I’m alive. I’m happy. I’m blessed.

And I have a LOT of catching up to do!

Look for news and stories next week. Until then, keep eating pie.

Road Warrior

Some people have asked about my decision to travel with only a carry-on on this tour. So far, it’s going great.

It helps that I am not terribly fussy about my clothes. I’m wearing dri-fit yoga pants on the tour, with a dryfit black tee-shirt topped by a shirt which is, I hope, more or less presentable. I wear my running shoes on the plane because they are bulky, and switch to my custom Converse for tour events.

packing cubes are the best!

This is everything. My clothes are in the packing cubes. The black thing front left is a portable nebulizer – can’t go anywhere without that. I have to put that, the iPad, my toiletries and meds and shoes in the buckets at airport security screenings. They ALWAYS pull out the nebulizer for a special going-over. Not sure why. I also have water bottle, belt, and hat for running.



see - it fits! In a very clown-car-esque manner, everything fits in the carry-on and rather large purse. (My stuff is from Sherpani, if you are interested.)

I have the chance a couple times on tour to get my laundry done. The reason I am wearing mostly dri-fit stuff is that I can wash and dry it quickly in between official laundry visits. Which might be too much information. But a number of you have written and asked.

This week I’ll be in the mountains of NY and VT, and in Boston. I head for NYC next weekend. And pretty much the entire country after that.

I am visiting schools every day. You can see me at the public events in the afternoon or evening. Here is this week’s line-up:

Monday night in Glens Fall, NY.

Tuesday in Lake Placid, NY.

Wednesday in Burlington, VT, at The Flying Pig!

Thursday at the Brookline, MA Library.

and Friday in Wellesley, MA.

Will I see you there?


FORGE tour – Week 1, pt 2


Thank you to everyone for the kind messages and good thoughts. If the rest of the world knew how much fun it is to turn 49, they wouldn’t angst about it so much.

Special thanks to the teens, parents, librarians, teachers, and booksellers at the Pittsford B&N for making my birthday FORGE tour event such a blast.

yep, that's my dad! My father was super-impressed by the signs!







They made me a birthday cake!! And gave me presents: about 1.5 tons of popcorn, and a popcorn game, and a pen that had my name on it – SPELLED CORRECTLY!!





i love my readers!

Some of the teens came early and camped out. They were smart and brought pillows, blankets, and food!






These guys all volunteers for the Rochester-area Teen Book Fest – the BEST teen book fest in the country. (My visit to the store was part of the fund raising efforts for the fest.) I’ll be speaking at TBF again in 2012.




And a few last pics from Missouri.

Pete the Bookseller from Reading Reptile took me to Charlie Parker’s grave.







And made sure I enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich at Arthur Bryant’s.







Eric is a Twitter friend and a teacher with a massively marked-up copy of CHAINS.







best shirt ever He gave me my new favorite shirt, from the History Geek club he runs. LOVE IT!!







Christine Taylor-Butler is a friend I met at Kindling Words. She took the time to come to my bookstore event, which was VERY much appreciated. It’s always comforting when I can see friends in the audience.

FORGE book tour – Week 1, part 1

First – apologies for not posting in the past week. Things have been crazy, wonderful and busy.

Second – thank you, Garrison Keillor!!! I have been a huge fan of his forever and a long-time follower of his daily Writer’s Almanac feature. So you can imagine my thrill when I woke up this morning and found out that Garrison featured my birthday!!!! (Ahem, yes that is today.) And as if that wasn’t enough – HE PRONOUNCED “HALSE” CORRECTLY!!!!

(Pardon me while I do a few cartwheels!)

The other author mentioned today? Some dude named Michael Crichton. What Mr. Keillor probably doesn’t know yet is that YA authors Alex Flinn and Gordon Korman were also born today.

How old am I today? 49 years old. Which means that now the two-year celebration of my 50th can begin!! (I am not one of those people who freak out about getting older. I figure the alternative is to be dead, and I’m not ready for that yet.)

What am I going to do today? The Book Tour Gods kindly arranged things so that after I spoke at the English teacher’s conference yesterday, I was able to go HOME, which means I woke up in my own bed this morning (awesome!) and started my day with a mug of tea brewed by my Beloved Husband. Right now I’m hanging with my dogs and replaying Garrison Keillor’s thrilling pronunciation of my name over and over again. Might have to turn it into my ring tone.

In a couple of hours I am headed west to Rochester, NY, where I will be speaking at the Pittsford Barnes & Noble at 3 pm today. Care to join me?

In other news, FORGE has hit the streets and Week One of the Book Tour is officially over. Here are some highlights:

The Texas Book Festival in Austin was a blast.

cheerleaders at Webb MS I visited a couple middle schools and was cheerfully greeted. Thank you, ladies!!





food!! Also got to hang out with friends and eat Mexican food at a kidlit party. From the right in this photo: David Weisner, Tony DiTerlizzi, some guy I don’t know, and Varian Johnson.





Fryhover Family! The Fryhover family currently holds the “Drove The Farthest To Laurie’s Event” award. They drove 9.5 HOURS to see me in Austin. They are totally getting Mad Woman in The Forest tee-shirts.





author's best friend Along with visiting schools, libraries, and book stores, I spent several mornings on the phone doing interviews with radio stations all over the country. Anytime you can do an interview in your pajamas it’s a good thing.




Must get ready for my event now. More later, I promise!!

FORGE earns Star #3!

Things are shifting into high gear in the Forest as the book tour approacheth. The suitcase is semi-packed and the washing machine is busy. Hotel and airplane reservations have all been made. More chickens have decided to lay eggs.

Ok, that last bit it not exactly tour-related. But this is.

The Horn Book has given FORGE its third starred review!

“Chains (rev. 11/08) ended with slave girl Isabel escaping from 1776 New York with fellow slave Curzon, who takes over the narration in this sequel. Only fifteen, he enlists in the Continental Army in late 1777. His experiences as a young runaway slave during the American Revolution differ greatly from Isabel’s; though he lives in fear of discovery, he befriends a white soldier boy named Eben and even gains a sense of patriotism and camaraderie serving alongside other soldiers encamped for the winter at Valley Forge. Unfortunate circumstances bring Curzon and Isabel back together, and it is the struggle to mend their friendship and continue their quest for freedom that drives the latter half of the novel. Anderson seamlessly weaves her fictitious characters into history in a cohesive, well-researched narrative about the Revolutionary War that still focuses foremost on developing characters and their interpersonal relationships. Relevant historical quotes at the beginning of each chapter add authenticity, as does Curzon’s firsthand account of daily life at Valley Forge; his detailed narration of privations, inequalities, and hard work compellingly conveys the plight of the common soldier. As one man in Curzon’s regiment explains, Valley Forge “is a forge for the army; it’s testing our qualities. Instead of heat and hammer, our trials are cold and hunger. Question is, what are we made of?” With this riveting sequel, Anderson certainly passes the test. ” —(Oct.) Horn Book, starred review