Book Tour Day 9 Report, Short Version

It is 10:15 pm and I am eating my dinner in my hotel room, preparing to go to bed. Why? Because I have to be up at 3:30am to catch the 4am shuttle for an obscenely early flight that is completely necessary if I am going to make all of my events in Houston tomorrow.

I will provide more photos and details later but here is the short version:

My flight this morning was an early one, too, so I ate the Road Warrior’s Breakfast of Champions: a Powerbar and fruit.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic It was so pretty, it inspired a haiku.

Fuel
Sublime breakfast food
Oatmeal Raisin Powerbar
Carbo-hydrate me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Yum.

The plane was a couple hours late, but Derry Wilkens, The Amazing Publicist, is psychic and she just knew that would happen so she arranged for it to occur on a day when I had some free time to kill.

I met a lot of very nice people and signed more than 650 books. Seriously. My author schlepper counted for me. I really want to tell you everything, but I have GOT to get to bed, so it all has to wait until tomorrow. Or maybe Friday, because tomorrow is freaking insane.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Thank you, St. Louis.

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE

Disgustingly early flight to Houston, TX. Much drooling on self on plane.
Arrive at airport. Change to dry shirt.

10:30 AM Signing at Alief Hastings High School (not open to public)

Sponsored by Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Dr.
Houston, TX 77079
281-497-8675

Grab lunch on the road.

1:30 PM Signing at St. John’s School (not open to public, either)

4:00 PM Signing at Brazos Bookstore (OPEN TO PUBLIC!!!!!)
2421 Bissonnet
Houston, TX 77005
713-523-0701

Dinner with librarians and teachers. Guaranteed to be more refined than what I am eating right now.

After dinner, drive to Austin. Check into hotel. Sleep like death.

16 Replies to “Book Tour Day 9 Report, Short Version”

      1. Re: Edwardsville Book Signing

        Hi Laurie! Thank you for coming to Edwardsville, Illinois and for taking the time to chat. I was the teacher giving out points (and the one who had recently had an article published)…we discovered we had much in common (learning disabilities, etc.). I do have a writing-related question for you that, given your schedule, I did not want to get into during your visit. It’s regarding character development, as in fleshing characters out and making them come alive–especially in stories for older readers. Characters, to me, are the most important part of a story. If I can’t identify with even a small part of one/them–whether as a reader or a writer–then I’m not likely to finish a story. This gives me the most fits in writing and your insights would be much appreciated. Thanks and best wishes! –L. B.

      2. Re: Edwardsville Book Signing

        Hi Laurie! Thank you for coming to Edwardsville, Illinois and for taking the time to chat. I was the teacher giving out points (and the one who had recently had an article published)…we discovered we had much in common (learning disabilities, etc.). I do have a writing-related question for you that, given your schedule, I did not want to get into during your visit. It’s regarding character development, as in fleshing characters out and making them come alive–especially in stories for older readers. Characters, to me, are the most important part of a story. If I can’t identify with even a small part of one/them–whether as a reader or a writer–then I’m not likely to finish a story. This gives me the most fits in writing and your insights would be much appreciated. Thanks and best wishes! –L. B.

  1. If Houston weren’t a four hour drive (not to mention my least favorite city in my state) & I didn’t have to work, I’d be there!

  2. St Louis thanks YOU

    What a great time – you must have been exhausted by the time you got to the event in St Louis and you still gave it everything you had. Did you even get to eat between events! You are truly amazing. Am already 100 pages into Twisted and can’t wait to get back to it.
    Thanks

    1. Re: St Louis thanks YOU

      I ate after the last event… I was too keyed up for food before that. (I wolfed down a foot-long sandwich from Subway!)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come out to hear me. Please comment here when you finish the book and let me know what you think!

      1. Re: St Louis thanks YOU

        Finished it on Friday Morning – amazing – I was talking to people about it all weekend (and don’t worry – I’ll keep talking to people about it…) Reading Twisted and having you visit prompted me to go back and read Speak again, which I did today.
        I could discuss all sorts parallels, or tangents for that matter, do a little compare/contrast, perhaps a persuasive essay on why all teens should be encouraged to read your books (sorry, Speak just dredged up all sorts of vivid memories of high school senior composition)

        But really, You nailed it! ’nuff said.

        Thanks

  3. It’s Liz Burns, the teacher from your visit to Edwardsville…

    …the one who was giving extra credit points. 🙂 I saw you mention me in the tour photos, etc. I thought I would say hello and wish you a speedy recovery on your leg. What exactly happened? I’m a runner, too, so I can appreciate what it feels like to not be able to run–I had to take a few years off myself due to health issues. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a part of me is missing if I go more than about 2 days without a run. Anyway, I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to chat with me at Andi’s store and for your encouragement regarding the article I showed you and my writing. We have much in common (besides running)…I mentioned then that I was one of those teased in school because I got sent to the “special class” for dyslexia (and I think, too, I mentioned how unhelpful those “special teachers” were). If you have a minute, I would like to pick your writer’s brain regarding character development. I’m working on a story right now, based on a personal experience, and developing the people is what always gives me the most fits. Sometimes it works easier than others, but I was curious how you overcome “character block?” You asked me what I thought of the Institute for Children’s Literature (because I’m a student of theirs) and I love it. The instructors are wonderful as is the staff. If the opportunity presents itself, I think you would make a wonderful addition to their faculty. Thanks for your time and I look forward to your insights. –Liz

    1. Re: It’s Liz Burns, the teacher from your visit to Edwardsville…

      A varicose vein had developed an attitude and was causing much more trouble than it was worth.

      I will write about character development on the blog this week. Do you have any specific questions?

      1. Re: It's Liz Burns, the teacher from your visit to Edwardsville…

        Those pesky veins! My electrolyte system developed an attitude a few years ago and it sidelined me from running for quite awhile. When can you start back? Thanks for writing. Do I have any specific questions about characters? Yes, but I’m not sure how to describe what’s on my mind. For me, more often than not, it’s the characters that are most important when I read a story. It can have a weak, inconsequential plot and I’ll overlook that if I can identify with the characters. Although, as I type this, it occurs to me that maybe that’s a function of being a “grown-up,” that perhaps characters are less important (but only to a point) for younger readers. Perhaps younger readers are initially more concerned with what the characters go through and come to like or dislike them based on their handling of “the plot.” Does this make sense? How is it that a character gets “fleshed out?” Perhaps he or she unfolds and comes to life over the course of the story. I’ve been reading children’s and young adult (and later adult authors) books since the fourth grade (beginning with my hero, Nancy Drew), so I’ve read a wide variety of authors and genres over the last 30+ years and while I may not always remember the plot, I do remember the “people.” I’ve also written more nonfiction than fiction, so I’m not as confident in this area in my own writing–but I do love it nonetheless. Ooo! Something has just clicked in to place, going back to my earlier comment about ‘unfolding.’ Perhaps character development is a lot like making a new friend…you get to know him or her a little bit at a time over the course of shared experiences, chats, and emails (or the story, in this case)–plot. Would I be on the right track in thinking this? Thanks for listening and if nothing else, for letting me bounce this off of you. I’m off to finish cover letters to Cricket Magazine (humorous realistic fiction) and Highlights (nonfiction article about Adelie penguins)…and a bite of chocolate. 🙂 –Liz

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