It's Saturday and I'm waking up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The time is three hours later than in my home of Las Vegas, Nevada and the temperature is -4C. I'm in town at the behest of my publisher, who received an invitation from the Inspire! Toronto International Book Festival for me to appear as a headliner. It's my first trip to Canada and I'm in town for just one day.
I've had the morning to adjust to the time change, but at noon I'm meeting the publicity director in the hotel lobby for lunch and a run through of the day's activities. Additionally, we discuss print runs, promotions, and segue briefly into talk of family and reading habits.
We finish and head upstairs to the suite the publisher has reserved for an interview with the Toronto Star. The paper's photographer spends several minutes taking photos for the piece, which will appear on the front page of the entertainment section.
When he's done, he leaves and I sit down with the reporter. She asks about my career and whether I expected to become so successful. We talk for half an hour, then she goes and three people from my publisher join me. They want me to film a few video pieces they can use later to publicise the release of my next book, Captivated by You, which is out today. They've gathered questions from my readers via an open call on social media, and we run through them all.
Once the videos are completed, we turn our attention to the stack of books waiting on the desk. I'll be signing them for use in giveaways that the publisher has planned. We set up a quick system and I sign as they're slid in front of me.
We finish up, and I have a few minutes to stop by my room to change for my appearance at the festival. I switch out the sweater I have on for a blouse and blazer, then meet the publicity director in the lobby, where she's waiting with a fresh latte for me. (she knows the way to my heart...)
A car and driver are outside to take us to the convention center, so we head out. We arrive a few minutes early and are led by security through the convention center floor. On the way, I spot the stage where I'll be speaking and the attendees who are already seated and waiting for my appearance to begin. In the green room, someone from the Inspire event runs through how the introduction and session will go, then in short order I'm being introduced and heading on stage.
I prefer a casual and relaxed presentation, so they've set up an armchair and table, rather than a podium, and I settle in, say hi, and open up the floor to questions. The next hour goes quickly as we talk about my books, writing, and publishing.
Afterward, I head over to my publisher's booth to sign books for the attendees. I get situated at the table, which has two chairs as I requested. I like being eye-to-eye and side-by-side with fans when I sign their books, so we can spend a moment chatting personally before they move on. I'm grateful for every one of them, knowing how cold it is outside and appreciative of the hours some have spent driving to reach me. The line wraps around the publisher's booth, but they are smiling and gracious when they sit with me at my table.
When the last reader has gone, we pack up and head back outside to the car. The publisher has planned a dinner with several members of the publishing house and authors Meg Wolitzer and Deborah Harkness. We head to the Soho House and spend a few hours talking about any and everything, passing plates around and sharing experiences along with the food. I've never met anyone at the table before the day began, but by night's end, they're all friends.
I have an early morning the next day, with a flight to New York for the start of a press junket for my new release. When we get back to the hotel, I get ready for bed and the busy weeks ahead.
Captivated By You is out now.