Book Tour Day 19 – Ode to Grits

Happy Veteran’s Day who all who have served our country, especially my nephew Ryan!

One of the best things about coming to the South is the food.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Breakfast just isn’t a meal here unless you eat grits. I’ve avoided the sausage and biscuits, and fried everything, but I cannot resist a bowl of grits with pepper. Heavenly.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is the best photo from yesterday, two kids diving into CHAINS. I visited three middle schools: a public school, a private school, and a parochial school. They were all fantastic.

My Author Nanny here is Ed, and he braved the Atlanta traffic to get me to five stock signings and he snuck in a quick visit for us to the Decature Farmer’s Market, which is not your average farmer’s market. It emphasizes foods from around the world, like Indian eggplant and durian.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After the market we headed to the Little Shop of Stories, a visit arranged by Terra McVoy seen here. She has a book coming out in the Spring that I suspect we’ll all be talking about, but I promised her I’d wait before I went into details.

No public events for me until Friday! Gah! But don’t fear, I have plenty to do. More Atlanta schools and stock signings today, a flight to Miami tonight, and then two days of school visits down there as part of the Miami Book Festival.

Book Tour Daze 16-18

The last time you heard from me I posted a hasty note then dove into the depths of late last week. Now it’s Week 4 and I’m writing this from my hotel room in Atlanta. Today and tomorrow are busy with schools and stock signings. Wednesday and Thursday will be slower paced as I participate in the Miami Book Festival, then it’ll be off to New Orleans, which I am very excited about!

And next week will be even wilder, but I’ll talk about that later…..

This BookPage interview with me explores the way I researched CHAINS.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I was interviewed at the DC-area public TV station for a website aimed at teachers and parents. When the tape goes live, I’ll let you know.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Then it was off to Politics and Prose for a stock signing – they have an incredible selection of books and cool non-book items.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This is what the last three days of last week looked like: thousands of enthusiastic kids in cafetauriums and libraries. It was awesome.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My evening events were mostly attended by teachers and writers, including my friend Kimmie.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In South Hadley, MA, we had a library full of high school students listening to me in person, and another group participating via Skype connection on the computer. That was fun.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic When I was signing stock at Odyssey Bookshop, one of their local authors wandered in – Leslea Newman.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Thank you, Rebecca of Odyssey for a tremendous day!

TONIGHT’S EVENT: Monday, November 10 at 7:00 pm: Little Shop of Stories, Decatur 404-373-6300

TOMORROW’S EVENT is not an event, but you can find my signed books at The Reading Tree, Alpharetta, 770-740-7171

Book Tour Day ? – What’s My Name?

I haven’t had Internet access recently, hence the lack of posts. That, and by the end of today, I will have spoken to 3,000 students in 3 days. But they were nice kids and I had a blast. I’m just a little…. disoriented. Befuddled.

But not so confused that I can’t remember good news!

CHAINS has been named one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2008.

CHAINS has also been named to the Amazon Top Ten of 2008 List.

This is the end of Week Three of the Tour and I need to do laundry. And I miss my husband. And, yes, the dog. So after my South Hadley, MA events today, I’ll be driving home for a couple of days. I head back on the road Sunday evening. (I’ll post the rest of this week’s photos this weekend, I promise.)

Next week: THE SOUTH – Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Apparently, the Creature With Fangs misses me, too, that’s why she sent me this picture.

BookTour Day 15 – Hope Triumphant

Did you cry? I cried. I’m still crying.

I wonder if Americans felt this way when the American Revolution ended and the sun came up on a new country that was filled with hope, optimism, and the determination to make the future better than the past.

I think they did.

My heart goes out to the people who supported McCain. They’re hurting today. I hope those of us who supported President-Elect Obama will follow his gracious lead and reach across the aisle to reweave the fabric of America. Partisan politics almost destroyed our country. We’ll have countless opportunities every day to repair the damage.

Let me tell you about the cab driver who took me to the airport yesterday.

He fled Ethiopia when that country was rocked by a Communist take-over in the late 1970’s. He had been an electrical engineer with an advanced degree there. Here he took whatever job he could to provide for his family. He became a citizen, paid his taxes, and voted in every election. He and his wife have raised three children: a scientist who is researching HIV/AIDS, an electrical engineer, and a daughter who is entering medical school. And like I said, he drives a cab.

We agreed that an Obama victory would be the greatest event of our lives. “I came to America because I could be safe here and raise my family,” he said. “I came here because Americans are good people. We take care of each other in this country. We work hard.”

That was when he choked up.

The Obama victory is not the end, it’s just the beginning! I think I’ll be humming the National Anthem all day.

Oh, yeah… I’m still on booktour! School visits all day today and tomorrow. My next public event is north of New York City….

TOMORROW’S EVENT: Thursday, November 6 at 6:45 pm: Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, NY 845-677-5857

Book Tour Day 14 – Have You Voted Yet?

Yesterday was three interviews, six or seven stock signings (they started to blur together at the end) and an evening event where people from all different phases of my life showed up.

But I’d really rather talk about the election.

I voted for Barack Obama by absentee ballot before I left on this tour. It was my proudest moment as an American. I figured that my job was done at that point. Most people I’ve met on tour have been supporting Obama, except for a guy who worked for the McCain campaign I ran into in an elevator, who made the mistake of remarking that I must be pleased about McCain’s choice of Palin as his running mate because I am a woman.

That was a fun conversation.

I figured that after yesterday’s hectic schedule, I’d sleep like a rock. I did not factor in how much I am worried about America. I woke up about every half hour, praying for Obama’s victory, for his health and safety and that of his family, and for the future of our country. I don’t think I have ever prayed in my sleep before.

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