Sunday, March 16, 2014

Follow Us to Pooh's Corner

I want you to know I listen. And try to remember. And use notes and files to help me remember!

I don't always succeed, but I want you to know I try.


Example: For the Southern Loop of the upcoming "He Said, She Said" tour Mark wanted to turn back after our stops in Alabama, but we decided to go east as far as Atlanta for two reasons:

1) I was supposed to visit Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA in January 2011 on The Running Dream tour, and although I made it to Atlanta there was a 'freak storm' and I was iced in, stuck in my hotel room for 3 days.

2) Our faithful blogette, Jessica, is in the Atlanta area and asked us to.

Before we leave on the Southern Loop, we wanted to send initial queries to the Northern Loop stores. We picked out a logical route and because of the time frame between the release of Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye (9/9/14), and warnings about November weather (snow!) in the northern states, we determined that we had to turn back after St. Paul, MN.

But my really good friend's friends and family live in Madison, WI. "Please, please, please, can we go to Madison?" I asked (well, okay, begged) Mark. "It's not that much farther!"

"Have you looked at the map?!" he asked, implying that I needed to get real..

"It's only a few inches away!" I said, giving him my best happy puppy look.

"Very funny."

As motivational backup, I called my friend. She called her peeps. Pretty soon I was forwarding to Mark a barrage of e-mails about us must-going to Madison.

So Madison, WI got a little orange dot on our map.(Mere inches, I'll have you know, from the orange dot on St. Paul.).And I sorta assured Mark (h-hm, promised?) that that was the very farthest we would go. I was all for turning back after Madison. After all, I have zero experience driving in ice or snow.

So we finished planning the route back west, putting up little orange dots through Iowa and Nebraska and Wyoming. It was logical. No upping or downing. Or backing and forthing. Much more streamlined than the Southern Loop.

And then...

Yes, and then.

I went through my saved correspondences making sure we had listened to all the requests from people wanting to get their Sammys signed.

"Uh...where's Grand Rapids?" I asked across my desk over to Mark's.


He didn't even look at me, or ask why.

I sighed. And stayed quiet.

"We're turning back at Madison," he said.

I sighed. "I know." But then I just couldn't take it. "Just read this," I said, handing over the binder with saved correspondence.

To his credit, he took it. And then he sighed. "Pooh's Corner?"

I nodded. "We'll have to go through the Hundred Acre Wood to get there."

Either that, or take a ferry over Lake Michigan.

It wasn't going to be easy. Or cheap.

But then he read the letter. And after a few mild curses he knew there was no getting around it.

We had to go to Pooh's Corner.

Any bookseller who loves Sammy Keyes as much as this one does (and for all the right reasons), has been hand selling my books since the first one came out, and tells everyone looking for books with strong female characters about Sammy Keyes should be on The List if at all possible.

And this was possible.

Just not easy.

Or cheap.

Anyway, please know that if you wrote me, I tried. If your town / bookstore doesn't wind up on either loop it's not for a lack of wanting to visit. We've spent hours and hours trying to accommodate as many requests as possible.

If you haven't seen it already, here's the Southern Loop schedule. For the Northern Loop we should have a tentative list sometime...soon. Or at least a picture of a map with dots!

And if your bookstore / town is on either list. please turn out! And bring your friends. Forward the schedule. Please tell people! There is no "next time." This is it, and after all we've put into making this happen, it sure would be nice if people turned out.

Hope to see you at Pooh's Corner. Or somewhere in your neck of the Million Acre Wood.


Mark said...

Okay, Michigan. But no further...ha!

Kylie said...

I can't belive a didn't look at this Sunday night. I always check Sunday night. I honestly can't believe I forgot.

Anyways I was talking to my friend about your tour (I introduced her to Sammy Keyes) and she was so excited about it. She is really hoping that she can make it but she isn't sure with her college schedule, but were hoping!

The playlist is almost done, just waiting to get one more cd copied, because while we have over 20 blank CDs only two were compatible with my computer because the others we not wanting to work, but I am getting a pack of CDs soon and then it will be one its way!

I am so excited for the tour! I can't wait to meet you! I will find a way to meet you. Or I will make sister go and have her FaceTime me so I can say hi if the day doesn't work. But fingers crossed it will!

You two are so sweet going out of your way (even if it is only inches) to see as many people as possible! That is one if the nicest things ever!

