Sunday, July 28, 2013

Epic Road Trip

I have what seems today to be a great idea. A month from now it may not, but today? I'm all excited about it.

Ready?

Okay, buckle up. Because what I'm thinking is Epic Road Trip.

Mark's book is coming out in February. (I thought it was May, but no! February!) As you may already know the title is Road Rash. (Whoa. I think I'll ask him for the artwork. It may not be the final artwork, but it's close. And very cool! And I'm so glad his dad got to see it before he passed away. "Huntley" is a proud family name on his dad's side of the family. Covered wagon people. Hearty (and hardy) pioneers. You get the idea.)

Anyway! Road Rash is the story of a 17 year old drummer (Zach) who joins a band (Bad Habit) and goes on a "tour" of the western United States in an old motor home (the Bad-Mobile). A band on the road is a recipe for trouble (although they are not Troublemakers, so don't get your books confused!), and the book is a wonderful ride (breakups, breakdowns, and all).

So what I'm thinking is (as a tie in to the whole Road Rash theme), Mark and I should get our hands on an old motor home and go across the whole country (up, over, down, other-over [or through], up) visiting all the bookstores we can. Aside from talking about our books, I think we as a couple would make for unique bookstore presenters about the writing process, and how we contribute to each other's work.

And (since it's an old motor home) instead of leaving it alone in its old-motor-home appearance, I'm all excited about getting it painted (or shrink wrapped?) with graphics of Road Rash and Sammy Keyes books. Just picture a funky motor home rolling along with book cover images all over it! And words, of course. And all that social media info. We could tweet updates from the road, maybe post short daily videos so people can feel like they're on the adventure with us, and do giveaways to people who tweet us back.

February is too soon to pull this idea together, so it needs to be later -- maybe to coincide with the release of the last Sammy Keyes book. So it would be like the, So Long, Sammy, Hello, Zach epic road tour.

And why I'm telling you all this way at the beginning of the planning stage (rather than when it makes sense to tell you) is because (well, I'm excited and you're you and) the route is presently wide open. So I want YOU to tell me...

What city and what bookstore in that city do you want us to visit?

(If you're not comfortable putting that info in the comments, send it to mail@exercisetherighttoread.org )

And if you have other ideas, don't be shy. This is going to be epic fun and I want you to be part of it! Talk to me!

43 comments:

Gabrielle said...

That's soo awsome!!! What bookstores are around where I live!?!? Okay I need to figure that out!!
NAND that's really awesome that mark is also coming out with a book.
Everybody have a good week!




Gabrielle

Jessica said...

That sounds amazingly epic. I could see you guys pulling up at a skate-park, charging out on skateboards with a guitar in one hand and books in the other. The shenanigans! The tweets! The videos! I'd say reality TV show, but I wouldn't want you guys to be hampered by a camera crew trying to keep up with you.

If this happens, you must come back to the Atlanta area! When there is no freak snowstorm, preferably. Okay, realistically speaking, if you came within a 6-8 hour drive of Atlanta (so Tampa/Charlotte/Raleigh), I'd find a way to get there. But Atlanta is the largest city around... and we do have some pretty awesome running trails. I don't have a favorite bookstore, but I vote for one in Decatur -- most of the businesses there are independently owned, and Decatur is very walkable (and accessible by MARTA) -- you do not want to try to navigate through ATL suburban traffic in a giant RV.

Huntley? How much of Mary's diary is real?

Lourdes said...

If it's any time between September to May, anywhere in Boston that I can take the subway to would be awesome. Any other time of the year, the DC area would be awesome. I've been such a huge fan of your books for such a long time and I would love to get the chance to meet you.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Atlanta, check!
Not in January, double-check!
Huntley--it was a tribute to my father-in-law's family...he kept a journal for a couple of months...I learned a whole lot from it. THank you for recognizing the connection, Jessica!

Oh, and Mark's suggested we do our own mock-u-mentary. Authors on the road sounds so dull, but I always seem to get into trouble when I'm touring, and you know there's a lot that can go wrong on a road trip, so...it could actually be pretty funny.

