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Dateline: Boston — Impersonating an Author?

Stopped in at a Borders in Cambridge, on the way to the Apple Store, and asked one of the managers if she’d like me to sign copies of KILLER INSTINCT. She gave me a dead stare and said, “If you can show me a picture ID.”

I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

She said, “No, I’m not. New store policy. Some people sign other people’s books.”
So what I’m now wondering is — just who the hell goes into bookstores and signs books they didn’t write?

Dateline: Boston — Because I Asked

OK, I just got a response to my item about the Boston cabbie’s claim about Pat Boone and Metallica. This one came from my editor:

No, the cabbie is all wrong.

I happen to have a copy of Pat Boone’s In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. It’s a classic! His version of Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” never fails to crack me up and appall whomever happens to be in listening distance.

Dateline: Boston

Home again – for a couple of days anyway.

Arrived back in Boston for the Memorial Day weekend, and not a moment too soon. Too many days in a row of getting up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to get on a plane can wear a guy out. My daughter was away at a sleep-over at a friend’s house, unfortunately, but my wife was happy to see me.

Dateline: Miami, May 23 — “24” Fans in High Places

After my signing at Books & Books in Miami, I talked to that great bookstore’s owner, Mitch Kaplan. His sister, as it turns out, is an executive at Fox involved with “24.”

Dateline: In Transit, May 23 — A Fan

On the plane from Miami to Dallas, I passed someone reading Company Man. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Enjoying the book?” He looked up, said, “Huh? Oh, yeah.” I said, “Great. Because I wrote it.” He said, “Huh? What?” He shook his head and went back to the book. Clearly he didn’t believe me.

Dateline: Dallas, May 24

Passed by the famous Grassy Knoll, the site of the Kennedy assassination. A crowd was there, gawking at – what? The grass-covered slope of a hill?

Is it just me, or is it weird that Dallas has an Assassination Museum in the Texas Book Depository?

Dateline: Dallas, May 24 — A Hotel Rant

Once, while on a research trip, I saw some corporate bigwig shouting into his cell phone that “the !@%#* limo isn’t even here yet!” And I thought, How pathetic that someone so entitled, so overly privileged, is actually angry about his limousine not arriving on time. Gotta put that in a book.

But now I’m beginning to understand how that guy felt.

Dateline: Atlanta, May 25

An event last night at Hastings Entertainment in Denton, Texas. Someone at my publisher must have thought Denton was a suburb of Dallas – instead of a 45-minute drive away.

Anyway, I got to meet a number of longtime, loyal readers, including Paul, who’s managed to buy first editions of ever book I’ve published, and Marcia, who lived in New Orleans and lost her house in Katrina. In fact, she lost everything she had. She’s since moved to a town near Denton, Texas.

In the news — Seattle

Today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer runs an interview I did with librarian Jeff Ayers, whom I’m looking forward to meeting in person next week.

I get to go home for Memorial Day weekend, but it all starts again next Wednesday, with an event at Seattle Mystery Books at 12:30 p.m. and another TV giveaway at 3rd Place Books at 7:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Dateline: Miami, May 22 — A Day Off, but a Day of Cliffhangers

Determined not to miss the season finale of “24,” I apologized to my dinner host, left the table, and grabbed a cab back to my hotel. The ride took way longer than I expected.

8:00 — we’re still miles away. Miami is big, huh? Then the cab driver tells me he has no idea where my hotel was, so I have to help him find it.

8:15 — arrive at the hotel. Cab driver can’t figure out how to navigate the one-way streets around the hotel, so I give him too much money, jump out into traffic and weave my way through cars to the hotel entrance.

Miami media appearances

If you’re in the Miami area — or even if you’re not — tune into WIOD-AM, News Radio 610, this evening to listen to a conversation I had with host Aron Bender.

And don’t forget to come to one of my two appearances tomorrow. I’ll be at Levenger in Delray Beach (420 Congress Ave.) at 12:00 noon, and then at Books and Books in Coral Gables (265 Aragon Ave.) at 8:00 p.m. The Books and Books appearance is a TV giveaway, so I expect the crowd will be a little bigger at that one…

Dateline: Midair, May 18

Will someone tell me what the “One World Alliance” is?

Is it the final revelation of a Robert Ludlum thriller, in which the hero learns that everyone, but everyone, is involved in the Big Conspiracy?

And if it’s not – why is American Airlines a member of the One World Alliance?

Dateline: Washington, D.C., May 19

An amazing and exhausting day. Got to the hotel around 1:00 in the morning, finally got to sleep around 1:30, then the wakeup call came at 6:00.

Because of the complexities of my travel schedule, I had to do “Squawk Box” by remote — in the DC studio, while the show is broadcast out of the CNBC studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Doing a TV show by remote is a strange experience. You sit in a room with lights on you staring into a camera lens, while the questions come in through your earphone.

Dateline: Washington, D.C., May 20

Exhausted from the day before and a dinner given by St. Martin’s for other St. Martin’s authors, including Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Will Shortz (the crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times), I slept later than I’d planned to. I wanted to get a workout in – it had been 3 days since I’ve worked out, and I needed it badly – but didn’t have a chance.

Dateline: New York

So book tour has begun.

Ten cities in four weeks. Tonight I’m at the Borders in New York City, where we give away a 42” NEC plasma TV. Then – just to give you a taste of what my travel schedule is like – I have to bolt out of the signing at 8:45 p.m. and get on a 10:40 p.m. shuttle to Washington D.C. I have to be at the CNBC TV studios in Washington early the next morning so I can be on “Squawk Box” (one of my favorite shows, actually) at 7:50 a.m. (Watch and let me know what you think!).

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