Book Tour Day 10 – frozen custard & PostSecret

Day 9 started with a drive from Chicago to Milwaukee. We headed to the breathtaking Milwaukee Public Library, where I was greeted by my old friend (and the man who set me on the path to write CHAINS), Ben Franklin.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic He said he hasn’t read CHAINS yet, but he’s hearing good things about it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I looked at some of his books on display. I told him I’ve been hearing good things about them, too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I had lunch with and spoke to a group of Milwaukee librarians, then drooled – at a respectful distance – at the shelves of their rare book collection. They had this giant book of author and artist signatures on display where

Image and video hosting by TinyPic the page showing Maxfield Parrish’s signature was delightful.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Thank you Kelly, Karen and Gail for arranging my visit!

Wisconsin schools were closed Thursday and Friday for the state teacher’s conference, so my Author Shepherd set up six stock signings for the afternoon.

And he made sure I ate a sinful Milwaukee specialty. (Note – a POSTSECRET moment behind the cut!

Book Tour Day 9

I hate baseball, but I love Philadelphia, so GO PHILLIES.

(I cannot believe I just wrote that.)

Yesterday was a calmer-paced day, which was much appreciated.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I went to Crone Middle School, Home of the Cougars to talk to the 8th grade.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic It was Crazy Tie Day at Crone, and I didn’t have a tie with me, but Michael here helped me out and let me wear his while I was talking.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The librarian, Karen Hutt, and the teachers did a terrific job preparing the students. They even decorated the room I presented in with chains hung from the ceiling. This is me with Bill Young. Technically he is my Author Nanny right now, but I’m not sure he would appreciate that title. Bill is one of the best media escorts in the business. He took me around the Chicago area on my PROM tour and it is wonderful to work with him again. I will call him my Author Shepherd, because he’s not quite the nanny type.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The evening event at Anderson’s was wonderful, 50 people with loads of questions, plus a 6th-grader who interviewed me for her school paper. Thank you, thank you to everyone who came out, especially the teachers who didn’t flinch when I admitted I still don’t know what a theme is.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The crowd was mostly teachers and librarians. One of them brought me a copy of CHAINS freshly processed for her library. She said she already has a waiting list for the book.

I leave in a few minutes for Milwaukee (yes, I have been singing the Laverne & Shirley theme song all morning). I’m scheduled for a lunch with librarians, a bunch of stock signings, and then, The Main Event.

Finishing up the librarian thread of today’s post, Librarian Goddesses Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan have published their review of CHAINS on their Bookends blog. Check it out!

TONIGHT’S EVENT: Thursday, October 30 at 7:00 pm: Harry Schwartz Bookshop, Mequon store 262-241-6220.

TOMORROW’S EVENT: Tomorrow is just a travel day. If you see me in an airport, though, I’ll be happy to sign a book!

SATURDAY’S EVENT: Saturday, November 1: several appearances during the day: Delaware Book Festival, Dover, DE.

Book Tour Days 7 & 8 – Playing Catch-up with popcorn and bunnies

So I’ve been on the road for a week. Things are officially starting to get blurry.

Let me play catch-up quick, before I forget everything.

Day 7 was Monday and Monday was….. checks notes…. Chicago! Right!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Windy City with big shoulders!

(Want to know where that phrase came from? Poet Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago.”)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My Author Nanny in Chicago was Judy, who might look like a mild-mannered knitter, but has the driving skills of Mario Andretti and a photographic memory for bookstores, schools, and the locations of every bathroom in Cook County.

Chicago was three school presentations (Hello Highcrest Middle and King Lab Middle School!), a phone interview,

Image and video hosting by TinyPic an internet-radio (I think that’s the right expression) interview with Barnes & Noble (will be on their website next week),

four stock signings,

Image and video hosting by TinyPic a quick chat with Laura and Gillian from Booklist and Book Links, and then

an evening trip to the airport, much muttering at the Departure Screen as my flight out of the city was delayed, delayed, and – finally, stepping foot on the soil of Nebraska for the first time in my life. I was picked up at the airport in the middle of the night by terrific Omaha YA librarian Paul Christopherson.

Picture the Tired Author, struggling down the hotel corridor, the wheels on her suitcase gone funky, her backpack slipping off her shoulders, her little mind whining “Why? Why are we still awake? We never stay up this late!”

Tired Author fumbles with her room key, drops it, fumbles again, and finally – finally opens her hotel room door. And the room smells like……


Why I won’t post on Tuesday

I’m about to board the plane for Omaha and it is already past my bedtime. Day 7 was a blast and very, very busy. I’d show you my pictures except my camera cords are in my suitcase and it is checked luggage because it’s big.

So bear with me for a day or so while I ride this bucking bronco of a schedule.

We should be able to return to our regularly scheduled posts on Wednesday morning. Or maybe Thursday. Definitely Friday!


Laurie, who will start whining if this plane doesn’t show up soon.

Book Tour Days 5 & 6

The pace this weekend was slower – much appreciated – and allowed me to catch my breath and prepare for Week 2.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The lobby of my hotel is decked out for Halloween. This place has a terrific fitness center and I spent yesterday morning on the treadmill watching reruns of the Colbert Show.

But let’s back up to Saturday. The Denver airport was horrific, even though I arrived there at 4:30am. The check-in counter at United was swamped and the shift change at security that was supposed to open up all the security lines was delayed. As a result, I barely made my 6am flight. But I made it, and that’s all that counts.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Saturday was low-key, with one stock signing and the Bookstall signing. My old neighbor and friend Ann Ackerson, who lived next to us back in our Horsham, PA days, came out to see me – that was delightful. The rest of the day was spent on email and thank-you notes and some writing stuff, not what I wanted to do, but the right and necessary thing to do.

Yesterday was even better. After my treadmill time (heavenly), I showered and got ready for the afternoon’s gig at National Louis University. My friend Junko Yokota, a professor of Reading, Language, and Children’s Literature at NLU, had arranged for me to speak to a group of teachers and librarians.

It was Sunday. The Chicago Bears weren’t playing, but teachers and librarians work hard and honestly, I didn’t think many of them would give up a Sunday to hear me speak. I figured maybe 5 or 6 would come out, and we’d have tea and a nice intimate chit-chat, and that would be that.

More than 80 people came out to hear me. One teacher, a ninth-grade English teacher named Grant, drove up from Iowa!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And a local teacher, I think they called him Mr. A, brought a group of students to the event. I was assured they were getting extra credit for this. I sure hope so!

So it turned out to be a terrific afternoon spent talking with interesting and compassionate teachers and librarians. And a few students.

After all the books were signed and the teachers had gone home (sure hope that Grant made it back to Iowa safely), Junko took me out for a quick taste of culture.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We stopped to see the only Baha’i Temple in North America. It is a stunning place. I don’t know much about the Baha’i faith, but I’m going to read up about it.

Thank you for a lovely day, Junko!

Lots of schools and interviews today. If you are trying to find me, come to the B&N around noon, or better yet, go to Naperville for my Anderson’s gig on Wednesday.

TODAY’S EVENT: Monday, October 27: Barnes & Noble, Skokie, not a public presentation event, but I’ll be there signing stock around noontime 847-676-2230. NOTE I’ll be back in the area speaking at Anderson’s Books in Naperville on Wednesday night!

TOMORROW’S EVENT: Tuesday, October 28 at 7:00 pm: Omaha Public Library, Omaha, NE. An all-city event in Centennial Hall at the Alumni House on the UNO Campus, 6705 Dodge St. 402-444-4800

Edited to Add – I just learned the sad news that adult mystery author Tony Hillerman has died. I am a big fan of his work and will miss him.