That was a whirlwind! The official part of my book tour is over, I’ve caught up with all the post-tour mail/cleaning/unpacking stuff (which always takes longer than you think it will), and I finally have a chance to share some highlights from my tour with you. Instead of doing several posts, I’ve decided to go with one big Top Ten Tour Tidbits extravaganza. Not that it will be easy to only pick ten things. And not that my events are even over! I still have upcoming events in New York City, Chicago, and Long Island. The full schedule is here.
Now Transatlanticism is playing, my pics are ready, and I have some time before the Teen Author Carnival. Let the memories begin!
1. First off, I have to give a shout-out to the guy hacking up a lung in the seat next to me for the entire flight to California. Thanks for keeping it real, Hacking Lung Guy! But then I was in San Francisco for three full days of events in the Bay Area, which I freaking love. If I couldn’t live in New York City, Berkeley would be my second choice. The energy there is incredible. And this high school I visited was unreal – there were only 113 kids in the entire school! It had this family atmosphere where the kids didn’t feel as tormented as they do in regular high schools. If all schools could be like Maybeck High School, I think our kids would be way happier. Let’s end this first item with a positive shout-out to Charlotte at Maybeck. Charlotte was the only one out of all my school visits to recognize both The Cure and My So-Called Life from my presentation. Respect.
2. There were more amazing school events, including one at Capuchino High School where all the When It Happens love convinced me to write a sequel. I’ve gotten lots of email asking if I’m going to write a sequel and it’s something I’ve been thinking about. The thing is, I’m afraid of messing it up. But the kids at Capuchino were so supportive and enthusiastic that I’ve made an executive decision to go for it! I have to be Not Afraid. This isn’t something I’m busting out with super soon – books six, seven, and eight are already in the works – but it will happen. Okay, tangential much? Getting back to Cali…
3. I was stoked for my Books Inc. event in Palo Alto for three reasons. One, it’s Books Inc., which is an outstanding indie bookshop that hosts Not Your Mother’s Book Club events. Maggie of NYMBC is so cute – she put an ARC from their huge supply on each chair with a pretty red ribbon. That was such a classy touch. But before the event started, I made sure to get myself over to Sprinkles.
This was the second reason I was stoked. Sprinkles cupcakes take cupcakes to a whole other level. I’d only had them once before in L.A. But they’ve just opened a store here in New York! Check out how much the Universe had my back – the same exact day Sprinkles opened in New York, I was at Sprinkles in Palo Alto. And they were just as phenomenal as I remembered. (Note: Kara’s Cupcakes make a carrot cake cupcake that Martha Stewart says is the best. After sampling one, I believe I must agree. It was decadence squared). The third reason for my stokage is James Franco related. He’s from Palo Alto. He went to Palo Alto High. So of course I had to go and stalk James Franco’s high school:
4. The Most Adorable Girl in the World prize goes to Shea. She won this poster in a raffle at Oblong Books. As you can see, the poster is almost as big as Shea. Of course I had to get permission from her mom to post this pic. How cute is she?!
5. A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland is legendary. I kept hearing what an amazing bookstore it is. So I was psyched to find out I was doing an event there. The store’s owner, Kathleen, is generous and hilarious and made sure I left with a copy of Divergent, the book everyone is raving about. Ever since The Hunger Games kept me up until 4:00 in the morning with my eyes burning out of my face knowing I was going to pay for staying up mad late the next day but not caring because the book was so freaking good, I haven’t been so quick to insist I only enjoy realistic fiction. I am prepared to be blown away. Oh, and we had an esteemed guest at the Place. It was so cool to finally meet fellow Viking author Rosemary Graham – I loved Stalker Girl!
6. I’ve written here before how it was a Very Big Deal the first time I saw one of my books in an airport bookstore. It was one of those big goals I didn’t have a lot of control over, something I kept wishing would happen One Day. Then all of a sudden One Day was here and the Very Big Deal was real and I practically busted out crying in Terminal 3. Airport bookstores have such a limited amount of space. It’s pretty major to score placement there. So how psyched was I for Sarah Dessen when I spotted her floor display in the San Francisco airport?
Airport floor display! I didn’t even think those existed. This is a Very Very Very Big Deal. Snaps for Sarah, everyone. And for those of you who wanted a better idea of the size of my two beloved carry-ons I travel with everywhere, here you go. I heart my bags. Packing lightly rules. But if I ever have to go away for two weeks without coming home, I’ll need a real suitcase. Well, first I’ll need a bigger apartment to put the real suitcase in. Which is one dream I hope becomes reality before I see my own floor display in an airport bookstore.
7. My first Barnes & Noble event!
This one was at the Park Slope store in Brooklyn. You might think taking the subway to Brooklyn was like whatever. Actually, I don’t often leave Manhattan and had only been to Brooklyn three times. Yes, I’ve lived in New York City for 15 years. Yes, I am aware that cool stuff happens in Brooklyn every single day. What can I say except that I am lame? Not lame: E. Lockhart at my event! Okay, she just happened to be at the bookstore when I was there. But I am still counting it. Thanks to everyone who was there despite it being Mother’s Day. And thanks to the event’s organizer, Sara, who is filled with enthusiasm and positive energy.
8. Speaking of Barnes & Noble, my seventh grade science teacher is famous. She’s mentioned on page seven of So Much Closer as the teacher who taught Brooke how to make origami cups. The magic of Facebook has made it possible for my teacher and I to stay in touch. It’s so weird calling her Nancy, though. When my old students have a hard time calling me Susane, I totally get it. Which is fine – it’s better for them to call me Mrs. Krasinski. Anyway, my teacher was getting the book at B&N and mentioned that she’s on page seven. They got on the PA system and announced she was in the store and people came over to meet her! Go, Mrs. Cadwallader! Or, um, Nancy.
9. Going to Philly for one night wasn’t nearly enough time. I stayed at the most incredible hotel ever. I was basically ready to move right in – plus I got upgraded to a suite, and I am all about the suite. There was a gorgeous fruit plate waiting for me with raspberries and blackberries, which made me really happy. I have a sort of ritual for when I visit Philly. It goes back to my days at Penn when I lived a block off campus. It always felt so restorative to walk across the bridge on Walnut Street to Center City and chill around Rittenhouse Square. I’m not exactly sure why. I think it felt like a promise of days to come when school would finally be over and I’d be living in the big city, doing Big City Things. So when I got to the train station, I didn’t take a cab to the hotel. I walked across that bridge just liked I walked across it so many times back then. And everything came rushing back. It always amazes me how a place can still have so much power after so many years. Going with the whole nostalgia theme, I had to stop in at 7-Eleven for a cherry Slurpee and Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet. Hello, 1995! Then I walked past my old boyfriend’s place without even realizing I was going that way. It used to be such a big deal to even walk down his street. But I didn’t realize I was on the same block until I passed his building. I guess places only maintain their power when your feelings for what they’re connected to haven’t faded.
10. Why was I in Philly for only one night? I had to get up ridiculously early the next morning to face a 17-hour tour day challenge throwdown. Full disclosure: I had fear. But I was determined to prevail. Fortunately, there was a special gift waiting for me at Harleysville Books around hour 14 when I really needed it:
Yay! There’s nothing like a birthday cookie to make any event extra festive. Thanks to Shelly and Stef for a super fun time…and for letting me hog your puffy chair.
Thanks to everyone for making this tour such a fun adventure – everyone who came to the events and everyone who made the events happen. If I didn’t get to see you, I hope to catch up with you next time!