Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The TRUTH about Author Book Tours as told by The Pulpwood Queen!

What is it they always say, "The Truth Shall Set You Free"! I believe
that with all my heart so hear is my book tour story and I'm sticking to it!

"This is the day that the Lord hath made, let my sorry self try to do
good works", I said as I stumbled, bleary eyes and dragging tail as I
shuffled to make some serious coffee this morning. You see I just got
home from book tour. I have been waiting my whole life for something as
great as this, writing my own book, getting it published, hitting the
book tour trail. The experience has been life changing. I have never had
more fun in my life. I also have never gone so long without good sleep,
one pooped KAT!

You see this all began when my book, "The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara
Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life" was published by Grand Central
Publishing. They wanted me to hit the road for book tour right after the
pub date of January 2, 2008. As I finished the last of my client's hair
on New Year's Eve, (I own a hair salon/book store in Jefferson, Texas,
Beauty and the Book), I realized that my dream of a book tour was about
to come true! A bunch of the Pulpwood Queens, Timber Guys and I went out to celebrate the New Year at Music City Texas then New Year's Day I
spent packing for what we called the "BIG, BLONDE, AND BEAUTIFUL BOOK TOUR"! I was going to be taking with me four of my book club members, Elizabeth Stokes of Palestine, Texas, Jean Wright of Linden, Texas, Kay Brookshire of Lake O' the Pines, Texas, and Joyce Smith, my neighbor
here just outside of Jefferson. I dubbed then the Pulpwood Queen Posse'.

Our Timber Guys, husbands, were laughing their fool heads off as we
crammed 24 assorted bags into the back of our recently acquired
Suburban. Suburbans are called "Texas Cadillacs" here in Texas. I mean
we were going to have to be on book tour for a month and a week for
goodness sake. Who knew what the weather would be like as we traversed
was it, ten states! As we pulled out of my driveway in Texas, there was
no looking back. We were girlfriends on the ultimate book loving road
trip! Kind of like Thelma and Louise and Joyce, Kay, Jean, Liz, and Kat!

Now there is no way I can cover the whole trip in this southern author
blog! But here to me are some of the highlights of our trip broken down
into the following categories; Riding the Roads, Bookstores, Authors,
and Girlfriend Weekend!

Riding the Roads!
You want to know what fun is? Take a road trip with your girlfriends!
What are you waiting for! Time is the essence! I have so many stories
from the road it's not even funny. But one thing happened on the road
that still cracks me up, ONE SMOKING GINA! At the very first of the
trip, we were just riding along, just minding our business when we saw a
PT Cruiser up ahead with "ONE SMOKING GINA" hand painted across the back
of the car. Nobody said anything as I started to pass the car but we
were all craning out necks to get a look see of the driver. As we pulled
along side, this grey haired bun, wearing woman whips her head over to
take a gander at us gawking girlfriends and I swear she had a cigarette
dangling out of her mouth that she had just sucked a three inch ash that
was about to fall off. We all just lost it as I go, "Yep, One Smoking
Gina." We were all laughing so hard, choking and driving, I told the
girls, "Look, look at that sign on the side of the Indian Nation
Turnpike." There up ahead was this sign that stated, "DO NOT DRIVE INTO THE SMOKE". Well, by then we were just beside ourselves, laughing and crying. I go, "Looks like One Smoking Gina is known in these parts." Now if you have no idea what that sign really meant, I'll tell you in my
next book as I am going to have to write a whole chapter on this
girlfriend book touring Pulpwood Queen Posse".