Gabrielle said...

Anywhere in VA!!!!! I have to see what bookstores are around me. I really don't know what bookstores are around me. My town is really small. It always kind of reminded me of Santa Martina, but of course on the east coats. And we have a billion motels! The motels are like a bunch a small heavenly hotels. You have some creepy people hanging around there, and at times you do see police cars....

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Thanks, Lourdes :-)I'm thinking during the school year so Boston, check!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Oh, Gabrielle - I want to come to that multi-Heavenly town of yours. And it's so interesting that you think Santa Martina is on the east coast. A lot of people do, but the city it's fashioned after is not. I always wanted it to feel like it could be anywhere, so I'm glad that's what you thought (think).

Gabrielle said...

Wendelin, you REALLY should!! it would like be my dream come true! But we only have one used book store(that I know of) in our town, and it's this really small book store, and I haven't been in it very much. But we do have a library, and I skate park. (Our town is very small, it's kind of getting bigger.)
And I can't believe I didn't realize Huntley! But I was very excited about the tour thing.



Gabrielle

Renita said...

You have to come to the sunshine state! What's a road trip without some fun in sun. Preferably Orlando. Any bookstore will do.

Bella Honeydew said...

I love this place so much! Book lovers! Crazy people! Drums! Sammy Keyes! Awesomely epic ideas! Can you say par-a dice?!?!????!=)
That book looks amazing! I can wait to read it!!!=)
I love your Idea you should totally go though with that! Can you imaigine what it would look like to see an old motor home cruisin' down the street covered in book graphics and then be like, oh hey, look! It's Mark and Wendelin!!!
A cool idea would be to go to libraries as well as bookstores, and then look to see if they have any of your books and then sign them without telling anyone! I don't think it's vandalizing since its technically YOUR book, but I personally think it would be awesome to read a library book SIGNED by the author!!! =)=)

Kylie said...

I am freaking out right now because I actually have the chance to meet you. This is seriously the best news I have gotten in a long time. It would be amazing if you could visit The Bookseller in Grass Valley, CA. They are a small business store where my sister currently works at and I am sure that they would love to have you there. But honestly any book store in Nevada County would be amazing.

That is so cool that you have a diary from that time. That time period has always been one of my favorite. Getting the chance to read something like that from it's original format must have been amazing.

Ideas. Hmm... I love the idea of So Long Sammy, Hello Zach, but to be honest with you I think the words "So Long" sound like you are happy to get rid of her.

Another idea. Every place you go set up a little "mystery" and who ever solves it first gets like a signed book or signed drum sticks or something. And online every week when you, for lack of better words, post a new post you can have the last line be a clue and the next week's post will have the next clue and who ever solves it first whens a prize.

As I get new ideas I will be sure to let you know!

Kylie

Isabel said...

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, Wendelin I'll make it easy for you, you can come to any book store/shop anywhere in Sacramento (or a little near by Rancho Cordova, or Folsom) and I'll that motor home anywhere you're are.
Though I have no idea what to expect...a pink motor home with Sammy Keyes pictures and titles and saying on one side, and Road Rash on the other, or maybe (this one will be crazy, I hope not, but my friends do say I'm half psycho...)you have "Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen" on one side, and a little kitty statue on the roof.

Wow, now I know why I''m so odd...

Anyways I could picture you at....let's say....Barnes and Nobles, and I see a motor house- Bam, in the parking lot. And then, a group of people with Sammy Keyes books in there hands, and I'll be like "Wow, my favorite author is here, and I'm not even ready. A surprise yes...but a pleasant one? Absolutely!" And I'd barge into the place acting like it's my own. Hopefully it won't be that embarrassing, but yes. Hopefully something close to that.

Oh,well, enjoy your future-to-be trip! And I have another book on reading list!

Yusa said...

Yeah same place Isabel said! You need to come there please! I sent you an email about it so my comments short but yeah :)

Corazon Nunez said...

