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Two years hence

Hotel on the Corner of You Know What was published two years ago. Two years. That’s a long time in Bieber years. Little did I dream the Lil’ Book That Could would still be chugging away, with yours truly tagging along for the ride.

(My dear agent let me know that Hotel cracked the NYT top-10 again—which brings us to 40 weeks—without the inclusion of zombies, Jane Austin references, or references to Jane Austin zombies).

And so, the travel and travails continue.

Yesterday I popped over to Seattle for the day, which went something like this:

8:30 am – Arrived at SeaTac. Discovered that AVIS has upgraded me to a black Chevy Camaro (think Batmobile). The car was a leather-clad, bucket seat, time machine to 1984. Except back them I drove a Honda…

9:30 am – Stopped by the Wing Luke Asian Museum to sign stock and personalize a few invitations for their fundraiser. (Tom Skerritt, I hope you can read my handwriting).

10:30 am – Caught the Vashon Island Ferry. Cruised the island in my Knight Rider rental car. Popped by Café Luna and was flabbergastcombobulated to see an embarrassingly huge 4’ x 8’ cover of HOTEL plastered on the side of a building. Part of the King County Library System’s Book Cover Walking Tour. I wanted to take a photo but…just…couldn’t.

1:00 pm – Talk & Signing at the Vashon Library. There was one woman present that had seen me (3) times. She also had a chloroform-soaked rag, handcuffs, duct-tape and a gag. Eh, she seemed pretty harmless.

3:30 pm – Ferry again, back to Seattle, drove like the caped crusader to Bellevue. Checked into the Hyatt where I donned a new grey suit, pressed shirt with French cuffs, and a shimmering purple tie that Rissa picked out. (Yes, I occasionally rely on the fashion advice of a 15-year-old. No, the tie didn’t come from Hot Topic).

Author, Vince Flynn, doing his thing and doing it well.5:30 pm – Arrived at the Bellevue Library for the Literary Lions Gala, with Nancy Pearl emceeing, and Vince Flynn keynoting. Had a swell time, raising funds for the busiest library system in the nation. (Sorry Queens, maybe next year).

10:00 pm – Wandered back to my suite, realizing that people don’t normally drink at the library. Most people, anyway. Delighted that I was able to meet famed SF author, Greg Bear, who wrote Blood Music, one of my favorite short stories. The tale is about noocytes—microscopic bits of genetic material that become self-aware and take over most of the world. I wash my hands. Again.

Tomorrow I’m off to Orlando, then home for a day, then Tucson, then...somewhere...


Hi Mr. Ford,

My name is Alyah. I have to say your book was an amazing book even for a 7th grader like myself. It was bit difficult to comprehend sometimes, but Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was very mesmerizing. I was wondering if you would help me write a 2-3 sentence summary on your book? Because every time I try to write a summary it turns out to be an entire paragraph. I am not sure if I was looking close for figurative language, but I couldn't find any, would you please help me out? Thank you very much.


Hi Alyah,

I'm a sucker for homework help. How's this:

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is the story of the Japanese Internment in Seattle, seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old Chinese boy, who is sent to an all-white private school, where he falls in love with a Japanese girl. It's a bittersweet tale about racism, commitment and enduring hope—a noble romantic journey set in 1942, and later in 1986 when the belongings of 37 Japanese families are discovered in the basement of a condemned hotel. 

If your teacher doesn't give you an "A", have her give me a call.

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Reader Comments (6)

Saw a Camaro while we were shopping for a mini-van. Thought of you.

Saw your tweet about the missing cufflink. If the hotel isn't willing to ship them to you, let me know. I'm happy to go rescue them.
March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColleen
My B-I-L, the Seattle Photo Dude Chuck Pefley, doesn't go anywhere without a camera.

I probably didn't put that sentence together properly. Would you mind correcting it before reading it? ;o)
March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Dubé
Wow, doesn't the time just fly by? That's awesome though that you're still on top. Your tour sounds like a fun time, and how can you complain about a Camaro? That is one awesome car. Helping with homework however, is the icing on the cake. Too cool, Jamie. Too cool.
March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Stallsworth

Do you have a running total of the number of book tours you've done?
March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Houck
Hi Jamie,
Wow! The Staying power, longevity, evergreeness, or whatever adjective you'd care to give to the long success of Hotel, just blows my mind.

Not that you aren't working your little tuschy off keeping it out there. Your tour also blows my mind. Question, was(were) the tour(s) all arranged and assisted by your publisher? Are they helping with the expense of it? (Those of us contemplating self-pubishing really need to know.)

Your book was a natural for the community reading programs, but how did you get into that, and how were you able to hook up with so many libraries for readings? Awesome dude. We're impressed.

Of the glacial pace of traditional publishers, when oh when will we see your next book????

And speaking of self-pubbing given the stuff in the news about Eisler, Hocking, and Konrath* and his ilk, are you tempted? even a little bit? I mean, you you've got the following—and it moves MUCH faster. Just curious.

*Not that I'd put you in that company, he's a hack and you are definitely not.
April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue Campbell
Hi Sue,

Random House sponsored 5-6 weeks of touring but the rest has been through a combination of community reads (which select these on their own), paid gigs through the Random House Speakers Bureau, and the efforts of a freelance publicist that keeps me busy. For example, I'm in California next week for a community read (and research), my publicist went ahead and set up several library events while I'm in the area to make better use of my time.

The new book should be out early next year. I'm expecting to get copy edits back on Monday.

The Eisler/Hocking thing is definitely on my radar. I love having a traditional publisher, an editor I trust, a publicist that knows me, that kind of thing, but it's something to consider.
April 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

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