Sunday, November 17, 2013

Epic Road Trip Update

You should see our office. It's like a Rock 'n' Roll Road Trip war room. Only this time we'll be packing books and pens, not music gear.

Well, okay, maybe we'll bring along a cajon, so Mark has something to tap on besides my shoulder. Or the dash. (The tapping can get very annoying, as Sammy will attest.)

And maybe a guitar. So I have something to do when it's his turn behind the wheel as we drive across Texas.

(Have you ever truly considered how wide Texas is?)

So yes! This means the plan is coming together.We have independent bookstores in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Colorado who are onboard for the "southern half" of the states. (The "northern half" we'll do next Fall.) On our wall, there's a big ol' map with little pink and green dots all over it as the yesses come in and the plan starts shaping up. On my desk, there's a fat binder with correspondences, notes, and pictures, and a massive spreadsheet draped over a mound of smaller maps and bookstore lists. There's also my master list of notes from requests people from the blog have made. Highlighted! Scribbled on with stuff like, Work this in! and Must go!

(There's also a teacup somewhere in this mess.)

(And a $10 off coupon for World Market.)

(And I could swear Mark brought me a cookie earlier.)

*I ate it*

You ate it!?

Anyway, yesterday I also had the wild idea that we need to have Nancy (my editor) join us for a few days on the road. Or a week, if she can stand it! Get out of NYC and into our van as we blaze across Mississippi! Yes, it's adventure time, city girl!

(I really need to stop having random conversations in the middle of my posts, sorry.)

If you want to be part of this and you haven't yet chimed in on a place (state, city, bookstore) you'd like us to visit, do so! If you have some wild (or, okay, even tame) idea you'd like to suggest, speak up! I'm really looking forward to meeting some of you in person. It's one of the reasons we're going as far east as, say, Georgia.

That's all for tonight! As always, thanks for checking in. See you in the comments!


Mark said...

Sorry about the cookie... NOT! :)

Jessica said...

I laughed so hard about the cookie I started worrying about waking up my housemate. But that's pretty mean! Tonight there was cake at youth group, but we had so many youths that I didn't get a piece during the high school meeting. (I got one during the middle school meeting, but I was really looking forward to that second piece -- it was chocolate cake! Obviously the cake is for the kids... but it was chocolate cake!)

Yeah, so I'm super excited that we now have an ETA on the ERT. I thought I'd have to wait until the fall (sorry to all the people up north who do have to wait...). You guys are going to have a blast, and I shall enjoy it vicariously through your daily ERT blog posts (I clearly remember you saying you'd blog daily, better make a note if you forgot), until you get all the way to Georgia and I can meet you. (I've heard St. Pat's in Savannah is amazing, by the way, though I've never been there myself.)

(Did I mention it was chocolate cake?)

Kylie said...

Well I had this really long comment typed out but blogger being blogger deleted it. Uggghh. Well I will try to some it up.
- I am super excited about this!
- Unfortunately I probably won't see you until Fall 2014
- If you are within 100 miles if where I live at the time I will go there
- Well more like 150
- I love the picture of the flyer, especially the why
- I am very excited for Road Rash
- I'm sorry Jessica I didn't catch what type of cake was that?

Have a great week everyone!


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Kylie, I laughed HARD at your question to Jessica.

Jessica, I have one word for you : CHOCOLATE. (Was it gooey frosting? Dark?)

Sounds even better than that cookie!

Not going to Savannah. Only as far as Decatur / Atlanta :-)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Yes. Daily updates! Maybe more than once a day!

Azhar said...

Daily updates?!? That's awesome!! I hope you have fun touring around the U.S! All those bookstore will be lucky to host you. I unfortunately don't live there, but maybe I'll come visit once you do the northen half!

Hope everyone has a great week!!

Jessica said...

Kylie, that was funnier than the cookie thing -- I had to cover my face with a pillow to avoid waking my housemate up (again).

The cake was one of those tall Publix ones, so there wasn't a lot of frosting, but it did have a layer in the middle. And yes, dark chocolate, with a slight aftertaste of refrigerator.