This is soooo cool! I'd love to see you in Tucson, AZ. Any bookstore is fine. Woohoo!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

What I really like about this idea is that we'll be able to go places that aren't covered on traditional author tours, where the author gets flown from city to city. We can visit those not-near-big-city towns where people love books but never "get" authors. I like that thought a lot!

The libraries suggestion is a good one, too!

Lucy Baez said...

What a fabulous idea! :)

And since I've been begging for YEARS for you to come to Miami, one more time won't hurt........... PLEASE come to Miami!!!!!!!

We don't really have any independent bookstores here, except for a local small chain that headquarters, so to speak, in Coral Gables. It's called Books and Books. Very cool, open enviornment. Lots of authors come by to do their signings here.

Please come! Know it'd mean the world to a lot of people here, but especially me! :)

(I hope I don't sound like a whiner,but I just really really REALLY want to meet you.)

Sophia Bianchi said...

Please please PLEASE! Go to either Barnes&Noble in Bend, OR, or this tiny used bookstore in the tuny town of Sisters, OR. You may not want to go to the used bookstore in Sisters, since it is so small, but I would totally love you even more. Thank you so much for even considering going to either of these bookstores! I would definitely want to meet you and get my Sammy books signed. And tell Mark I will be getting his book!

Sophia Bianchi said...

Or Portland! Portland would be awesome and I could totally find a way to get there! I can't wait! This is the best idea ever!

Gabrielle said...

Wendelin, I agree with you! Because I live in a small town that nobody famous visits. So I like the idea of this Epic Road Trip too! ( but I'm pretty sure I made that clear.) :)
By the way I sent you an email!



Gabrielle

Kylie said...

Here's an idea. On one side of the RV you put a giant map of the U.S. and kind of do a connect the dots in the order of places that your going and you could have a star magnet that you could put on the city your headed to. Or a magnetic RV with your and Marks heads on it and put that on the line. This way of you drive past a fan they know where they can meet you.

And I was thinking instead of So long Sammy maybe Farewell Sammy or Goodbye Sammy. To me they sound better than So Long.

Kylie

Optimistic4ever said...

Ahhhh exciting! I sent you a super short email with the location. I really hope you can come (but since you've already come to that bookstore twice, if you have limited stops on your road trip, make someone else's day somewhere else in CA). BUT IF THE SKY IS THE LIMIT THEN PLEASE COME BACK <3

That sounded strange.. hopefully you understood what I was trying to say.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Thank you for all the emails at the etrtr box--I'm making a list! I've gotten lots of positive feedback, so I'm optimistic we'll make this happen!

Mark said...

Thanks for all the comments and destination suggestions - keep them coming!

We're both really looking forward to this wild/goofy/epic road trip - this is going to be big fun!

Jessica said...

I just sent an e-mail with some more specific venue ideas, but I put in a few links, so it might get diverted to spam. The subject line was something like "Road Trip Destination Ideas" because I'm original like that.

Yusa said...

So im loving this road trip stuff but check this out guys its pure CAMMY http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2a/56/24/2a5624457d9cc268cf7a571f93d34b59.jpg

Bella Honeydew said...

Definetly rockin the hi tops and skateboard!! =)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Love the picture, Yusa!

Gabrielle said...

That's a a great picture, Yusa!





Gabrielle

Yusa said...

Thanks i found it and i totally thought it was perfect! It reminds me of the scene in WC at the end :) And hi-tops, sweatshirt, and backpack....

--Yusa

Kylie said...

I love that picture Yusa! It is just like I pictured them at the end of Wedding Crashers!

Optimistic4ever said...

@Yusa: Loving the picture :)

Yusa said...

Kylie: I know right!
And thanks @O4E

casmikeyesta said...

Alright! I'm very excited. First of all, I just read this post because I was on a vacation for a week. Second, I'm REALLY excited! But I already mentioned that. So just in case this comment doesn't get read, I'll be sending an email so that I'm accounted for.

I had this funny idea to check out a bunch of your books from the library get them signed and then return them. I really hope I don't get fined. My family might (What do I mean 'might' most definitely!) think that I'm crazy when I check out, because I'll have like three or four copies of the same book. Does this count as vandalism? Maybe you could write, "I wrote this book, it's all cool." Or something like that in it.

