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Wednesday, August 22 — Boston to Philadelphia

08/22/2007

PHILADELPHIA, PA — I’ve done a lot of book tours by now, but this one really seems to be starting off right.

Okay, I’ll ignore the fact that I had to get up at 3:00 a.m. after having gotten to bed at midnight celebrating the POWER PLAY launch. (Maybe I should have taken my friend Daniel Palmer’s advice and stayed up all night. After three hours of sleep I look like Herman Munster.)

Woke up, made a large pot of coffee, tried not to wake the girls (being my wife, my daughter and her best friend, who was sleeping over, and of course our dog Mia: I live in an all-female household). Checked my e-mail and found a terrific review of POWER PLAY in my hometown paper, the Boston Globe (the reviewer, Chuck Leddy, called it a “delicious, perfectly prepared mixture . . . a fast-paced fun ride”). This after two really nice reviews in the New York Times, by Janet Maslin on Friday and in the Book Review on Sunday, which is unusual. (The great Robert B. Parker e-mailed on Sunday to say, “Nice treatment in the Times. I have always wished you well, but that well?”).

So we’re off to a fast start. A separate item in the Boston Globe mentioned the case study I wrote for the Harvard Business Review — a prequel to Power Play. I opened the New York Times and found the remarkable full-page ad my publisher took out for Power Play, on the back page of the arts section. A e-mail from my editor telling me to check the rankings on BarnesandNoble.com — Power Play was #3! (Ahead of Harry Potter, I might add. Incredible.)

Last night was an amazing launch party at Borders, in Boston’s Back Bay. The Borders folks really turned it into a party — a cake with the book’s cover on it, helium balloons (including black Power Play balloons), a huge SRO crowd. My assistant, Claire, had to be out of the country for a wedding, but fortunately my former assistant, Sarah, filled in for her, assisted by the great Clair Lamb (Clair Without an E), who runs my website so well. My life really is run by some remarkable women — thank God.

The 5:30 a.m. flight left reasonably on time. No checked luggage this time — based on Lee Child’s advice: “Travel light, travel far.” Three weeks worth of clothes in one small carry-on case. Very tightly packed. Very. An aluminum suitcase, so it’s not likely to explode — or so I hope.