• Sonya Chung
  • Countdown to Publication: (-9) Days - Ups and Downs, On Tour
Countdown to Publication: (-9) Days - Ups and Downs, On Tour
Contributor
Written by
Sonya Chung
March 2010
Contributor
Written by
Sonya Chung
March 2010

Well, let's get this bit of unpleasantness out of the way: what are you gonna do when your PARADE Mag review gets bumped at the last minute for Chang-rae Lee's new novel? Answer: not much. Spew a few expletives under your breath, recognize that this is a teachable moment but doesn't need to be completely disillusioning. And also consider the fact that you were bumped by a very talented novelist whose work you've consistently admired over the years (as opposed to being bumped by something you think is crappy). Ok, onward. The photos above were taken at The Corner Bookstore in Manhattan -- otherwise known as a little slice of heaven. I couldn't have picked a more perfect, magical place at which to launch my book tour. Lenny and Ray, proprietors for 32 years, created a gorgeous atmosphere for me to read, engage in a wonderfully engaging Q&A, and enjoy (this was unexpected, and amazing), a wine & cheese/fruit reception. Lenny closed the evening with a heartfelt prediction for my future literary career that almost choked me up. Friends who I haven't seen in a very long time attended, I signed many books, and afterwards, Lenny called over to the French bistro across the street so that a group of us could sit, munch on appetizers, and drink wine. It was... did I say magical? I almost wanted to call it quits right then, just freeze everything in time... But the sun rose again the next day, and I found myself human again, and (of course) sick with a bad cold. Everything caught up with me. It happens. Note to those of you going on book tour: ask for what you need. At the next event, the following evening, there was originally not going to be a mic, but at the last minute, I appealed to the organizers and was so glad that I did; a little sniffly and nasally, I made it through that reading and was relieved to have preserved a little shouting energy. We await reviews. Jim Lehman at Rosebud Book Reviews posted a lovely and thoughtful review, read it here. A few other bloggers will be reviewing in the next couple of weeks. My publicist is young and ambitious and hungry to get us on the map, for which I love and appreciate her. Because between Chang-rae Lee (no sour grapes, honestly, but boy, timing timing; I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that major outlets are unlikely to review two Korean American novelists around the same time) and the fact that LONG FOR THIS WORLD is what you might call an "unconventional read" (see the Rosebud piece to get a sense of what I mean), it's not easy to get publicity and review attention. I'm just at the beginning of this tour, but already I'm rather looking forward to being able to write emails to friends that don't end with: "ps -- hope to see you at my reading!"

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