Bestselling author Brenda Novak will bring her own bookstore along when she rolls into Canyon on Monday, April 17, in the midst of her coast-to-coast tour in support of her new novel, “The Seaside Library.”
Novak will be joined by bestselling Amarillo author Jodi Thomas at 6 p.m. Monday at Burrowing Owl Books, 400 15th Street in Canyon.
Novak and husband Ted began renovating a 1963 Globetrotter in November, converting it into a mobile bookstore and coffee shop. At each of her 32 stops across the country, Novak will be joined by an author for a conversation about their careers and latest works.
“It’s like a rollercoaster ride,” Novak said a couple of weeks before officially launching the tour. “I know it’s going to be fun, but you can’t get off halfway.”
The tour is an extension of Novak’s monthly Book Group. Members get a hand-picked, autographed book (either Novak’s latest or one of her catalog titles, or a book by one of her author friends) shipped to them with other prizes in a box, then join together for a virtual book club meeting. The group now boasts 26,000 members.
“This tour is me wanting to meet members of the Book Group as well as meet some new readers,” Novak says. “We really have become a family. It’s cliche to say, but we are so close.”
The tour, as is common these days, is almost totally self-funded.
“Publishers have had to tighten their belts so much to make it because of the switch to digital and the rising costs of printing, so tours have become more of a thing of the past,” Novak says. “Now, though, I’ve noticed so many authors doing their own events.”
Self-reliance is nothing new for an author who, nearly 30 years ago, quit her job and taught herself to write romance novels.
“No one told me how hard it would be to get published, but I believed I could, and it worked out,” Novak says. “I love my work so much. It’s hard to sleep at night because I want to get up and start working.”
Novak’s 75 books have touched almost every subgenre in the romance field, from historical to suspense, and she’s happy to see the stigma against romance starting to fade away.
“It’s about time,” she says. “Are they formulaic? Sure they are. But the journey is what is important, and there are formulas in every genre.”
“The Seaside Library” adds in a mystery element. One of a trio of teenage friends is accused of a horrific crime. His friends are so convinced of his innocence that they lie about his alibi—only a body turns up years later, casting doubt over what they all thought was true.
Novak says she’s excited to share her latest with the faithful fans who’ll turn out at every stop along the way. Only they’re more than just fans.
“We’re really building a reading community,” Novak says.
Admission to the party is free, but a $40 VIP package is available.
For information, call 806-452-8002.