Years ago, Mary Gay Shipley, who owns and operates That Bookstore in
Blytheville, Arkansas, my mentor, and I tried to put together a
bookstore tour through the south. I cannot think of anything I would
rather do than visit independent bookstores. Well, I hit as many as I
could on this book tour and you can go to my official book tour blog
site to view them all at which has photos,
stories, news features, and more that continues if not daily, pretty
close. Each one could be a chapter in my new book but here's one story
that cracks us up as we hit Mary Gay's store in Blytheville.
We arrived a little late as crosswinds had as hanging on for dear life
as our Texas Cadillac careened down the interstate from St. Louis,
Missouri to Blytheville. When we pulled in a parking spot just off the
main street where Mary Gay's store is situated, the girls told me to run
on so I wouldn't keep the crowd waiting. Later Pulpwood Queens Jean and
Kay told me this story. Evidently after I ran to the store, 74 year old
Pulpwood Queen Joyce Smith followed wearing my faux fur leopard coat, my leopard Fat Baby Cowboy boots as her bunion was killing her, she had on her "Go to Town" big hair and tiara pulling my leopard printed suitcase
loaded with Raquel Welch Hair U Wear Put on Hair Pieces for the Big Hair
Makeovers I was giving away to a lucky girlfriend at a drawing at each
store. As she approached the bookstore pulling the rolling bag up the
sidewalk, head bent down to tackle the blowing gales of wind, a young
man approached her with a child up on his shoulders bundled for winter.
"Ma'am, ma'am," he cried as he met her and took her arm, "is there
someone I can call, there is not way you need to be out on the street in
this weather.". The girls told me that the look Joyce gave him had to
have been priceless. He thought she was a homeless woman and now Joyce is going to kill me for telling this story but what a story. We are
still laughing about it!

Now I know that my mission to promote literacy would have never come
into fruition if it had not been for the wonderful, fantabulous authors
that have graced our doors at Beauty and the Book. There stories have
changed out lives and to have the authors come to our book club meetings
and call our chapters brings the book to life when we feature a book
each month. Several of those authors have become more like family to me.
In fact, I have adopted them as my brothers and sisters. One in
particular is Denise Hildreth from Franklin, Tennessee who we stayed
with while in Nashville. Now this darling little spitfire of an author
is a trip. As we sped through Nashville on a driving tour given by
Denise she took us to the Parthenon. Yes, a complete recreation of the
Parthenon in Greece. Who knew? Not me, as we sped going the wrong way
into it's entrance. I calmly said, "Denise, aren't we going the wrong
way on a one way entrance." She whipped her little S.U.V. in a U e, and
we were parking before I could catch my breath. Denise may seem petite,
demure in person but girl, get that author behind the wheel and a whole
new personality comes out. She's a tiger!
Now you can view photos of Denise and the Pulpwood Queen Posse' at my
blog site,
Another highlight was our stay with my brother, yes, I adopted this
author as the perfect brother and he is, Michael Morris. His wife,
Melanie also is adopted as the perfect sister and you all, did she spend
all day fixing us up a feast. Now that day we began with a live
television morning show in Atlanta, Texas, went on to Addison, Alabama
where we did a morning television show, interviews for eight county
newspapers, one blog spot, a fashion magazine interview, another spot
for the evening news all with reporter, Theresa Shaddix who had just
crowned herself Head Queen of a new Alabama chapter. Talk about a woman who is a tornado for promoting literacy. All hail Theresa Shaddix! Then we went on to Michael and Melanie Morris's house to stay. They greeted us with open arms and terrific wine and appetizers! God Bless Pulpwood Queen authors, they are the best. We quickly caught up and then headed on over to meet Jake Reiss, the owner of Alabama Booksmith in
Birmingham, Alabama. What a bookstore and a splendid attendance
including Rhonda on her pink scooter who I knew from Southern Living
magazine. Again, those photos are posted at so
scroll down for the full story.
We all headed back to the Morris's for this incredible Martha Stewart
presentation of a dinner and gorged on her fine cuisine. I looked across
the table after the meal barely being able to keep my eyes open and
spied Pulpwood Queen Jean Wright nodding off at the table. We begged
forgiveness but excused ourselves from the fabulous table and Jean and I
stayed in Melanie's art studio. Divine and she even gave me one of her
incredible paintings which now hangs prominently in my great room behind the chair where I am writing this blog. I love you Michael and Melanie
and hope our paths cross again soon.

