Yes, today marked my television debut on TMJ4’s The Morning Blend (live tv, no less…live morning tv, in fact), as well as the arrival of not one but two glowing reviews of Plaguewalker that made me turn Sin (the color of the blush they talked me into buying at Sephora. I now realize I don’t need to wear blush; I just need people to tell me constantly how wonderful the book is). If you haven’t seen the stories, check them out online at OnMilwaukee and the Shepherd Express.
(Big thanks to Kim, Molly, Tiffany and the rest of The Morning Blend crew, Bobby and Colleen at OnMilwaukee and Dave at the Shepherd Express, as well as Paul, for negating my need to apply powder blush. I’ve been overwhelmed by how positive and encouraging the media has been about Plaguewalker. Returning to Milwaukee is coming home.)
Today may have been the height of the Plaguewalker media blitz, but the best moment of the day came when I completed my early voting ballot downtown (the second best moment of the day, I will admit, happened shortly before that, when I scored a sweet parking space right in front of the municipal building). It’s a privilege, people, and, maybe because I’ve lived and worked in places without any kind of democratic process, it means something to me.
Those of you who know me well are probably still stuck on that mention up top about being on tv, voluntarily, something I managed to avoid for more than a decade as a journalist. Yes, it’s true. As much as I would prefer to conduct publicity for Plaguewalker entirely from a remote (preferably subterranean) lair, I believe in the story enough to put on eyeliner and yak about it, and myself, in public.
I felt nauseous the entire time, but two things saved me from turning into a YouTube clip called “WOMAN VOMITS ON LIVE TV.”
Shaking and sure this would end in tears as I sat in the green room, I was lamely watching the show they had on the tv there. Maroon 5 came on–I am not a fan–and I was immediately taken back to the road trip my buddy Jeff and I took in New Zealand to go sea kayaking, when Jeff sang “Moves Like Jagger” in a perpetual loop for the sole purpose of annoying me (success!). Remembering that godawful song, how we nearly capsized the kayak miles from shore because we were trying to slop as much water as possible on each other while New Zealand fur seals swam all around us and looked at each other as if to say “what’s up with those two?” made me forget completely about my impending television debut.
When I was called to “get mic’ed” (okay, I admit, it is kind of cool to be told “we’re going to mic you now”), I discovered the segment before mine was a Well-Dressed Man fashion show, complete with rather fetching models. Well, hello.
By the time I sat down and chatted with Molly and Tiffany, I was totally oblivious to the cameras. Until about halfway through, when one of the presenters made a gesture and I followed it like a dog catching sight of a squirrel. I caught a glimpse of myself on the monitors.
EEK! I’m on tv! How the hell did that happen? Why?? Bring back those men! Bring back Maroon 5, fer crissakes, anything, anything other than my face on the screen! In the video you can see my eyes go wide and I lose my train of thought, but fortunately I asked myself WWMD? (What Would Marcus Do?) and recovered quickly.
By the way, I do not recommend adopting WWMD as a decision process. If you’ve read Plaguewalker, you’ll understand. And if you haven’t, well…here’s your chance. I’ll be reading from, talking about and signing copies of the novel 7 pm tomorrow (Friday the 26th) at Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., and again 2 pm Saturday the 27th at Wauwatosa Public Library on 76th and North, where I’ll share billing with author Paul McComas.
After Saturday, the media blitz is blissfully over (for now…there are some other things in the pipeline) and I’ll be able to get back to editing The War’s End and a collection of short stories…and posting more about my trip to Norway, which quite frankly I enjoy writing about way more than myself!