I had an amazing time on my debut week as I toured the Southwest with Michelle Gagnon (DON'T LOOK NOW), Rae Carson (THE BITTER KINGDOM), Sherry Thomas (THE BURNING SKY) and Madeleine Roux (ASYLUM). Honestly if more fun would have been had, bail money would've been involved.
Because I live in the middle of nowhere, I had to start my travels by traveling. On the way to the airport hotel for a night of sleeping before flying, I stopped by the local Barnes & Noble to see my book "in the wild," as we say. One of my oldest friends met me there, and we showed off our mutual babies - (hers real, mine a book baby).
I think me stuffing a book up my shirt is what drew the attention of the sales clerk, but when I established that I'm allowed to rub NOT A DROP TO DRINK on my navel because I'm it's book mommy she was cool with it. And then I signed stock, which was pretty darn fun.
An obscenely early hour found me on the way to the airport to fly to our first stop - Las Vegas! I sat next to a very nice lady on the plane who was shocked that I'd been writing for ten years, since I "look like I'm twelve." I wasn't sure on the compliment rank on that one, but I still appreciated the sentiment.
Rae Carson and I arrived in Las Vegas with head colds from hell, but it didn't seem to bother the Vegas folk, mostly because none of them were awake at that hour. We ended up in fancy-pants hotel and I think the front desk must have noticed our virus level because they put is in a tower that was... pretty empty. Nothing as surreal as walking through a vacant 5 star hotel.
I told Rae they obviously built it just for us.
Maddie, Sherry and Michelle all arrived as Vegas started to awaken and we bustled off to our first signing at a Barnes & Noble. The bookstore owner had made mini-chocolates with the Dark Days logo and our covers, so Maddie and I decided that obviously those should not be left to their own devices post-signing, and filled our purses.
I'm really not sure why I thought having 30 mini-chocolates in my purse was a good idea. I bet the people manning the X-ray machines at the various airports we trundled through were curious as well.
We spent the night in Vegas and hopped over to Denver, where we signed at The Tattered Cover - a fantastic indie that I would like to go live in. Some of my in real life friends popped up there, including 2014 debut author Tara Dairman, and a couple of gals that I wish I lived nearer to!
You can spot round silver signed-by-the-author labels in this photo from The Tattered Cover. Sherry Thomas made personalized sheets of those for every one of the Dark Days girls. Mine has a vicious looking drop of water on it - go figure.
The next day was rather insane - we woke up in Denver and flew to Houston where we had hotel rooms reserved simply for us to pee in, as we would be flying back OUT to Austin after our book signing at Blue Willow Books. I've never peed in a nicer setting.
Before leaving Denver we decided we should re-enact the opening of Reservoir Dogs, as one does.
We shot out of Blue Willow and headed straight for the airport to catch a midnight flight to Austin to get ready for Austin Teen Book Festival! In our first appearance we went head to head with the Fierce Reads girls (Marissa Meyer, Leila Sales, Alexandra Coutts and SA Bodeen), much to the enjoyment of the crowd. I think the kids got a kick out of it, and I have to add that Rae and I kickass at her making me guess what's behind me on a screen.
Also usually they only let professionals into the green room, but exceptions were allowed in our case.
Shortly thereafter we had our second panel, (moderated by REBOOT author Amy Tintera), where we answered questions about writing and our books. Also, I sang a Weird Al song, Maddie talked about sacrificing lambs, Sherry shared Costco shopping secrets, Rae mentioned magical naval bling and Michelle casually clued us in to the fact that she used to dance in a Russian club.
Yes, we're that kind of fun.
Then we signed and great fun was had by all. In fact, a bit too much fun as the festival ran about forty minutes over allotted time and we were all kicked out by security. Except for Sherry Thomas who literally hid behind her stack of books and kept signing.
It was an amazing time. I had a TON of fun. In case you can't tell from the videos, we got along pretty well.