The A.D. book tour started Wednesday evening, August 19, at Book People in Austin, Texas. First I did a quick hit on the university radio station/NPR affiliate KUT, where a reporter interviewed me about the book. The interview ran during "All Things Considered," and it was a great plug for the Book People event.
When I drove up to Book People, I was stunned to see my name in a marquee outside, which was a great welcome to Austin. Up front when you walked in, they had a wonderful display of books, with a custom sign designed by Brandi, one of the store employees. And even though I arrived about 45 minutes early for my visual presentation, there were already folks waiting, books in hand. (Book People, by the way, is a great store, two full floors, really well-lit, with lots and lots of books, and lots and lots of room for browsing. A great staff, too, and the owner, it turns out, is a distant relative of mine!)
Despite a slight glitch with my Mac (it’s an old model iBook), my presentation went really well. I had only finalized it that day on the phone, but I was happy with how it came out. (Basically, it takes the viewer through my background as a nonfiction cartoonist, then gets into Hurricane Katrina, my Red Cross volunteering, hooking up with SMITH to tell the story online, how I found the characters, and a little bit about each of them and their storylines. And I end the "show" with a silent run-through of the "god’s-eye view" prologue, with the storm building and then striking New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.)
The presentation was very well-attended, and we had a nice question-and-answer session afterward. A large line formed and I signed books for about a half-hour. Many people had connections with New Orleans and Louisiana, and I also ran into some acquaintances and old friends. My great friend Tori, and her boyfriend Neil and their adorable baby daughter Zia, put me up in town overnight, and mid-day Thursday I set off on my way to Houston for the next event.