Thank you to everyone who joined me and Susin Nielsen on the tour last week. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, Susin is the brilliant author of Word Nerd, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen and, most recently, We Are All Made of Molecules. She’s dazzlingly funny and I’ve known her since she adapted Alice, I Think into a T.V. series. It was a thrill to go on the road with her.
We met many wonderful booksellers, including Beth, Sarah, Dallas and Stacey, Tina, Tami.
We had a reception with amazing book bloggers that included cupcakes and cheese (all receptions should include those things).
We had a fabulous event at the Toronto Public Library attended by the supportive and hilarious members of CANSCAIP, a Teen Book Event at the Ottawa Public library moderated by future talk show hosts Jesse and Laura.
(You can tell from my scarf that I am the one from Vancouver Island. And no, we didn’t coordinate our clothes beforehand. Blue was in the air.)
We were accompanied to school visits by booksellers Mabel’s Fables (thanks again to Melissa for the incredibly kind review of The Truth Commission!) and Kaleidoscope Kids Books in Ottawa. Thanks to the students at Agincourt Collegiate and librarians Stacy and Paul, students at AY Jackson, and those who came to Nepean Centrepointe and OPL main branch and librarians Courtney and Jessica, as well as Jessica Roy who arranged everything. And finally, ultra thanks to Paul Coccia, who was our guardian angel of tour treats. He brought us a plate of the most astonishing little cupcakes, some Italian nibblies and a box of chocolates that are so beautiful I’m saving them until there is a deserving moment.
During our tour I learned a lot from Susin Nielsen. Here are just a few of the life skills I picked up from her:
1. Ask questions. You’d think I would know how to do that since I am a grown-ass woman. But no. I usually just show up and hope for the best. It’s amazing what you can learn if you ask questions. Good questions to ask may include but are not limited to: Where are we going? What should we do when we get there? From now on, I’m going to make a point of finding out such things because they are handy to know!
2. Carry-on. Always. I overpack like a twelve-year-old. Seriously. If you let me, I’d bring everything I own everywhere I go. There would be old toiletries spilling out of plastic grocery sacks as far as the eye can see. Susin, by contrast, is a ninja packer. Maybe even a Jack Reacher packer. Out of a slight sense of shame, I did carry on until we separated for our flights home. As soon as Susin’s taxi was out of sight, I unzipped my suitcase, put everything I’d had spread into other bags and all of the heavy clothes I’d layered onto myself and stuffed it all in there. Then I checked it. Whew! I thought. Won’t have to lift that over my head on the way home. For my sins, I was bumped off my last flight and the airline lost my checked suitcase. Fine. I will henceforth pack like a grown-up.
3. Eat slightly healthy food. When I travel, I become convinced that the laws of calories no longer apply and I enjoy a bit of stress eating. Then I wonder why I feel so bad. Susin is a proper eater and an inspiration to me. That said, she didn’t judge when I ate a rosti and enormous Italian sausage at 10:00 at night at the Marche in Toronto.
4. She taught me that if there is a Clifford head in the store, you should probably give it a try.
5. If you are going to take a red eye flight, bring an eye mask. You can even pop it on in the bar before the flight leaves.
6. Finally, Susin and her husband travel a lot and for my trip home she gifted me a lounge pass at Air Canada. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WENT ON IN THERE! Free drinks! Lasagne! Chips and salsa! One bite brownies! Comfy chairs! Man. If I ever decide to travel (which is not likely because I hate having to leave most of my stuff at home) I’m going to do whatever it takes to get access to the Snack Lounge of Luxury.
I would like to give a special thanks to everyone at Penguin Random House, particularly our publicists Vikki Vansickle and Pamela Osti and editors Lynne Missen and Tara Walker.
Here my Canadian editor Lynne and I get up close and personal with some of my books.
Here is Vikki. She’s an amazing writer as well as a publicist.
She actually came to Sephora with me. It turns out that I am the first author to waste her time this way! A new low!
I also discovered a new trend at our lunch together:
A side salad served on HALF the plate. Where, you might ask, is the rest of the dish? Was it thrown in the garbage? Did the waiter eat it on the way to the table? No! It’s just salad shoved onto the side of the plate. This was an effective plating technique because it decreased my expectations for the salad and the restaurant as a whole and I was pleasantly surprised when the salad was delicious.
And again, thanks to everyone who took time to meet us and who followed our adventures on Twitter and facebook.
I will save my final thank you to lovely Susin Nielsen who is the best tour date a writer could have.
P.S. And please don’t forget to join us for our joint book launch next Tuesday, May 19 at Kidsbooks at 7:00.