Girlfriend Weekend!
Nobody and I mean nobody can top our annual Pulpwood Queen Book Club
hosted Girlfriend Weekend. Two days of author panels, workshops, and two
nights of entertainment including our infamous "Ball of Hair", a dance
we hold as a celebration of authors, books, literacy, girlfriends and
BIG TIME FUN! Highlights this year was watching international supermodel and author, Paulina Porizkova's effect of being in my home town of historic Jefferson, Texas, population 2, 199. Timber Guys lives were changed and I look forward to the month we will be reading her book "A
Model Summer" this coming spring.
Again this will be a whole chapter in my next book because the event is
something I work on all year and this year it hit smack dab in the
middle of my book tour. I am certifiably insane to pull this off but I
did and BIG TIME my friends, BIG TIME.
The absolute highlight of this event was author, Debbie Rodriguez of
"Kabul Beauty School", (also winner of The Doug Marlette Award for
Pulpwood Queen Book of the Year) volunteering to do authors hair at my
shop, Beauty and the Book, prior to the "Ball of Hair". Somehow I got
caught up in to the backcombing big hair fray, I was only going to
unlock the shop for her to do hair and then my dear friend and fellow
stylist, C. Nelson Collier got lassoed into doing hair too. Then my
childhood friend, Heidi Teichgraeber, former Miss Manhattan/K-State and
my sister, Karen Penner of Karen Penner Designs got roped in to doing
the makeovers. You all what happened in my shop with my agent, Marly
Rusoff of Marly Rusoff and Associates and authors, Cassandra King, Judy
Larsen, Lynn York, Darnell Arnoult, bookstore owner and creator of "The
Book Report, Elisabeth Grant-Gipson (go to will
not stay at Beauty and the Book. I plan to tell the world in my next
book! The funnest time of my life and stock rose on hair spray that
evening. I was left with 15 minutes to get to my own event where I was
the host! What was I thinking! Mostly, you all live for that moment of
which I did BIG TIME!

Now there is so much more to this book tour and I plan on including
everything in my next book which I am calling, "The Pulpwood Queens'
Magical, Mystical Book Tours (armchair and otherwise)!" which will be my
stories of riding the roads with my authors and girlfriends, the stories
behind the stories of all our book tour adventures and I can hardly wait
to begin this writing adventure.

If you all can't tell that I love what I am doing then you all just
aren't right in the head. I love doing hair, talking books, helping
undiscovered authors get discovered in really BIG WAYS. I am living the
American dream and it's all because I am a reader. Now a couple of days
into my book tour I asked the girls, "Do you think anyone has ever died
from going on book tour?" We laughed but I couldn't help commenting,
"Think of the book sales! The publicity!" All I can say I tried my
darnedest and it's as I always say, "You can sleep when you die!" I
loved this book tour and seriously, I am beyond tired but it's the best
tired anybody could ever dream of. Grand Central Publishing made my
dreams come true by supporting this book tour for me! I thank them from
the bottom of my heart and I gave it my all as I call my editor, Natalie
Kaire, my publicist, Elly Weisenberg, her assistant, Darcey, Heusel, and
webmaster, Miriam Parker, my Publisher Pulpwood Queen Posse'.

I thank my agent, the best agent in the whole wide world, but more
importantly best friend, Marly Rusoff too for holding my hand along this
reader now writer's way. She is also the winner of a new award we will
be giving each Girlfriend Weekend. The Pulpwood Queen Literacy Award
which is an award given to an individual who has devoted their life to
promoting literacy. Congratulations Marly!

And now I thank all of you for making my life have a purpose and
especially the Pulpwood Queens! You all came out in full regalia to meet
me on the road and The Pulpwood Queens of Roarin' Red River even
followed me throughout the great state of Mississippi! You are the best!
It's reading folks, good books from good authors. God Bless You All and
say a prayer for my book tour recovery. This 51 year old bookloving
dreamer needs your prayers. Right now I have lost the juice in my
"Energizer" batteries and so need you all for a recharge, okay!

Tiara Wearing and Book Tour Sharing,
Kathy L. Patrick
"Hairdresser to the Authors"
Founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs
Beauty and the Book
608 North Polk Street
Jefferson, Texas 75657
903-665-7520, official website, official blog site
P.S. I will be back in my shop, Beauty and the Book, February 12th for
those of you who actually can't believe I do hair. I'll leave the hair
dryer on for ya! Don't call me before then as in book tour recovery. You
can email me at and I will get back with you
as soon as I recover.
That night is our monthly book club meeting featuring Kim Sunee's "Trail
of Crumbs". Kim will be calling in, hopefully, for a teleconference if
she has recovered to from Girlfriend Weekend. Everybody brings a covered
dish and great recipes in Kim's book as you see she is also the Food
Editor for Cottage Magazine. Elisabeth and the Windows Book Shop crew
will be joining us so all I can say is bring it on! See you at the shop
and again God Bless You All on your Book Travels! XXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOO

1 comment:

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