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     ROBERT CRAIS: CHASING DARKNESS TOUR

     The CHASING DARKNESS tour was a phenomenal success—SRO crowds, huge lines, and thousands of books signed. Thank-yous and super-tight hugs to all the fans and readers who came out to see RC. Click on a photo to view a larger image. 
 
Barnes & Noble in Encino gave RC a great welcome-- --and RC had a blast hanging out with the packed house of avid fans! RC headed for Book Soup on the Sunset Strip --
     
-- where RC's pals turned out to help celebrate-- Bestselling authors Gregg Hurwitz (left) and Gerald Petievich (right), flanking literary publicist Kim Dower. Hardcore Craisies Debbie (left) and Diann (right), bookending RC!
     
RC found another warm welcome and another packed house in Thousand Oaks at Mysteries to Die For, where we always have a great time. Here, MTDF co-owner Heidi Sobel cracks up RC.
     
Then it was onto Vroman's in Pasadena--
     
--where everyone shared in the good times.
     
Check out the famous Mystery Bookstore in Westwood, with another SRO house. Kudos to booksellers Linda Brown and Bobby McCue for throwing a great party. Hardcore Craisies Jennifer, Rae, Betsy, and Debbie made the scene-- --and so did several Joe Pikes. Or are they Elvis Coles?
The Pikes unmasked! Left to right, Sarah Chen, Ingrid de Beus, Linda Brown, RC, Bobby McCue, and Richard Johnson.
     
The RC Flying Circus rolled south after Los Angeles, finding more great fans at Book Carnival in Orange, California. The line filled the store and spilled into the parking lot. Another great crowd waited for RC at the Borders in Mission Valley, California— --then Warwick’s in La Jolla—
     
Then RC jumped to the Midwest with signings in Milwaukee and Chicago. Check out this aerial view in Richard Katz’s wonderful store, Mystery One, in Milwaukee. The crowd was packed between the stacks and spilled into the street— --and here’s RC with Richard. Reviewer and publisher Jon Jordan is in the background. Sharp-eyed readers will recall that ‘Richard Katz’ and ‘Jon Jordan’ were aliases used by Joe Pike and Jon Stone in THE WATCHMAN! RC is a hardcore supporter of the space program, so he jumped at the chance to dine at former Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell’s restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois, outside of Chicago. Lovell was commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which was dramatized as the film, APOLLO 13, starring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell.
     

The restaurant is filled with memorabilia from Commander Lovell’s career and the film, but nothing is more impressive than this—a piece of the moon. Commander Lovell never made it to the moon, so NASA presented him with a piece of the lunar surface.

After a great lunch, RC signed at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville. Check it out!
PART TWO: TAKING THE UK BY STORM
CHASING DARKNESS was publishing in the UK one week after being published in the US, so RC jumped the pond from Chicago to London.  A fast overnight flight on British Air, then RC hit the ground running.
 
 Here’s RC being interviewed on BBC-Leeds.  After a morning filled with interviews and high-speed drop-in signings at London bookstores, he was whisked away to the train station— Harry Potter fans might recognize this particular boarding platform at the London train station. Don’t worry—RC didn’t disappear to the Hogwarts Academy!
     
Instead, RC waited. Touring often means waiting. You wait for planes, cars,
trains, taxis, drivers, food, rides, hosts, reporters, and news from home. You wait.
The Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate was worth the wait.
(Above photos by Sam Atkins.)
     
RC was a featured American guest, and was interviewed in a hall filled with hundreds of mystery enthusiasts by presenter Mark Lawson of BBC-4.

(Photo by Sam Atkins.)
Before the ‘official’ Harrogate interview, RC recorded an interview with Mark for
BBC-4--
--then met up with friends like author and 2008 Programming Committee Chair Simon Kernick.
     
 
... and reviewer Ali Karim

(Photo by Alex Karim.)
The Harrogate festival ended too soon, but RC found a surprise waiting at the train station!  
BACK TO THE USA
 
RC returned to more SRO crowds in Philadelphia— --and dared to wear these shoes!

(photo by Gregory Frost)
 
     
--then more reader-packed bookstores in DC—
     
--Seattle—
     
--and Houston, where the CHASING DARKNESS tour ended with yet another SRO crowd of fabulous fans and readers at Murder by the Book.
     
 
Here's RC with Cade Childers and Cathy Childers, who drove all the way from Baton Rouge for the event!  It was a great tour, guys. Thanks for turning out in record numbers, and thanks for all the kindness shown at every stop along the way.  

 

 


 
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Photo of Robert Crais by Greg Gorman
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