Well, not the whole South, but I did TV, radio and print in Jackson, Oxford and Memphis. In the old days, an escort picked you up at the airport, drove you to the hotel, and transported you to each and every appointment. These days, unless you’re John Grisham, you drive yourself and be glad your publisher is paying to tour you at all.
I knew Jackson pretty well from my months there researching “The Past Is Never Dead,” but Oxford and Memphis were a different story. It rained for all four days of the trip–and I mean “rained”–and the GPS that came with the rental car was busted, so I was on my own. I hydroplaned on highway 55 heading north to Oxford, and nearly slid into a semi.
The noon magazine TV format in Jackson was a little over two minutes, the radio station about ten, so I was pleased to have a one-hour interview with the former mayor and owner of Square Books in Oxford which was taped on C-SPAN and will be on a show called “After Words” on the weekend of November 7 and 8. The owner is a wonderful man, who had actually read the book and had a list of thoughtful questions. I don’t know how it’ll appear on TV, but it was fun doing it. I was waiting for John Grisham to walk in and ask for his book to be autogrpahed, but I learned that he’s moved to Charlotte.
Some of the stuff has a delayed fuse. A radio station in Memphis did a thirty minute interview, but it was taped and won’t be played until the weekend after Thanksgiving. That interviewer was also knowledgeable on the subject. In fact, most of the interviewers, TV and radio alike, were appreciative of the fact that I felt that Mississippi was not given credit for the progress that it had made and was generally misunderstood by the Great White North. The owner of Square Books thanked me for writing the book.
All in all, a great adventure, or a continuation of the great adventure that began when I decided to to write the story of the trial of James Ford Seale and poke in the shadows and turn over the rocks in modern day Mississippi. Stay tuned–the fun has just begun.