Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tour, Week 4 (Reflections)

Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening!

And yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day.

But it all feels like a big, wonderful adventure, with great people at every stop (especially the Sammiacs!). Yesterday's host in Franklin, TN was a Southern gentleman (who looks remarkably like Col Sanders of KFC) and fended off blimp-sized bumblebees with a little badminton racket. You can't make up some of the stuff we've seen, which (I think) is why it's important for writers to get away from their desks and absorb the real world. I don't know if there'll ever be a guy like this bookseller in a story I write, but there he is, in the back of my mind, with his little racket. And blimp-sized bees.

Part of this week's adventure included touring Graceland, which was way better than I thought it would be. Despite Elvis appearing in the Sammy Keyes series, I don't really have a thing for Elvis, so it wasn't like I was dying to tour Graceland. I was expecting over the top opulence, but it wasn't that way. I was fascinated by how the kitchen (which was a very busy place in Elvis's time) seemed small and functional and like something out of a tract house from the seventies.

I did, however, squeal, "The Heavenly Hotel!" when we came to the mirror-lined staircase. Man, I'm going to miss that place. (The Heavenly, not Graceland.)


Bonus remark from this week: The daughter of a bookseller in Georgia is a big Sammy Keyes fan and got her hands on an ARC of Kiss Goodbye and told me it was her favorite one.

Her favorite one!

It's not easy to wrap up an 18 book series, but this gives me hope that I've done it right.

And in other news...

I met a teacher this week who has 300 copies of Sammy Keyes books.

Did you read that right?

Yes! She buys them up and forces them on people. She is a believer. She came to an event and when I asked her why she liked Sammy Keyes, she launched into such an impassioned speech about the importance of the series that I wish I'd had a video recorder going. I've been explaining that Sammy is not just a mystery series--that there's something bigger and deeper there--but people like to put things in little boxes. Mark did get a little of this teacher on video after the program for a trailer we're hoping to put together for Kiss Goodbye, but if I'd caught what she said during the discussion, I could just press play and tell people, here, just listen to this teacher.

Sammiacs, I've determined have a remarkable ability to grow hair. Three of the ones I've met this week have amazing hair. And that doesn't include the long-haired boy who brought his collection for me to sign.

Tomorrow we go on Memphis morning news. The host said she wanted to interview us outside  the station to include the van, but since we're experiencing "extreme weather" that may not happen. And then we're off to Arkansas!

That's all for now. Thanks for checking in! And for those of you who came out to see us this week, THANK YOU! It has been so wonderful to meet all of you.

See you in the comments!


Kylie said...

Reading these blog post has really made me want to get on a plane and fly to your guys next stop. I really really can't wait to meet you guys.

This whole tour has sounded like a blast. I want to meet other Sammiacs so badly. I can't wait until the fall tour.

300 copies! That is awesome! Does she just give copies to everyone she meets? Or does she leave them aroud town for people to pick up? Or both? She sounded like she was amazing!

Have a great week everyone!


Alyse said...

I completely agree. I'm going to fan girl a little here. The tour is stopping in my city at the end of may and I cannot wait. It has been on my calendar since the schedule came out. I am totally jealous of anyone who got an ARC of kiss goodbye. I cannot wait. This is the first time I have ever commented even though I have been reading the blog for years. I am so excited. I can't wait to meet you in person!

Arianna Vander Weele said...

I desperately wish that the San Francisco bay area was a destination on your tour! I'd actually take off of work to go!

Beth said...
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Sean Gaffney said...

I loved meeting you in person. Thanks for writing such awesome books. The shoelaces were great too! I'm not letting Night of Skulls out of my sight. :)


Lizzy said...

It was WONDERFUL to meet you in Franklin. I have no idea what I said to you (I was too excited...), but I want to thank you for being so awesome!

As a person with extremely long hair - good luck on growing your hair out!

-Lizzy (the girl with two long braids)

Ryan said...

I started thru-hiking the Arizona Trail 16 days ago and stopped shaving because, well, there's not a lot of water in the deserts of Arizona and it's remarkably hard to shave without a little of H2O.

But I'm pretty sure as I was trying to hitch a ride into town to resupply that none of the 102 cars that drove past me looked at my stubble and thought, "Hmmm.... I think he's a Sammiac! (Eventually, I gave up trying to hitch a ride and just walked 2.2 miles into town instead.)

-- Ryan

LibrarianEm said...

Hi! I'm a children's librarian in South Carolina. I just finish "The Running Dream", and loved, loved, loved it! I've just now found your blog and very much want to go all the way back to 2006 and catch up, but I'm at work and pretty sure that won't make for very efficient work time. In the mean time, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading the latest entries and I can't wait to pick up my first Sammy Keyes book this afternoon! (Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I did read one a few years ago and loved it.) I hope you made it out of those terrible storms safe and sound. What a terrible time they've had of it.

Marel Smietana said...

I'm kind of glad I missed you in Franklin, because that meeting in Madison was so cool. The people were nice, most of the buildings were from the 19th Century (they had been restored), and that bookstore was just awesome! I also really liked that only three people came because we were able to have an hour-and-a-half long discussion.

Ally Mart said...

I love your books so soo sooooooooo much!! I can't belive there's only going to be one more:( I stillmneed to finish the killer cruise but from what I read so far is great! Thank you for being a great writer your awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen said...

--me! Mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go... (GO-go-o-o!)

On a side note, I love when bits of lyric avail themselves for ordinary conversation. And I've always loved when you had Casey or Billy do that in your books, and now you do it as you, and -- and Mark said something on twitter about having a train to catch in Chattanooga -- and now I can't wait to meet you both. (: Expect hugs.

It's so fun getting to hear about all the Sammiacs and Zach-iacs (and Shredderman fans?) meeting you! And now you've moved into blogette territory, so we get ecstatic accounts from both sides. :-)

And someone has read the Kiss Goodbye ARC? So glad it's not me. I just. I couldn't stand it, knowing the end ahead of time and having to keep quiet until everybody else got to read it. But I'm glad she likes it!

And you saw the Heavenly Hotel staircase! I would probably squeal. And then take a picture. But I don't think it'd be as good if I knew it was there ahead of time, you know? The surprise would be half the fun.