Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why Are There So Many Chickens On This Tour?

In which we have an event at Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, MN.




And if you're in the Nashville area, I have an event at the Nashville Public Library on Sunday at 3 p.m.: details here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Here are 10 Things I Did on My Summer Vacation

And by summer vacation, I mean, last five days.

1. Had two events in Minnesota, one in Miami, one in Kansas City, and one in St. Louis, all populated by fantastic people who knew who I was.

2. Embraced Lover for the first time in 15 days, as he flew in to Minneapolis to take over co-pilot duties from Tessa.

3. Tried to fit Tessa, Natalie, Lover, and I and Tessa, Natalie, Lover, and my luggage into Loki for the drive through Iowa.

Trying to Fit Four People into Loki


4. Rented a car.

5. Finally bought a GPS.

6. Ignored the GPS.

7. Simmered when, 50 miles outside St. Louis, the air conditioning on Loki suddenly stopped working.

8. Discovered a giant hole in Loki’s air conditioning condenser.

9. While still in St. Louis, found a place with a part to fix Loki’s air conditioning.

10. In Nashville, my next tour stop. Six hours away.

It’s going to be a long drive.

While I sweat, you can watch a video of Tessa and I in Wisconsin, trying to determine where all these Vikings came from.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hotels with Lifeboats and Beds with Ladders

While in St. Paul, MN, on the FOREVER tour, Tessa and I picked up Natalie Parker and my husband Ed and then we slept on a boat. Evidence:




Also, I'll be at Rainy Day Books in Kansas City tonight, and at the St. Louis Public Library tomorrow. Remember to say hi and tell me you're a blog reader if you are!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wythe, Corn, and Goats

So it is day 13 of my 3,700 mile road trip book tour for FOREVER, and we have been from Virginia to Philly to Syracuse to Canada to Michigan to Chicago to Wisconsin and now we're in Minnesota on a boat.

Wisconsin was gorgeous.

Wisconsin

Driving through Pennsylvania earlier had put us in mind of the painters Wythe: 


And Wisconsin inspired us.

Tessa's World

Also, have some goat milking. We stayed at the Rainbow Ridge Farms, where Donna, Cindy, and Maria were very happy to teach us how to milk a goat. A huge thanks to them and if you ever have the opportunity to stay with them, TAKE IT.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Caves, Geodes, and Hitting things with Hammers: Day 10 (?)



Today we're driving to Minneapolis, where I'll fly briefly to Miami tomorrow for a This is Teen! event with Meg Cabot and Libba Bray. Details on that here!

And I'm editing a video involving vikings and goats now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Day In the Life of A Touring Author

Tonight we're on to Madison, WI's event, but while we spend the next few hours driving there, you can watch the trials and tribulations from our drive and event in Naperville yesterday.




Also . . . I just found out that UK readers have made FOREVER #1 in the UK.

WOW.


THANK YOU GUYS, SO MUCH!!!!!

I'm sure there would be more exclamation points if I could BELIEVE IT.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 5-7 of FOREVER Tour: Three Impressive Canadian Things

TorontoMabel's Fables WindowSo it is day seven of the FOREVER road trip tour (in case you're just tuning in, it is my 3,700 mile road trip book tour for FOREVER, and the places are here) and my co pilot (Tessa Gratton) and I have just gotten done with the Canadian leg of our journey. It began in Toronto and headed through Oshawa and London, with insanely huge and wonderful crowds at all of them.

So, there was a lot of the Canadian trip that was impressive to me (things like our hotel room having two bathrooms, Scholastic Canada being incredible, and Canadian fuel being more expensive than All The Things), but three things really stood out to me. First of all, they let me sign not only books, but walls:

Mabel's Fables wall

That is the wall at Mabel's Fables. It was delightfully satisfying.

The second impressive thing is that they have strange road signs. Some of them are merely unusually regal.

Signs with big hats

Royally directed

Some, however, stood for things that Americans don't seem to encounter.

Trucks With Failed Brakes Ahead

This sign means: TRUCKS WITH FAILED BRAKES AHEAD.

Do Not Fly Your Car Here

There were these signs everywhere. DANGER DUE TO OVERHEAD WIRES is what they say, but they didn't advise what I was supposed to do with this knowledge. Was this a recommendation to dodge or a warning to not fly my car in this area? Are many Canadians felled by high wires on the highway?

Which way is overhead?

This sign helpfully pointed out where we could locate "overhead."

