Contest Winner and Tour
First of all, a big thanks to everyone who entered my contest! I had nearly 400 entries for this one – a record! WOOT!
After counting all the entries received by midnight last night, the Random Number Generator has chosen Amanda of cats99 as our winner. An email has been sent your way, Ashley, so if you haven’t received it, please comment to let me know. If Ashley is an international winner and chooses to forgo the hardcovers in lieu of an Amazon giftcard, I’ll post to let you guys know who the three runners-up for the books will be.
ETA: As of 10/28, I still have not heard from the winner. If you are Amanda from cats99, please contact me by 10am EST to claim your prize. Otherwise I’ll have to choose another winner for all this awesome stuff!!! 😦
Oh! And if you didn’t win, don’t despair! I’ll be holding one more massive contest this year to help everyone out with their holiday shopping. Keep checking back – details will be posted sometime within the next 7-10 days, and this contest will feature some fantastic books in addition to the usual gift cards, jewelry, and miscellany. It will also include a Prophecy audiobook in place of the hardcover I gave away this time. Trying to mix it up a little! Keep you guys on your toes!
Can I just say that I LOVED tour? I really, really, did. I’ll be honest; I was nervous about leaving my children for so long, but once I’d gotten over the goodbyes, I had the BEST time. I continue to be in awe of the amazing, talented, wonderful readers, writers, booksellers, and educators all over the country. Meeting you all was a privilege, and I’m already looking forward to seeing everyone when I tour for Guardian of the Gate next year. I took VERY few pictures! I was just too busy most of the time, so the picture here are the ones taken by everybody else. If I didn’t get a picture up of you and I and/or didn’t mention you, it’s probably just due to what I’ve come to call, “Fog of Tour.” 😉 Please accept my apologies in advance!
I’ve decided to split up my tour post, because there’s just too much for one! I’ll bore you to tears!
My first stop was Phoenix. And I can’t mention Phoenix without mentioning the super-swanky Valley-Ho Hotel. It’s like being caught in an episode of Madmen – in a GOOD way – and I knew we were going to have fun there when my publicist texted me from her room, “Where’s my martini?”
I was nervous to give my first school speech, but there was really no reason to be. After visiting a couple of middle schools my first day, I was totally at ease. The kids were fantastic, interested, and enthusiastic, and the teachers were so appreciative and passionate about what they do. After my school visits, I has a signing at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ, where I was fortunate enough to meet not only several young fans, but fellow 2009 Debutante Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings, and Jeanne Gassman, a friend from the days of struggling to get published. I was so honored that both of these talented people took the time to come to my signing. And the people at Changing Hands were SO welcoming! I could have spent HOURS in their incredibly well-stocked, homey store. I know SOMEONE took pictures of Aprilynne, Jeanne, and I, but I can’t seem to find them… 😦
I made my way to LA via a 6am flight that required us to get up at 3:45 am – pretty much the worst possible torture for a night person like me. My publicist, Lisa, made it fun, though, and we landed in LA around 8am and immediately started the day’s events with Walter Reed Middle School, one of my very favorite schools of the tour. Talk about enthusiasm! The kids AND the staff there are just amazing. These kids are incredibly lucky to have librarians and teachers who are truly committed to giving them the best of everything. I had a great time visiting three more schools in LA as well as speaking at two bookstore signings.
One of the highlights of my stay in LA was meeting fellow writers and friends, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the upcoming YA novel, Beautiful Creatures. Kami and Margie and I have been commiserating online and on the phone for some time, so it was really awesome to finally meet them in person. Plus, LA was an all-around amazing stop for me, because I also met several bloggers, including Khy from The Frenetic Reader, Catt from The Dream Reader, and Annie from A Maze of Books. I also got to hang out with Annie’s mom, Jennifer and her adorable little sister. I wanted to adopt them all!
Another really cool aspect of the LA stop was a group of kids from a private school who read Prophecy back when it was still called Indigo Sky and before it was published. Their amazing teacher, Gary Burg, contacted me through my mom and asked if they could read and critique the manuscript as a class project. I happily agreed, and I can’t tell you how awesome it was to meet these amazingly talented, wonderful kids in person. And the parents! There were a group of about five of them who carpooled these kids down on a school night just to see me, and I couldn’t help but think what a difference it makes for a child to have such supportive, encouraging adults in their life. Every kid deserves such a thing. Truly.
The next night, I was super excited to be at Mrs. Nelson’s Bookshop, one of my all-time favorites! Seriously, this place is so cute I wanted to shrink it and carry it around with me. I also loved this event because I got to meet Khy from The Frenetic Reader. Speaking of adorable! As if her amazing reviews aren’t wonderful enough, Khy just exudes goodness and enthusiasm. I love this kid to death – and her mom, too! I also got to meet up with my wonderful cousin and her two darling kids, which was such a joy.
San Francisco was my next stop, and I was thrilled to finally meet one of my very favorite authors and friends, C. Lee McKenzie, author of Sliding on the Edge (SUCH a great book!) at a writing workshop I gave at the Menlo Park library. Lee is every bit as gracious and lovely in person, and my night was doubled with awesomeness when blogger, Alicia, of showed up. The writing workshop tself was really enlightening. There are so many talented young writers out there! We worked with a prompt from Prophecy and then each attendee had 10-15 minutes to come up with their own story. Hearing them read them aloud afterward, I just couldn’t help feeling like I was getting a glimpse at the future of publishing.
After a few school visits Thursday and Friday, I got a little down time. Friday night, I met up with a group of people that included blogger Nancy of The Ravenous Reader and Alicia and her family. Malindo Lo, author of the amazing book, Ash, also came along, and we had a great time laughing over dinner and wine. The weekend was quiet, but after so much time running from place to place it was really nice to be able to sleep and even write a little before heading to Seattle Sunday morning.
I had an awesome time in Seattle – it’s one of my favorite cities – but I’m going to save it and the rest of the tour for another post. I’m still hoping to get some pictures to add to this piece and will add them to the post as they come in. Honestly, it’s just so crazy on tour most of the time that I hardly had time to THINK about pictures! Then, when I finally got home, I could hardly remember who’d taken pictures where!
Please forgive the chaos and check back, okay?