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.
Before I read the first chapter of Wasted to an small, but engaged crowd at the Ecology Center, I talked about how I came to write the book. My favorite part was describing how, last year, I had the opportunity to read my own book as if I were a reader and not its author.
My first reading and signing for Wasted came in Detroit, Michigan, where I was surrounded by English professors — physically and mentally. I was one of three authors on a panel at the University of Detroit Mercy, called “On Telling a Story and Getting Others to Read It.”
I began by disavowing any presumption that I was writing literature. “I’m writing entertainment,” I said. “If there’s any literary merit in my books, that’s an fortuitous accident.”