Woohoo for daily(+) updates!

... and I didn't actually post this after I wrote it, so now it looks like my housemate sleeps for 10+ hours a night... oh, well.

Azhar, I hope you get to come to one of the northern signings. What country are you from?

Azhar said...

I hope so too, Jessica!!! And I'm from the land of igloos, ice hockey, polar bears and poutine: Canada :D

Have you guys ever heard of poutine? It's a pretty popular dish from Quebec. It's just basically french fries topped with gravy and chesse curds... I know it probably sounds disgusting, but it tastes amaaaazing!

Jessica said...

I've had a few friends from Canada, so I've heard of poutine but never tried it. My sister lives in VT; they eat their fries with gravy there but hold the cheese curds. I like my fries with vinegar, or Cajun seasoning/cheese/ranch dressing-or-catsup, or honey-mustard sauce for sweet potato fries (which taste best with cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper).

Man, now I want fries for dinner.

Yusa said...

Wow i missed the highlight of the conversations by not commenting last night when i saw this post. I would've but i wasnt in the right mood to. I WANT CHOCOLATE CAKE NOW.
Ahhh when are you coming to CA where i can meet you and not just the big cities like SF now but maybe the capital hehe. The great part is that during this we can meet new Sammiacs!
Daily updates! I'm gonna be spending a lot of time on here.
Oh and i love Canada and i hope something works out so you can be a part of this!

Eagerly awaiting 2014,

Kylie said...

I am glad that I could make you all laugh. Speaking of Chocolate Cake my mom has this Chocolate Cake recipe that is the best cake ever and I don't like chocolate cake! You all have made me want to have fries and cake. Now I am really hungry!

I am so excited for the updates!

Unknown said...

I would love it if you would come to the Paulina Spring bookstore in Sisters, Oregon. It would be so awesome!

Gabrielle said...

Reading all these comments is making me hungry! I LOVE CHOCOLATE! I would put chocolate on everything if I could. I love french fries too!
That was the most hilarious conversation ever! I wish I was part of it.
I cannot wait for the Epic Road Trip! I've never been more excited for fall in my life! (You know, with school and all)

P.S. How dare he steal your cookie! :P

Wow, this comment really got random :P. Anyways, have a fantastic week everyone! :D


Jessica said...

Gabrielle, have you heard of "peak oil," when the world won't be able to produce enough oil to meet demand, because demand is rising faster than production? I saw a news article that claims we'll reach "peak chocolate" by 2020, when there won't be enough chocolate for everyone in the world who wants it. I'd start stockpiling now, but I'm incapable -- if I have chocolate, I eat chocolate!

Kylie, my family favorite cake is Mexican chocolate cake: a chocolate-cinnamon sponge cake with a thick layer of fudge for icing.

Shaina said...

That sounds like a BLAST! I love road trips. I don't know if, when you're done with the south, it will be worth your while to come alllll the way out into the middle of nowhere central Washington where I live (a town called Grandview)'s not really convenient to anything and the scenery is usually less than breathtaking. :) It still kills me that you DID visit my hometown in Jackson, TN (10+ years ago) and you DID sign my little brother's Sammy Keyes books. But alas, that was before I was introduced to Sammy myself. Ah, well, thank goodness for blogs and the internet!

bookworm said...

Go as far east AND south as Miami! To Books and Books in Coral Gables! (Coral Gables is a neighborhood in the greater Miami area, and it has a pretty awesome family-owned bookstore). I know it's really out of your way (I mean really, we're WAY down here) but you can guarantee there will be at least one person here waiting for you with open arms! :)

And don't forget: we're sunny Florida. While last Sunday most of the United States was bundling up in heavy overcoats and sweaters, I wore a light sundress with sandals (Unfortunately, I didn't go to the beach that day).

Come to Miami! Please! :)

Bethany said...

While you're in Georgia, do you think you could travel just a little farther down south into anywhere near Daytona Beach in Florida? It would only be a little distance compared to what you'd already have driven, right? Just an idea! Just a very convincing idea! Just a wonderful compelling delightful-sounding idea! (And hurricane season ends in only ten days, so I'm sure it will be over by the time you would be here!)

