Some Like It Hot. Those People Don’t Live in Alabama.

When I first started writing Shop Small, I discovered new local products and new independent stores all the time. Fast forward a few years to now, and I mostly visit the same few local stores and restaurants in my everyday footprint. This was true before I left on The Localist […]

Blogging in a Whisper: The Secret Post

Last week, I posted a blog post saying I’d rather write nothing than not write the truth. And then … I wrote nothing.   The post had a great response, and a lot of people who responded were writers and bloggers and artists that I respect very much who admitted […]

Truth versus PR: The Consequences of Relentless Promotion

I haven’t wanted to blog lately. I kind of … just didn’t want to talk to you guys. (Uh, sorry.) I think it all started somewhere in the middle of the book tour — as the trip started picking up steam, I booked a few extra dates that I hadn’t […]

Can You Have a Crush on a Bookstore? I’m Gonna Say Yes.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia for a book signing and chat. It was the next-to-last stop on my Localist book tour, and it’s only now that the tour is over that I’m writing about it (which is really a shame, because I missed […]

Independent Bookstores and Amazon: Facing Tough Questions in the Big Easy

I wanted to write this blog about how great it was to experience Independent Bookstore Day at Octavia Books last Saturday, but instead I keep thinking about The Washington Post. Let me back up a little — I did enjoy myself this weekend. I loved seeing so many people in […]

Bringing It Home: The Localist in New Orleans

Photo by Morgan Trinker New Orleans is an important city to me for lots of reasons: It’s inspirational and magical and creative and always unique. It’s a city that prizes individual expression and the freedom to be over-the-top, to go too far and to be bizarre if you want to […]

I Trend, Therefore I Am?

If a coffee is drunk in a local shop and it isn’t Instagrammed, did it really happen? That’s the question I’m asking myself today, because ever since I got back to Birmingham from a month-and-a-half-long book tour, I’ve been pretty silent here on the Localist blog and on social media. […]

Catch a Localist Update on ABC 33/40 This Morning

Why did I get up last night to cut a hole in a cardboard box and tape sparkly pipe cleaners to the outside as an antenna? Well, it’s partly because I have spare cardboard boxes (due to lots of Localist book deliveries) and because I always welcome a chance to […]

It’s Over! Kind of! The Localist Book Makes It to NYC

Less than six months ago, I sat on my porch and came up with an idea for a book tour — I thought I’d get on a train in New Orleans, take Amtrak all the way to New York, and stop in bookstores along the way for book signings and […]

Books in Beantown: Taking The Localist to Boston

When I think of literary Boston, I picture historical figures like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow roaming the streets with walking sticks and bowler hats, admiring the buildings and the parks and thinking deep thoughts. I’m pretty sure that image isn’t accurate anyway (I’m 99% sure […]