Back from New York, recuperating

is the first day in about three weeks that I can take a breather, relax, and
reflect on all that has happened since Towers of Gold was released a little
more than three weeks ago.


I can say is: wow!


never expected this response. I never expected to have so much fun. I never expected
to be so tired.


few highlights:


went to give a talk at A Great Good Place
for Books in Oakland last night (Dec. 6) As soon as I walked in, Kathleen, the owner told
me she had sold more than 30 copies of Towers of Gold just that day.


7:15 the store was so full it was standing room only. People were lined up to buy books. It was a great crowd who
knew a lot about California


contrast, I spoke earlier in the day at the San Francisco Public Library. I
think that talk set the record for the number of people it put to sleep.


Sunday, the Chronicle named Towers of Gold a Literary Pick and called it a “superb
biography.” Wow again.

In New York, I was a guest on the Joe Franklin radio show.


Franklin is a show biz personality. He hosted one of the first TV talk shows, which
ran on television for 40 years. He apparently has interviewed more than 300,000
people. He now has a daily show on Bloomberg Radio’s “Lifestyles”


some reason, Franklin
invited me to be on his radio show. I entered the studio to
find a man in his 90s who was as charming and personable a person as I have
ever met. He told me had had interviewed Charlie Chaplin, five presidents and
now me! What a sweetheart.


Other Observations:

attended talk: San Francisco State. There were six people in the room, including me. One
was the professor who invited me, one was the book seller, leaving three
members of the audience. Oh well. At least two bought books.


attended: At Rancho Los Alamitos in Long
, CA
. There were
about 110 people in the audience. I don’t think anyone fell asleep. This was a
rancho that Isaias Hellman bought with partners in 1881. The people there
really knew their history. This one was pure pleasure.


one that made me most proud: The Huntington Library, hands down.


most informative talk: At the California Historical Society. The wonderful
staff of the North Baker Library went through my book and brought out documents
I had cited. Those attending could see Hellman’s report card from Germany,
letters to his wife and son, and much more.


most jarring moment: Going from the glow of discovering I was on the San
Francisco Chronicle best seller list to my agent’s office on Park Avenue in New York City. As soon as
I walked in I realized that as well as my book was doing in California,
no one was noticing it in New York.
Not that he wasn’t enthusiastic. But I could tell.


I was also an Amazon addict for a while. The review
of Towers of Gold came out in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday Nov. 29 and the
San Francisco Chronicle review came out on Sunday Nov. 30. After that, (and
before, if I am honest) I was addicted to Amazon, something that authors are
warned against. I will share, though.


Sunday Nov. 16, in the morning, five days after
Towers of Gold is released, with minimal press attention: Sales Rank: #9,108 in Books 


Nov. 24th in the evening, after appearing on the Larry Mantle Show, an NPR show
in Los Angeles:
Sales Rank:

#2,944 in Books


Nov. 30, in the morning, a
day aftter the review in the LA Times Sales Rank: #2,166 in Books


Later that same day, after
the SF Chronicle review: Sales Rank: #1,179 in Books 


Around 5:24 pm eastern time: Sales Rank: #1,106 in Books 


Around 10:10 pm eastern
time: Sales Rank: #669 in Books


That’s the highest i got,
but I think it’s pretty good.



not over. I talk at Clayton Books on Tuesday and then at Metropolis Books in Los Angeles on Thursday.




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