(Here’s a distilled version of the author talk I gave at the Great Valley BookFest in Manteca on October 8. Thanks to Toni Raymus for inviting me.)
I’m skeptical about branding. Sure, everyone knows that 15 minutes can save you 15 percent on lizard skin. But I’ve sat through enough branding meetings over the years to decide a brand wasn’t relevant for me as an author.
Until I came up with one.
This past summer, I was asked for a title for my talk here at the Great Valley BookFest. Four words or less. I came up with “page-turners with a conscience.”
Anatomy of the Wasted Author Tour
When my recent book tour ended — “not with a bang, but a whimper,” to borrow from the Hollow Men — I was relieved it was over. Now I wish I had more readings scheduled.
The “Wasted Author Tour,” which included ten event in Detroit, Berkeley, Mill Valley, San Rafael, Corte Madera, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe, was stressful, turnout was disappointing more often than not, and it didn’t generate enough audience or book sales to justify the time I devoted to it.
But I would do it again.
At my reading at Copperfield’s in San Rafael, there was one question I did not have a great answer for, which was: Men don’t read books, so how does that impact what you write? From a man I know who does not read much fiction.
For Urban Ore co-founder Dan Knapp, a mover and shaker in the Berkeley recycling world for going on 40 years, reading Wasted, my novel set in that very world, albeit fictional, was an eerie and unsettling experience. Here’s his take on the book.
Dan Knapp’s Relentless Pursuit of Zero Waste — An Interview
“Waste isn’t waste until it’s wasted.” So says Dan Knapp and his wife, Mary Lou Van Deventer, who own and manage the three-acre salvage yard in West Berkeley called Urban Ore.