Let the Countdown Begin
Friday, October 17, 2008
I've been counting down the days to publication of my new memoir for about, oh, the past eight months. But now it is starting to feel real. The Longest Trip Home hits bookstores and other outlets everywhere on Tuesday, October 21. As I write this from a hotel next to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, that is just four days away. Holy cow! It's really happening!
I am scheduled to kick off my book tour with an appearance Tuesday morning on Good Morning America, so tune in if you are near a television. Then I hit the road with bookstore appearances in Manhattan, Long Island, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Sacramento, Denver, Phoenix, Austin and other cities. (For my complete schedule, please click "Events" in the menu bar at the top of this page). Hope to see as many of you as possible on the road. A lot of authors grumble about the rigors of book tour -- a different city every day -- and I must admit sometimes the hassles of air travel in the age of the $7 junk-food snack and ubiquitous flight delays can be trying. But I love, love, love getting out to meet readers. If you've been to one of my signings, you know I have a lot of fun at these things. I'm a pretty social person and writing is a very solitary act, so I revel in the human contact, and of course in the opportunity to meet interesting people and talk books and writing.
Speaking of interesting people (transition alert!), I just recently returned from three pre-publication appearances -- all to discuss The Longest Trip Home with some of my favorite people on the planet: booksellers. I spoke at the Southern Independent Booksellers annual convention in Mobile, Ala., at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association annual meeting in Detroit, and at the Books-a-Million annual sales conference in Birmingham, Ala. Each event drew several hundred booksellers, and it was a great opportunity to talk about my book with them and read a passage or two. I was thrilled at the warm and friendly reception they gave me.
The Longest Trip Home, as you have probably gathered from this website, is about my life as a somewhat reluctant Catholic (yes I lied in my first confession!) growing up with loving and very devout parents who wanted nothing more than for their children to embrace their deep faith. The more I tried to meet their expectations, the more I seemed to foul things up -- often in comical ways. It took me well into adulthood until I eventually found my way to that place in the world that I could call my own. And then, finally, my way back to my childhood home to say those things that needed saying.
Some early reviews have started to roll in -- most recently a four-star review in this week's issue of People magazine. The People review reads in part: "In this prequel [to his 2005 bestseller Marley & Me] the author looks back at his [Catholic] childhood in suburban Detroit -- and proves he doesn’t need a four-legged subject to write a winning book. . . . As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table. He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here—to wonderful effect—he confesses all."
And in this morning's Rocky Mountain News, reviewer Sarah Peasley Miller, writes: "You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy Grogan's story of growing up outside Detroit in the 1960s. Filled with hilarious coming-of-age adventures and gratifying insights, The Longest Trip Home is sure to appeal to a wide audience. If Marley & Me was one note -- albeit one pretty good note, as it turns out --The Longest Trip Home is a chorus in four-part harmony."
To read the full review, please go to:
By clicking the "Review" tab on the top of my this page, you can keep up on what critics are saying about the book. I also hope to add some podcasts, maybe even video clips, to this site in the days ahead. [And let me thank the wonderful team at HarperCollins, led by Lynn Grady, that put together this cool new website for me.]
If I sound excited about the launch of my new book, I am. As I told the bookseller groups, this is a story that means a great deal to me bebause it is about a family that means a great deal to me: my own.
Now I need to get ready for a 2 p.m. appearance at the Mall of America here. This is a Marley & Me event, but I'll be talking about The Longest Trip Home, too. If you're in the area, please swing by and say hello.
Ciao for now.... John
posted by John Grogan at 9:02 AM