Isabel said...

Oh, my....COOKIES ARE MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!!!
And chocolate cake?!?!?! My second fave!
Okay, so....I can't can't wait for the ERT. Does western USA count as the southern half? Like....let's say....Sacramento, CA? And maybe Rancho Cordova to be more specific?
Okay, so I just love Canada, big fan,my cousins live there. ;p And I love visiting them and seeing Canada. Anyway, hope that gets worked out!
And daily updates?!?!?!?! Yyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!!
Cant wait!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Eating frosted gingerbread cookies (from Trader Joe's!) now!

Florida is not going to happen this time, sorry! We're going through northern Georgia, then back through Tennessee.

Sacramento would be on the "northern loop" in Fall 2014.

Did I mention I had cookies? :-)

Yusa said...

Ugh all this food is making me hungry. Someone send me cookies please.

I am so uber excited for this i cannot even wait like i have been waiting for this for years...


Kylie said...

Jessica- The cake I am talking about involves chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate ganache, caramel, caramel hershey kisses, and nuts. It is glorious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendelin,

I really want to give a place for you guys to stop but I have no idea where I will be living next year! If this trip is sometime before June I would love to say Rochester NY, but that's probably crossing too many time zones for your first tour!

It sounds like a fantastic trip! I have a secret dream that one day I will work remotely so I can drive cross country and just email my employer my work when I get somewhere with internet. :D


Anonymous said...

hey, can you try making a book called the book of billy pratt? That would be awesome, reading something from the funny, mischievous character from the Sammy Keyes series!!!!!!!


Unknown said...

Woohoo! Chocolate! Poutine! Cookies! ERT!

Is Tucson on the list for AZ? Sooo excited.

Mark said...

Corazon -

Yup, looks like we'll be visiting Tucson. :)

Optimistic4ever said...


Would that Fall 2014 trip maybe include the Bay Area? *pretty please*

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Bay Area in Fall 2014--that's the plan!

Karen said...

Hi, Wendelin, I just sent you an e-mail with bookstore recommendations, subj. EPIC ROAD TRIP autumn half!

I'm actually excited to be on the second half because maybe (maybe?) I will have gotten to read Kiss Goodbye before I see you (do we have a month on that release date yet?).

And I'm excited to read Road Rash.

And daily updates!

And JESSICA that cake sounds amazing WHY ARE YOU ALL MAKING ME HUNGRY. (Sweet potato fries. YUM.)

(Wendelin, I'm glad you eventually got some cookies. But abandoned cookies gotta be rescued, am I right, Mark?)

Hey, any chance of the cajon and guitar coming out at author events? I'd dance!

bookworm said...

Well, come to Florida one day....... lots of fans here waiting for you (Includes yours truly). :))))

Unknown said...

please please please come to Charlotte, NC! I would seriously faint if I met you! Probably if I even just saw you... but anyways I love you and you are my idol so please come to NC!

McKensie Miller said...

Could you come to Parnassus in Tennessee?

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Oh! I think it' s on our list! Updates soon!

Mel said...

Hi! I am so, so behind on your blog and especially in the comment section. And as I read through the comments at 6 in the morning, I really, really want some chocolate now!! Hahaha.

So, where are you going in Colorado?!That's my big question for now because I'm here and I would love nothing more than to meet you and bring all My Sammy books for you to sign :D I hope everyone is having an awesome, chocolate-cookie-cake filled weekend!!

Mark Parsons said...

Mel -

Glancing at the official "Epic Road Trip Tour Map", looks like we have three or four stops (so far) in CO - all along I-70 - starting near Denver and stretching westward for a couple hundred miles.

Hope this helps!

Leah Lam said...

Are you coming to Albuquerque NM??

Wendelin Van Draanen said...


Leah Lam said...

Oh my gosh!!! Do you know where in ABQ exactly?? I'm so excited! I've been reading your books for over ten years, and I just can't wait to meet you!!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

A place called Bookworks -- we don't have a date finalized yet. It's looking like sometime in May.