I didn't know there was a hundred acres wood. Like a real one. But that is so cool! Definitely have to put it on my list of places to go!

Have a great week everyone!


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

"Even if it is only inches" ! Haha! Love it, Kylie!

Jessica said...

I thought I posted Sunday night, but apparently I forgot to hit "Publish Your Comment." I'm so excited you're coming to Atlanta (again -- hopefully with better weather, though you might want to invest in some face masks, as it'll be close to peak pollen -- we get counts in the 9000's here). Do you have details on the exact time yet?

It must have been hard trying to map a route -- the U.S. is really just too huge. I have visions of Wendelin sneaking extra pushpins onto a giant wall map in the middle of the night, and Mark trying to put it back to how it was the next morning.

Pooh's Corner sounds awesome -- if I'm ever a few inches away, I will try to visit it.

Wendelin, just out of curiosity, do you share Sammy's opinion on raisins (i.e., mummy fruit not fit for eating)?

Kylie, I posted a few Georgia-specific playlist suggestions on the last post (late, so I don't think anyone saw) -- not sure if you've got room to stick some of them on your CDs (if you even have any of them...).

Kylie said...

I don't know about Wendelin but I definitely agree with Sammy that mummy fruit should not be eaten.

I think I could squeeze one song on the CDs. Do you have a number one choice?

Jessica said...

Oh, I'll let you pick. Or Wendelin and Mark pick.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Mummy fruit! I've been meaning to get to past posts' comments, but gaaahhh! Thanks for re-asking. I think Sammy's take is hilarious, although I don't entirely share it. I have come to realize that there's a big variety in raisins. The rocky ones are awful. And I won't sit and eat a whole box of any kind (good or bad. And I don't really like them in cookies (even oatmeal). But cinnamon raisin toast (with butter) can be pretty delicious. And one or two or maybe three in a bowl of Raisin Bran seems right. But two scoops in a box? Like that's a GOOD thing? There are way too many raisins in a box of Raisin Bran. I bet they'd sell a lot more of the stuff if they advertised, Only HALF a scoop of raisins!

Your turn!

Karen said...


Or St Paul, if you couldn't fit both in

Except my co-worker is also a Sammy fan so if we both have to take time off work to make the one-hour bus ride over to St Paul that might be a problem. (It's only a couple millimeters on a map, but it's way harder than it should be to get from somewhere in one to somewhere in the other.) If you happen to be here on a Sunday or Monday we'd both be off...? If not, we'll manage to swing something. I can see how many variables you're juggling here. Thank you so much for going to all the effort to see as many people as possible!

I just get bran flakes, so I can put as many or as few raisins as I want on top. And I do like raisins, but also not really in cookies. Whole wheat raisin walnut bread, though--wow is that good.

Karen said...


Road Rash finally made it to my library this week and I ended up reading it all in one night and getting to bed way later than I meant to

it kind of rocked my socks off

this book about music and musicians

I loved what Zach said about drumming and dancing, because I love to dance, and I like to try to dance like I am another instrument in the band, only my part is visual rather than aural. I don't know whether that makes sense, but I feel like Zach and I are on the same page, on opposite sides of the drum kit. And that made me kinda want to learn drums, more than watching or listening to somebody drumming ever has. So thank you for letting me peek inside a musician's head.

And as a Sammy fan I appreciated the comparison of drummer to baseball catcher and lead vocal/guitar to baseball pitcher, given its reversal in the series, and enjoyed Wendelin being acknowledged as Chief Harvester of Corn ;-) (So, Wendelin, was that a cameo appearance by Mark in Killer Cruise?)

(And yes, I actually read the Acknowledgements page. Note to writers: put the acknowledgements on the back side of the last page of your story, and readers will turn the page and keep going because they don't want the book to end.)

Karen said...

Oh, and Still the One by Orleans for your Epic Road Trip playlist because it's a very sing-along-able song, and (bonus) you've evidently been married a while, so it actually fits.

Ooh and let's not forget Swingtown (Steve Miller Band), which just sounds like a pulling onto the highway to start a trip song
and I always end up singing along to the parts which are not actually words.

Kylie said...

Did someone pick a song from Jessica's songs?

Mark said...

Karen - Thanks for the kind words. Yes, your description makes perfect sense. Nice to get positive feedback from someone who 'gets it'. :)

Officer, I was nowhere near that ship in Killer Cruise. I swear. No, really...

And yeah, drums are awesome. But so is raisin bran...ha!