So veeeery, very early on Tuesday morning I started the second leg of my tour. *snickers at a pun re: being glad I had a second leg* I have to admit, I was SO excited for this part because it meant I got to go back to New York City. *big sigh* I love New York City. I will admit that I like it better in the summer, but even in the winter, I love, love, love it! I love it so much I even took pictures out the plane window as we were landing. Yes, yes, I am a dork.:)
Isn't it lovely! NYC in the snow!
On an unrelated note, I thought it was interesting how many half empty (or more!) planes I flew on while touring. (And I have a funny story about that in a minute!) I try to stay very non-political in my blog, but it is interesting to see first-hand some of the more dramatic results of the shift in the economy. Being the optimist that I am, I really do believe it is cyclic and will get better (on it's own, *koffkoff*) but I really haven't seen very many direct results that were quite as in-my-face as this one.
I stayed at the Warwick hotel in New York which is everything a New York hotel should be, in my opinion. It had a historic feel to it. You felt like you were walking down the hall of a hotel from another time, yet everything was immaculately kept up. It was really lovely.
Due to the long flight, I didn't have much time to get ready, so instead of taking a shower and starting my hair from scratch, I cheated and decided to put flatiron spray in my hair and mouse at the roots, and blowdry it that way. So I had just sprayed my hair and started working some mousse in when my phone rang. So with foam still on my hands I managed to answer my phone and got an automatic message telling my my flight for the next day had been canceled. *panic!* So I immediately called my publicist and got her voice mail. I left a long, hopefully not TOO panicky message, and hung up. My phone instantly rang again and it was my husband calling to let me know that the airline had called him too. By the time I got off the phone, the spray and mousse were both dry. *headthunk* So I sighed and started again. Just as I got done misting my hair with more flatiron spray, my phone rang again. This time it was my publicist calling to let me know that everything was fine; I got booked on a flight only half an hour later. However, by the time that conversation was done, my hair was dry again. So I started over once more. Let's just say that by the time I met my agent downstairs half an hour later, there was a LOT of product in my hair.:D
I had a great chat with my agent (man I love my agent!) and then it was off to dinner. There is something about dining in New York city that is just so fun and slightly different. We all had a really great time and since Harper had been pretty selective about who they invited, I really felt like I got to have some real facetime with every attendant. And they were all totally fabulous.
The next morning I got up a half hour early so that I could walk the streets a little. I love walking the New York streets. By the time my car came for me, I was freezing cold, but still a little sad to go. I can't wait to go back!
Next up was Chicago. I admit, I was SO looking forward to this event, because instead of a dinner with booksellers, this was a pizza party with kids. Real teen readers!! Anderson's in Chicago got a whole bunch of ARCs from Harper and passed them around to a ton of teen readers and then invited them back to meet me and party! How cool is that!
So I was really excited and didn't look out the window much until we started the descent. Then I looked out and saw this:
Wow! Forgive the obviousness of this statement but the Great Lakes are really big!! I'd never flown over them before (or actually seen them ever, come to think of it) and it was amazing how the water stretched out almost as far as I could see! It was like the ocean almost. Except that it was covered with a thin sheet of ice that cracked all over the place! (At one point I saw a really big boat pushing through the ice; that was amazing!) And being the geographically gifted person that I am, I didn't realize that Chicago was right on the shore.
I think I've fallen a bit in love with Chicago too.
The event with the teen readers was every bit as good as I could have hoped. There were about forty kids there who had all read the book (and two of them were guys!!) and after we all ate (well, they ate, I circled the room and met everyone briefly) we had an open Q&A and I couldn't call on people fast enough! There were always two to three hands up as soon as I finished talking. It was amazing. And I was really impressed by the questions they asked. Smart questions and a lot of questions about my writing process. Several young authors in the making! I was so thrilled by the end of the night. It made me so glad that I chose this age group to write for. And the best part? As I was signing ARCs for everyone, they all signed and ARC for me! That is something I will treasure forever. A truly incredible night! (I will post pictures as soon as Becky sends them to me!)
But four in the morning came very early the next day, and I was off to Ann Arbor. After a brief luggage issue, I headed to the Borders headquarters. That was such an interesting lunch because everyone who attended represented the business side of the industry. The buyer for YA was among them and I was very pleased to find out that she was in her early twenties. It seemed fitting to me that a younger person was ordering the YA books for Borders. (OTOH, the picture book buyer has been there for thirty years and if you have ever seen the picture book section of Borders, you will know how fab a job she does!) After our lunch (which seemed so short compared to the three and four hour long dinners I'd been having--but they all had to go back to work) Liz took me on a mini-tour of the children's department and then (YAY!) gave me books!! (Including Bones of Faerie, which I mentioned yesterday, and a copy of Maggie Steifvater's Shiver!!! Yes, be very jealous, it is awesome!) I left headquarters very pleased with them, and I hope they were pleased with me.
Then I went to the Detroit airport to fly home. There is this hallway in the Detroit airport that is like its own disco hall. It looks like this:
And within seconds the lights flashed and became this:
I kid you not, it was this total disco hallway. The light flashed and chased, the music blared, and I kinda felt like I should be dancing . . . very odd. Cool, but odd.
And then, I walked out of that disco tunnel and back into real life and it felt symbolic. My incredible, fabulous, glittering tour was over and I was on my way back home and back to my real life. And also like the tunnel, it was a fun place to be, but I didn't want to stay in there too long. The music hurt my ears after a while and the lights would have given me a headache. The glamorous part of being an author is like that too. It is cool and wonderful and I absolutely love it, but I was glad to come home to my husband and kids and the things that matter the most.
And to you, lovely blog readers.
Again, thanks for joining me on this trip.:)