Monday, September 29, 2014

North Loop Week 2 Highlights

(I'm a day late, but it's not my fault! The hotel had internet problems last night and I couldn't post this...) (And it's short, too. Sheez. But I hope you like the link and picture.)

This has been a wild week. Mostly because we agreed to fly to Illinois to do two conferences in the middle of a plenty-crazy-enough road trip tour.  So we drove up to Seattle to drop off a bunch of Sammy Keyes Party stuff, left the van behind and flew from Washington to Illinois. A direct flight, but getting here was still the hard part. Still, despite the efforts of the guy who set fire to an air traffic control facility near Chicago, our flight was only delayed 6 hours, not cancelled like a lot of other flights.

Anyway, we may be in Illinois, but we’re very excited about the Sammy Keyes Party happening in Puyallup in 6 days. (Six days!) We had the opportunity to tour the Liberty Theater where the party will take place—it’s really great! And the stage has a section in front of it that is crying out to be a Sammiac mosh pit. (High-tops unite!) They will have lots of chairs where you see tables now, and tables and chairs in the back. It’s going to be a great time! Here’s a little “party trailer” they’ve put together. Love all the graveyard stuff, and Mark cracks up every time he sees me looking over the bushes. Remind me not to be a ham with cameras rolling, okay?

That’s it for now. I hope to have lots of fun stuff to share next week. Wish you could all be at the party!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

North Loop Week 1 Highlights

The first week of the Northern Loop tour is complete, and there have been some really great moments.

For example, imagine walking into a bookstore and seeing this display. The closer you look, the more detail you see--they've even identified the various awards the books have received--talk about doing your homework! And the header is so cute!

A display like that just puts you in a good mood. And then the people arrive.

Best of the best:: meeting Sammiacs.

I'm not sure if it's cool to identify them, so I will leave that to them in the comments. But nothing makes me happier than meeting y'all in person.

Other happy moments:

      • Having reunions with booksellers who have been hand-selling Sammy Keyes books since Hotel Thief.
  • Having some of my former students show up with their children. Wow.
  • Having family travel distance and converge to see the "he said, she said" thing -- like they haven't seen enough "he said, she said" at Thanksgivings? Pass the gravy!
  • Having long-time friends do the same.
  • Booking people! 
  • Signing a Sammiac's first pair of Converse. She got them in 7th grade. She's now 23. They were spray-painted, too!
  • Receiving a box of "Kiss Goodbye" t-shirts from a librarian. Hello? Or, really, holy smokes! They are awesome! (And I will give a few away as prizes at the Sammy Keyes Goodbye party in Puyallup.)
So we are off to a good start, and are looking forward to more next week. If you haven't already seen the full tour schedule, you can find it here (with the exception of one last-minute addition, which is Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove, IL on 9/29). Please let us know if you can make any of the dates.

That's all for now. This travelin' fool needs some sleep! Thanks for checking in--I'll look forward to seeing you in the comments!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Land of Vanishing Time & Sapce

I have this bad habit of filling up time I don't really have. Like, I'll get a dandy idea and think, Yeah! I've got time for that! But then that Dandy Idea winds up taking Way Too Much Time (because, you know, you need to do your Dandy Ideas right). Before I know it I'm chuga-chuga-choo-chooing into the Tunnel of Vanishing Time where dark forces rob you and leave you with unfinished Dandy Ideas and unpacked suitcases.

This is to say that Tour starts in 2 days.

This is to say that the van is packed to the gills and there's not a suitcase in it.

This is to say that Dandy Ideas take not only more time, but more space than one might anticipate.

One of these Dandy Ideas was making large puzzles for the Puyallup Sammy Keyes party. I'm happy to say that they are done, and they are mounted, and they are packed, and (especially) they are awesome!

I will not list the things yet unfinished, or share my TO DO list. You have vanishing time of your own to deal with.

I wish you could all be at the party. I could see you swooping in with answers to these mega puzzles. They would be completed in fifteen seconds! So, hm, maybe it's a good thing you can't all come. These puzzles took too much time to have them completed by a swarm of Sammiacs in fifteen seconds!

If you can't come to the party, you might want to stop reading right here. I will see you right here next week, when I give the first Adventure Report from the northern loop tour.

If you are going, newsflash! I've learned that Dan Yaccarino, the illustrator for the hardcover Sammys will be at the party and will draw a "Sammy" in each of the Kiss Goodbye books sold that night (if you want him to). AND since Nancy (my editor) is also going to be there (and singing backup with our band, tee-hee!), I've asked if she'd be willing to sign the books (if you want her to), and she has agreed . So that would be the author, illustrator, and editor all in one place, scribbling in books. Sounds pretty collectible to me :-)

One last thing because I thought was really nicely done: A Prezi presentation from a school in Puyallup getting kids interested in going to the party. It's fun--just click through it.

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments last week. I felt surrounded by friends who understand, and that's a really great way to feel!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's Finally Time

We have been building up to this coming week for a long time, haven't we?

And now, in a curiously sudden way, here it is: In two days Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye will be released.

How can this be so hard for me to believe?

A librarian in the SF Bay Area has been rereading the series in preparation for Kiss Goodbye, and she's been sending me her comments and favorite bits from each book. It's been great to be reminded of past episodes, and heartwarming to hear her reaction to books and scenes and even stand-out sentences.

So this week I thought it would be fun (and, selfishly, good therapy for me) if you would leave a comment stating your favorite(s)--line, scene, book--it doesn't matter. Short or long--it doesn't matter. I would love it getting your thoughts.

And thank you, my blogger friends, for checking in--some of you every week for years now. I hope you enjoy Kiss Goodbye. It's finally time.

PS For those of you who are not on Facebook--and I know many of you are not--here is a link to a news article I know you'll enjoy.