Alien Abduction Zone Ahead

Do you see the pictogram on the far right? That means ALIEN ABDUCTION ZONE AHEAD.

Do Not Cross the Film Strip

DO NOT CROSS THE FILM STRIP.

Begin Quilting Zone

QUILTING AREA AHEAD.

This Sign is New!

THIS SIGN IS NEW.

Canadian Safaris

I . . . don't know.

Even the road cones were different in Canada. This cone represents how Tessa and I felt before we hit the traffic outside Toronto.

Road barrel, proud.

And this one represents how we felt after.


Road barrel, defeated.

So, the final thing that impressed me about Canada? 

Parking the Camaro in London, Ontario


They let me park on the sidewalk.

parked on the sidewalk, London, Ontario


Best country ever.



Tomorrow? Onto Chicago for an event tomorrow evening.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FOREVER TOUR: Into Every Life, a Little Construction Must Fall

Just in case you were wondering just what it was like to be in the Camaro during the FOREVER road trip tour.





ETA: Today is my last Canadian event, the final one to enter the raffle for the last Sharpie guitar:

Sharpie Guitar #4

The last event is at 2:00 p.m. in London, Ontario. Details here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day Three of the FOREVER tour: The Hammer & Tire Iron Edition

On Day Three, after a lovely event in Philly, Tessa and I made our way from our delightful haunted bed and breakfast (SEE OUR GHOST FOOTAGE HERE!) to the Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania.



Then it was onward to Syracuse. Oh and that is a video all to itself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forever Tour, Day One, in Photos

So I have crashed for the evening after an incredible, incredible launch party in Tyson's Corner and I'm sort of so tired that Tessa (Gratton) and I just spent 40 minutes staring at the room service card trying to decide how to order eggs and a pot of tea in the morning, but the day was too cool not to share. But I have no more words, so photos will have to do.

Old Loki and BlueLoki. Old Loki is getting ready to be sold and BlueLoki is getting ready to be packed.

BlueLoki and Old Loki

These things must all go into the car. Including that girl and that hammer.

Packing for the tour!

People at the launch! They were fantastic (well, some of them were you reading this. you were fantastic).

People at the launch!

More peoples at the event.

Launch!!

I gave away the Sharpie guitar to a lucky raffle winner!!

Guitar winner!

I am not good at looking professional when Tessa photographs me!

Happy at her work

We gave away a lot of swag!

Is that really my face?

Sulaiman Azimi sang his version of "Summer Girl" for the crowd.






More to come, as always, including video hijinks. Tomorrow is Philly. Goal: Stop having traumatic flashbacks to Ferris Bueller's Day Off every time we have to valet park BlueLoki.

Thanks, guys, for making the launch such a memorable experience . . . what an amazing, amazing few years this has been.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Square Peg. Camaro-Shaped Hole.

I am packing for my tour tomorrow (all dates and locations HERE) and I am beginning to think I might have some problems.

It began on Friday, when this arrived from my crazy and wonderful Scholastic publicist:

Apologetic list from Scholastic

And then the DHL man came and brought:


900 key chains
A few keychains.

About the same number of This is Teen flash drives

A few flash drives

And then the UPS man came later that day and brought yet more boxes which contained:

Tons of THE SCORPIO RACES post cards (which I'll be using a few of for Postcard to a Stranger on tour)

Post cards

Some This is Teen post cards

More post cards

Some stickers

Signed by stickers

Which wouldn't be a problem except I'm already bringing

a bunch of Linger tank tops to give away at the launch party in Tyson's Corner tomorrow.

Some LINGER tank tops

A bunch of wolf cut outs from the FOREVER trailer to give away at the launch party.

Wolf Cut Outs from the FOREVER trailer

Two Sharpie-d on guitars to give away, one at the launch party in Tyson's Corner, and one in Canada (for Canadians hoping to win the Sharpie guitar, you can enter to win it at all THREE Canadian locations, and they'll contact the winner after the events to give you the guitar)(seems fair, right?)

The Sharpie Guitars

Also, I am going to pick up this from the airport in a few hours, and it has to fit in too.


That's Tessa Gratton, my co-pilot for the first half of the trip.

So, minus Tessa, two boxes of foreign editions of Shiver for giveaway, my 17 black tank tops and 6 pairs of jeans that is my wardrobe, and all of my camera equipment for the videos of alpacas and ringing rocks and hilarity I will be making, this is kind of what the pile looks like.

