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Mile High

08/31/2007

Dateline — Denver, August 27

Arrived in Denver, the Mile High City, on an inhumanely early flight out of Louisville, in time to do two big local TV shows. Met by the local escort, the fabulous Lisa Maxson (Janet Evanovich had raved about her, and she wasn’t wrong) and was escorted around in her gold Jag. This lady really has it together, right down to the ice-cold bottles of water in the cooler in the back seat. Learned that POWER PLAY is actually selling out in a lot of the Barnes & Noble stores. Which is a good thing — only I hope they have enough on reorder.

A signing at the famous Tattered Cover on Colfax Avenue, which has a huge poster of POWER PLAY on display. An amazing bookstore, one of the great indies, and to think there are four of them. Boston, allegedly the Athens of America, has — what — one indie general bookstore left?

Then I get the news that POWER PLAY was the number three bestselling hardcover fiction title at Barnes & Noble this week. Amazing! My editor, and everyone else at St. Martin’s, is elated, because this surely means that the book will automatically go on the B&N bestseller wall, at 30% off.

Then, a few hours later, a strange twist: Barnes & Noble is not going to be putting POWER PLAY on their bestseller wall. Their number three hardcover fiction title — and it’s not one of their bestsellers.

Why?

Because they’ve run out of stock. There aren’t enough copies in B&N’s distribution center to supply each of their stores.

I can’t decide if that’s good news or bad news. I just hope that when the next book comes out, they order a few more copies.

I guess you could call this a high-class problem, huh?

The next morning . . .
Woke up with eyes as red as a UFO’s. Went to the hotel gift shop for some Visine and was told by the saleswoman, kindly, that I looked “drunk.” I snagged her last bottle — she said she can’t keep it in stock. Denver, the Mile High City, has extremely dry air, and a lot of visitors suffer eye irritation.

Great.

I have to do a TV appearance this morning, on a Denver business show. The Visine doesn’t work too well. In the TV studio, they mike me up and put one of those Secret Service squiggly earphones in my ear. I’m seated in the newsroom and instructed to look into the robotic camera.

Ten second warning.

But where is the camera I’m supposed to look into? There’s a monitor — showing me, red-eyed, looking confused — and a teleprompter scrolling the anchorman’s script. So I look into the teleprompter and try not to read the questions rolling by while I talk.

They can’t hear me too well, though. When my segment is over, I discover why: my lavalier mike somehow got unclipped and slid down into my crotch.