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Halfway Home

September 20, 2009

I’m sitting in my hotel room right now, very pleased that I’ve managed to write over 2,000 words on book three of the Prophecy series today while on TOUR! WOOT!

It’s been a whirlwind week, full of school visits (sometimes more than six presentations in a day), bookstore events, stock signings, blogger meet-ups, and early mornings. I’m having an amazing time, and I’m reminded on an almost daily basis what a privilege it is to connect with so many amazing teachers, librarians, booksellers, teenagers and readers.

I should have known I’d love the school visits best, because I’m always most comfortable talking to teenagers, but I was completely unprepared for how MUCH I love them. In case you’re wondering, school visits usually go like this; I speak a little bit about the book, how I came up with the idea for Prophecy, some of my writing processes, etc. Then I get in my Be Who You Are speech, which is so important to me to pass along to young people since I spent so many years being unhappy while I tried to be what everyone else wanted me to be. I’m always surprised how interested they are in this part of my story! After that, we do Q&A, but my signature Q&A is a little bit different, because I warn the kids up front that for every question they ask me, I’m going to ask them one, too. I didn’t think it was THAT original, but every single teacher has said they love it and that they’ve never seen it done. Go figure! Anyway, it ends up being an amazing back and forth discussion about books, reading, writing, and life. I learn so much from every single group of kids, and I’m especially gratified to see that even the kids who have the “I’m too cool for this” posture when they file in end up leaning forward to listen and participate by the time I leave. SO fun!

It’s also been a reminder that the reading world is wide. It’s easy for me to feel like we’re all in a fishbowl, especially as the blogosphere has expanded the way that it has, but really, there are a lot of readers out there! And without fail in my informal polling, 99.9% of them don’t read blogs. Most of the time, they have NO idea that any of it even exists, but even when they say they know, they just don’t read them. This is both encouraging and discouraging. On the one hand, it would be great for them to avail themselves of the many, many reviews available from their peers in the blogosphere. On the other, for those authors who feel the blogosphere can be “cliquey” or that certain books get all the blog play, it might be encouraging to know that the general reading public isn’t basing their reading decisions on what blogs say about any given book. And don’t take offense! I’m just reporting here! This would make for an interesting discussion (and it’s one I might initiate when I get back from tour), because I’m wondering whether anyone thinks it’s important to drive general readers to the greater reading blogosphere. Something to ponder…

Of course, I forgot my camera, but that’s okay, because honestly, I’m usually too busy at the events to take pictures. Instead, I have other people taking them all along the way, so I’ll compile them and post everything after I get back next weekend.

Tomorrow, I head to Seattle, which I’m super excited about because it’s probably my very favorite US city. After that, it’s on to Salt Lake City, and then my last stop, Chicago!

Will try to stay in touch on Twitter in the meantime, and will eventually give you a big tour round-up, complete with pictures, once I get settled back in at home. If anyone has pictures they’ve taken along the tour, please send them to me and I’ll post them with the rest.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2009 12:24 am

    Hi Michelle!

    My friend recently attended your book talk at the Barnes and Noble in Skokie. If I didn’t live an hour and a half away from there now, me and my mom would have been first in line to see you. PotS was one of those titles that my mom read and automatically said ‘you should read this… now’. Normally, I’M the one who does that between us! We can’t wait for the sequels!

    I know the turn out was low in Skokie, but keep treck’n along! Stephanie Meyer did an event at the same store when Twilight was new and she had only a handful of people (under 10!) attend. I’m sure as more people get their hands on PotS, your turnouts will get bigger and bigger. πŸ™‚ I know I always suggest it to customers who come in to my Barnes and Nobles!

    Anyway, just wanted to give you a shout out and tell you that my mom and I thoroughly enjoyed PotS and can’t wait for more!

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 27, 2009 12:13 pm

      Hi, Ashley! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog!

      I would have loved to meet you in Skokie but, of course, I totally understand. An hour-and-a-half is a long way to drive!

      I didn’t mind the turnout at all. We ended up with about ten people, which I felt was perfectly respectable since I don’t know anyone anywhere NEAR Skokie! I had much bigger events along the way and even some smaller events, but every single one gave me the opportunity to meet a reader like you and your mom, and each opportunity felt like a gift.

      Please thank your mom for doing the very important job of putting books into her daughter’s hands (something that automatically makes her a fantastic mom in my book!) and also for reading and enjoying Prophecy!

      And keep in touch as we ALL wait for book two, Guardian of the Gate, okay?


  2. Chelso permalink
    September 25, 2009 8:35 pm

    Hey Michelle!

    I just got finished with Prophecy of the Sisters bk 1!!! It was totally amazing. Although, I must ask… Is your opinion in regards to the validity of the Bible the same as depicted in your book?

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 25, 2009 10:57 pm

      Hello, Chelso! And thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed Prophecy.

      I’d rather not comment on my viewpoint on the bible, though. Prophecy is a work of fiction, so it really doesn’t matter anyway! I just hope you enjoy the second book in the series, Guardian of the Gate, as much!


  3. September 23, 2009 4:36 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Just a quick note to say what a nice surprise it was to meet you in The Secret Garden (that sounds like a YA book in its own right!).
    Hope the rest of your tour goes swimmingly swell.

    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 24, 2009 6:43 am

      Thanks so much, Dale! It was a GREAT surprise and I’m super excited to give my son his Heck books!

  4. September 20, 2009 8:09 pm


    it was truly inspirational to meet you (I was the adult without a child in tow at your El Cerrito, CA book signing this past Friday ;)) and listen to you speak about your book and your journey in writing it. I did get a chance to read it this weekend and really enjoyed it, I look forward to the next book.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my many questions – of course I have come up with many more since Friday evening – perhaps once your tour comes to a close I can pick your brain a bit more. Your information was invaluable and after pondering it this weekend, along with my own thoughts on the subject, I think it is the YA story I will focus on for now.

    I wish you the very best on your tour, with The Prophecy of the Sisters and the remainder of the trilogy.

    Thank you again for your kindness and patience with my questions.


    • michellezinkbooks permalink*
      September 20, 2009 11:32 pm

      It was totally my pleasure to meet you, Shelley, and to talk with you about writing. I wish you the best of luck with your YA book, and hope you’ll stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing!


  5. Emma permalink
    September 20, 2009 9:13 am

    I love the ‘if you ask you me a question i ask you one!’ that is awesome!! I know for a fact that none of this kids in my school have heard of the book blogging community. except for the two people that I have recently told about mine. Brandon Mull (author of Fablehaven) has come to my school, and given a speech, and introduced his book to us! It was really enjoyable for me, and surprisingly the kids who have never read a book in their life semi-enjoyed it! That night he was at a local Barnes and Noble for a signing! That is the only signing I have been to. Weird. πŸ˜›

    Well this is getting way too long! I SO happy you are having fun, and meeting so many new people! ❀

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