Bookstores.... you could come to my house! It's called the uh Hand-Me-Down Bookstore! No? Okay, I'll do some serious research with maps and everything.

When I first saw the word 'trailer' I was all "Hot pink! Pacman! Justice Jackpot!"

I really like Kylie's mystery idea, and your Sammy mysteries are so crafty. I can't wait to meet you!

Noelle

casmikeyesta said...

Alright! I'm very excited. First of all, I just read this post because I was on a vacation for a week. Second, I'm REALLY excited! But I already mentioned that. So just in case this comment doesn't get read, I'll be sending an email so that I'm accounted for.

I had this funny idea to check out a bunch of your books from the library get them signed and then return them. I really hope I don't get fined. My family might (What do I mean 'might' most definitely!) think that I'm crazy when I check out, because I'll have like three or four copies of the same book. Does this count as vandalism? Maybe you could write, "I wrote this book, it's all cool." Or something like that in it.

Bookstores.... you could come to my house! It's called the uh Hand-Me-Down Bookstore! No? Okay, I'll do some serious research with maps and everything.

When I first saw the word 'trailer' I was all "Hot pink! Pacman! Justice Jackpot!"

I really like Kylie's mystery idea, and your Sammy mysteries are so crafty. I can't wait to meet you!

Noelle

stuckinmexicogirl said...

I would love if you could make it to the Midwest! I live in MI but it's pretty easy to drive to Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, or Ohio!

Brienna Erin said...

I live in PA near a small college town called Lewisburg. Bucknell University is located here and they partnered with Barnes and Nobles for their college bookstore. It just opened a few years ago and it is three stories tall located in the downtown area. It is a wonderful place to sit and read or have a coffee in the Starbucks located on the first floor. Its also right on the main north south corridor through Pennsyvlania so if you decided to come this far east and go north you would probably come right through the town!

Maya said...

There is a wonderful, independent bookstore in Larchmont, NY called "The Voracious Reader" (http://www.thevoraciousreader.com/). It would be a great honor and a dream come true for me to meet you and your husband. The owner of the bookstore is amazing. She loves books, kids, authors. It's really a wonderful place.

Gael Smith said...

OK, you ABSOLUTELY must come to Portland, OR, as we boast of having the largest independent bookstore in the world, Powell's Books.

Alli said...

Aahh!! If only my town had a bookstore.... But you should TOTALLY come to the Orem UT Barnes & noble!!! I would love to get all of my 17 (and more by then) Sammy Keyes books signed! That would make my whole life! I'd be the happiest girl in the world!! Haha! :)
So Orem UT! Or anywhere close to there! Please! :)

-Allison

JenPB said...

I second Gael - you must go to Powell's in Portland. It has a great following, is a fantastic bookstore, plus it's Portland. (Just don't set camp on the Columbia River if you're hoping for peace and/or quiet. Nope...freeways, highways, shipping lane AND two rail lines make for a LOT of overnight noise!)

Megan said...

I'm behind on your posts :( but I second the vote for WISCONSIN, like Milwaukee or something!

I can't believe you're doing the whole trailer thing! I've always thought it would be super fun to travel the country in a trailer of some kind, one all decked out in cool colors and stuff - traveling in style!

Please consider Wisconsin!

Keep being awesome!

Megan said...

I'm behind on your posts :( but I second the vote for WISCONSIN, like Milwaukee or something!

I can't believe you're doing the whole trailer thing! I've always thought it would be super fun to travel the country in a trailer of some kind, one all decked out in cool colors and stuff - traveling in style!

Please consider Wisconsin!

Keep being awesome!

Megan said...

I'm behind on your posts :( but I second the vote for WISCONSIN, like Milwaukee or something!

I can't believe you're doing the whole trailer thing! I've always thought it would be super fun to travel the country in a trailer of some kind, one all decked out in cool colors and stuff - traveling in style!

Please consider Wisconsin!

Keep being awesome!