Everything but the dog

Well, not the dog. But everything else.

And it must fit into here.

Packing the Car

Well, more precisely, here.

Things Must Fit In This Trunk


Oh, I can so make that work.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What to Expect When You're Expecting a Book Signing

It is only a few days before I head out on my Epic Road Trip FOREVER Tour, and I've been getting a lot of questions on Facebook and Twitter about what to expect at a book store event, how many books I'll be signing, etc., etc. So I have decided to do a blog post about what you can expect at one of my events. I expect there will be some variation at each store, but it'll look enough like this to be recognizable.

So, let us say that I am you. You will double check to make sure the event is when you think it is. Sometimes this means calling the store; sometimes this means checking their website. Note I said their website, not Maggie's. Because the store is the final answer on all event times and sometimes Maggie posts these things to her site very late and she is also slightly dyslexic.

Anyway, so you check the event and you arrive at the store a little early to get parking. No matter how early you are, someone will be earlier. There will be chairs in the event area and this early person will be sitting in one of them with lots of books and you will be friends. Look, there she is, your new friend.

Photo 18

You'll have a bit of time, so now would be a good time to buy at least one book from the store. The bookstores don't get paid anything to host author events and they are a lot of trouble, so I ask (nicely, now) that you pay them back for this by buying at least one book there. I'd prefer it was one of mine but if you have all of mine already, you can buy someone else's instead (some stores won't let you do this, but most do).

Sometime before the event, my best friend Tessa Gratton and I will pull up in this.

blueloki

I mean, hopefully. It's possible it will have broken down and we won't appear until much later. Or it's possible we will show up in a tow truck or in a rented Honda Accord. But the plan is to show up in (Blue)Loki.

You will be able to recognize us when we come into the store because we will have bad, frizzy hair from having the windows down. Also, Tessa might be looking angrily at me because she didn't reckon on how loud Loki is as a form of transportation. Also she might be tired at eating at Chipotle, which is the only national chain without preservatives, which I'm allergic to. Also she might be tired of my taste in music, because most people can only listen to Que Onda Guero so many times through without puking. But I am not one of those people.

Photo 16

After the bookstore introduces me and everyone takes a seat, I will proceed to do this for about 15 minutes.


Photo 15

Then I'll open the floor for questions. I love this part the best. I tend to get side-tracked, easily, however, and may end up just telling stories about Bulgaria unless you are very stern with me.

audience participation


I may or may not give away fun prizes at this point. If you're at one of the stores where we're giving away a guitar, this will be the point that that happens. This also may be the point where, if you are at the launch party, Sulaiman Azimi begins singing "Summer Girl." 

Then the bookstore will assemble everyone into a line. It may be quite long, and I'm sorry for that. I suggest you make more friends with the people to your front and rear.

IMG_2548

People have asked about multiple books and yes, I'm okay with multiple books. I will sign the faerie books and ARCs and Nooks. But not body parts. Also, I will not sign other authors' books. Also, I will only sign clean clothing. People ask about wolf doodles, and I like doing them, but I can only do them if there's not a huge long line.

When you get to the front of the line and I'm smiling up at you with hope and anticipation, there tends to be an awkward pause where both of us forget how to speak. I always like to hear about which book is your favorite or which part you liked or didn't like, and if you have a question you didn't want to shout out, this is a good place to ask it. And if you could tell me who you want me to sign the book too, that helps too (often bookstores will have you jot your name down on a post-it note so I don't have to ask how to spell it). Also if you want to give me a mix CD, I love mix CDs.

And then, yes, you can do this!

PICTURES

I will ask that if you do want a photo with me, please turn the flash off. I don't mean to sound high maintenance, it's just that they've started triggering migraines after an hour of them or so. Those make me lay on my face, and I don't like laying on my face.

Anyway, that is it! Ultimately, you'll end up with a signed book, several new friends, and hopefully a few hours of laughing. I'm revoltingly excited to get started.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Things I Am Not Good At

I just looked down and realized that my workspace is very messy.




and though I must have been the one to perpetrate such madness on my desk, I don't understand how or why it happened. Like, why do I have more than one pen lying within my reach? Why do I need two Sharpies out of the pen can? Why is there an American Flag blanketing that Camaro? Also, are those my parking receipts I was looking for?


And yes, I did have to blur out MagicalNovel on the screen because it was TOTALLY LEGIBLE.
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