Okay, I'll keep this simple: Don't go on book tour with the flu.
To be fair, I didn't start off with the flu. In fact, I even got a flu shot before I set off, so I'd be protected from germy strangers. Moreover, I still don't know for certain if it was influenza or some other vicious and potent virus.
In Minneapolis I woke in the middle of the night with shaking chills and sweats, but in the morning I was able to carry on. It went on like that. For each event, I pulled myself together, smiled, and did a good job. I washed my hands a lot and took Tylenol and didn't sneeze on anybody, and I don't think I spread pestilence in my wake. But nausea, weakness, sweats, chills, and disturbed sleep got worse every night, and finally, in Palo Alto, California, I turned myself in. I had my son take me to a clinic and I ended up spending the night in the hospital, complete with blood cultures, abdominal ultrasound, cardiac echo, and a lot of other stuff you don't want to hear about. I missed my final event, and guess what, they survived without me.
In retrospect, I probably should have turned tail for home at the first shiver. I could have spent the week in bed sipping chicken soup and ginger ale and sleeping and not looking at my Amazon rank.
I'm home now, recuperating. Next big book event is tomorrow.
So just to rephrase: If you're on tour, and you think you have the flu, go home.