The tour wrapped up yesterday, and I’ve never been more sad to see the end of something that left me totally exhausted. I haven’t been this tired since my kids were toddlers.
Incidentally, if you’ve been reading these diary entries and are still totally confused as to what the show was like, click here for a great writeup on Examiner.com from journalist/super-librarian Pam Kramer.
Our last day found us in New Jersey, courtesy of the wonderful folks at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair (thanks again, Marisela and Liane!), where you can get autographed copies of all our books. So go there now! If you live in New Jersey.
The second-to-last show was at Charles H. Bullock Elementary in Montclair, where the kids were fantastic, and so were PTA parents Adriana and Kathleen, who helped organize the whole thing, brought coffee and muffins (which were delicious), and posed for this picture with us before the show:
Then this happened. The photographic record of which I just swiped from Adriana’s Facebook page:
Notice the spiffy new hat Curtis is sporting, which he bought at the Goorin Bros. hat shop on Bleecker Street in Manhattan. If you think you can pull off a look like that (I can’t, probably because I’m not British), they are fine purveyors of quality hats.
After a delicious lunch at the Comfort Food Kitchen next door to Watchung Booksellers (try the eggplant parmesan! It is crazy-good), we headed to the Ridgewood Avenue School in Glen Ridge, home of awesome librarian Joyce Mooney.
We couldn’t have asked for a better crowd of kids to finish the tour, and Peter in particular was in rare form.
Here he is (with many thanks to awesome Penguin sales rep Dawn Zahorik for the photos) threatening to read from my private diary while I try to look dismayed. Over 23 shows, my look of cartoonish dismay definitely improved. Not sure what to do with this skill now that the tour is over:
And here’s Peter cracking up a bunch of the Ridgewood kids:
I think that shot says a lot about how much fun everybody had on this tour.
And now that it’s over, some people need to be thanked:
First, Elyse Marshall and Molly Sardella of Penguin, who worked incredibly hard to make this tour not just happen, but run remarkably smoothly considering all the moving pieces. I am eternally in their debt.
Second, my tour companions Adam Gidwitz, Jacqueline West, Curtis Jobling, and Peter McNerney. I’d never met any of them before the tour, and I liked them all so much that, just 24 hours removed from being stuck in a van with Curtis’s luggage digging into the back of my neck, I get a little choked up just thinking about them.
I feel like I’ve made four lifelong friends.
At least, I think I have. We’ll see if they return my phone calls.
But even if they all secretly hated me, they’re incredibly talented people, and I was very, very fortunate to be paired up with them, because they’re all more successful than I am, and riding on their coattails did a whole lot more for me than I did for them.
In the unlikely event that you haven’t read them already, please check out A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows, Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, and all their sequels. There’s something for everyone in these books.
And if you live in or near NYC, please check out Peter’s improv show, Trike, on Saturdays at 10:30pm at the Magnet Theater. I’m headed there with my 12-year-old next month, and I know we’re going to have a fantastic time. Even–or perhaps especially–if it’s totally age-inappropriate.
Thanks also to all the phenomenal librarians, language arts teachers, PTA moms, administrators, and everybody else at the 23 schools we visited! We could not have done this without you.
And thanks to the kids! Who should also be thanking their teachers and librarians. Can you believe they let you out of class for such a thing?
Finally, a sincere and heartfelt thanks to the fantastic independent booksellers who hosted the tour along the way, all of whom have autographed copies of all our books in stock:
In Lexington, Kentucky: Joseph-Beth Booksellers
In Decatur, Georgia: Little Shop of Stories
In Fairhope, Alabama: Page and Palette
In Miami, Florida: Books & Books
In Houston, Texas: Blue Willow Bookshop
In Austin, Texas: Perma-bound
In Naperville and Downer’s Grove, Illinois: Anderson’s
In Oak Park, Illinois: The Magic Tree Bookstore
In Winnetka, Illinois: The Book Stall
In Alexandria, Virginia: Hooray for Books
In Madison, Connecticut: R.J. Julia
In Montclair, New Jersey: Watchung Booksellers
Please, please shop at these stores, because they are the beating heart of the book world, and if it weren’t for them, we’d all need day jobs.
Speaking of day jobs… The Chronicles of Egg: New Lands comes out next week…
It’s good! And I’m not just saying that because I wrote it.