Last week I left my home in Florida to travel up to Pennsylvania and then New York City for some very cool authorly-type experiences. So this post will be a very quick over view of all that happened.
I headed to the airport on a Tuesday afternoon, tired after prepping for my book signing here in Florida the weekend before.
I pricelined my flights because I am cheap which was a mistake since I ended up on a very small plane twice that day and I was pretty queasy after flight #2.
I arrived in Pennsylvania and spent the next few days visiting with my parents who live there and my brother and his family. The weather was amazing. Considering that fall is a nonseason here in Florida, it was nice to experience the leaves starting to change and the cooler weather. I got to wear a leather jacket and boots, yay!!
I signed stock at the Barnes and Noble in Lansdale, PA the day after I got there and generally tried to settle in and do some work for the first few days. Then it was off to my first official school visit at Norristown High School where I met some very cool kids and took part in a taped interview, my first! It was both nerve-wracking and fun!
I spent the rest of that afternoon signing books at Hendrickson's, the interior design/furniture store where my mother works. They were kind enough to buy several boxes of books and display them in the store. What a very unusual, but neat way to get my books out into the world! Thanks to Ginny Hendrickson for setting it all up!
The next day was my hometown book launch at The Doylestown Bookshop. The store was beautiful and charming and nestled in the midst of some very unique shops. Can't wait to go back again someday.
Then I had a day off to visit family and generally breathe before it was time for school visit number two at Council Rock South High School. This was my first time speaking in an auditorium in front of hundreds of kids at a time. SO fun, but another nerve-wracking morning. The audiences for both assemblies were awesome and asked such good questions. One of my favorite things to do as an author is hang out with readers and teens and talk, so this was a very good day.
The next day I was up before five am to catch a train to New York City. This was the day I'd been waiting for for the past two years. I was going to meet my editor and all of the Random House people who worked so hard to get Gated ready for release. It was by far, the best day of the trip. I toured the Random House building and had lunch at this great Italian place with my editor, her boss, and my publicist. It was fancy and I felt fancy...until I realized later that I had spinach in my teeth! So much for being cool! Still, the time I spent at RHC was completely amazing. To see how much effort and time had gone into my book and to hear people there rave about it was enough to make me tear up. My book found a very good home indeed!
I spent the rest of that afternoon walking the city and taking in the sights, from the decadent stores on 5th Avenue to the absolutely beautiful New York Public Library while I slowly made my way down to Book Of Wonder where I was scheduled to be on a panel that night. Yep, for those New York readers, I walked from 55th all the way down to 18th.
When I arrived at Books Of Wonder, the staff was just finishing the set up for the panel discussion I was to take part in with Ally Carter (I know, the Ally Carter, eep!), Elizabeth Kiem, and Kass Morgan (who looks just like Zoey Deschanel). I was pretty nervous as this was my very first panel (so many firsts this trip!). I met the other authors and then watched in amazement as the entire store filled up with people---all with Ally's books tucked under their arms. I honestly couldn't believe that I got to be in front of that many people---as a real, live author!! I've been to plenty of those events as a reader/fan, but this...was a new and incredible experience. I kept trying to memorize everything about it because it was a real Cinderella moment for me and I didn't want to forget any part of it. My publicist and editor showed up and my critique partner Jenn, who I was able to meet in person, FINALLY! My parents were also there, grinning at me and taking loads of pictures.
On the last day of my trip, I got to go to Random House one last time and have lunch with my editor, the foreign rights duo that have successfully sold Gated to both Germany and Turkey, and my German editor, who I never thought I'd be lucky enough to meet. She happened to be in town for meetings, so the timing for my own visit couldn't have been more perfect. She was lovely as was everyone else at the table. By now I was really starting to feel spoiled. Fancy lunches in NYC, book signings, school visits--everything I dreamed about when I first got my book deal was happening and it was every bit as cool as I hoped it would be. After lunch I had a few minutes to buy souvenirs for the family (NYC purses for my girls filled with NYC pens, puzzle erasers, and oversized NYC chocolate coins and two NYC t-shirts for my husband--cheesy and ultra touristy just the way he requested them!) and then it was back to the train station and Pennsylvania for one last night with my family before I headed home. I gotta say, this author thing? NOT TOO SHABBY. I think I could really get used to it!