to my city, but unfortunately I’ll be undergoing medical treatment and have to miss you. :(

  39. Just so you know John. My 35 year old firstborn son is flying from Midland to Houston, staying with a friend who recently moved there, for the singular purpose of being at your book signing in Houston. Now I call that being a true fan. He reads this blog but hardly ever comments. A 6’5”, blue eyed, blond haired Scalzi fan. Be nice to the kid, I mean young man. Stretch his 30 seconds to, say, 60 seconds.

  40. Whew! Thanks for MY to-do list. I would have been lost without it! Also, your tour completely swerves around Kansas, which is sad. Thank goodness for the van, right? And the chalupas?

  41. I wandered into a Barnes and Noble to kill time and picked up a copy of Lock In and started reading. The time came to leave to go meet my friend and my choices were to either put the book back or go buy it. I realized I couldn’t put the book down and, luckily, I still had a Barnes and Noble gift card that covered all but the tax on the book –so I bought it.

  42. @Stevie: Ta, ducks — everything’s adaptive, can’t fix the underlying problem. Bodies, eh? I’ll think of you while our gracious host dances for our amusement, and if you should ever find yourself in the upper corner of the Left Coast of the US, first round’s mine.

  43. I find it strange that the beard decision and the haircut decision are distinct.

    Must be a guy thing.

    Have a great time!