Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pre-Pub Tour Continued!

Maybe a little about book tours in general? This wasn't technically a book tour, which will happen when Daughter comes out (Sept 27) and will be my first book tour ever! *nervous excited nervous excited* This was a pre-publication tour, which I hadn't even known existed until quite recently. Basically, Little Brown awesomely brought me out to four cities to have some lunches and dinners with booksellers and librarians, who would hopefully like me and like my book and want to help usher it into the world :)

Well, it was a whirlwind, and it so fun. There was even an evening in Chicago (Aurora, actually), with teenagers and teachers, many of whom had already read Daughter, some of whom were midway. That was cool.

This was hosted by Anderson's Books in their warehouse, and was a terrific informal evening. (With pizza!) They have amazing outreach into the schools, and I have heard such cool things about their events.

Chicago was the most *leisurely* spot on the tour, with two nights and quite a few free afternoon hours ... most of which were spent writing, though there was that wander I already posted, and with this out my window ...

... how could I stay indoors?

 I met up with local writer James Kennedy for breakfast. Check out the sheer decadence:

(I did not have that.)

James is the author of the brilliant The Order of Odd-Fish, which is seriously the most imaginative and strange read I've had in such a long while. He is also the co-mind behind the 90-Second Newberys, which I will post about soon.

From Chicago it was off to New York, arriving at 2 am at the hotel to discover this in my bathroom ...

Giant disco tub. 

It was a thing of beauty. Alas, I had no time for leisure. My one day in New York went like this: lunch-interview-dinner, bam! I did have time to enjoy a coffee, though. There was something so lovely in the way they served it, in its own mini silver pot, with a little pitcher of hot milk. I felt pampered.

Getting spoiled for nice hotels, guys. These that lovely publicist Lisa selected were a serious cut above what Jim and I usually book for ourselves!

Lunch at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay's restaurant, which was YUMMY.  These folks are from Little Brown and Barnes and Noble -- a very cool opportunity to learn a little more about how B&N works!

And also to pick the brain of Benjamin Ruby, B&N's YA buyer, about ... 

(with Shawn Foster, LLBYR Sales Director)

... George R R Martin, silly. What else? Ha ha. Seriously. A Game of Thrones etc came up at every single stop (more dramatically in San Francisco than anywhere else; more on that later). It has the book world by the throat right now. In a good way. 

Here are, l to r: Megan Tingley, publisher of LLBYR, Alvina Ling, editorial director (and my editor!), and Lisa Sabater, publicist. Aren't they lovely?

And here we have ... the cake that got away. Sigh. Faced with a nearly impossible decision between coconut and chocolate for dessert, I went with chocolate. Mistake. I mean look.

This piece belonged to Liz Sheier, Editorial Director of Digital Content for B&N, who graciously allowed me to pilfer a bite. And then I bit off her hand and stole the whole rest of the piece, dragged it under the table like a hyena with a zebra carcass, made wet eating sounds for about three minutes, reapplied my lipstick, and reemerged as if nothing had happened. Everyone was pretty polite and let it pass, though I do think I caught Liz casting me a recriminating glance over the stump of her missing hand.

So, moving right along ... back to the Little Brown offices for a video interview for the upcoming Daughter website. Aaaand the rest of that hour is a blur. I honestly could not tell you what I was asked or what I replied. We will know in due time if it is coherent. It was my first talk-right-to-the-camera-and-act-natural interview, and it was scary! There have been these moments lately of near-panic, like: I do not know how to do this thing! Or: I am not someone who leads a conga line! Or whatever. And the thing is, you just don't hesitate; just do the thing. Pretend to be someone brave and see what happens.

It seems to be working. But maybe it's a case like drunk people believing themselves fluent in a foreign language, when they're not fluent, they're just drunk :) I'll let you know once I see the interview (will watch through my fingers no doubt).

The technical team was so nice.

I even got de-shiny-fied.

A ramble around the office, and here is Stephanie from Marketing with ... if you look closely ... a still from the Daughter book trailer on her computer. It's really funky and different. Can't wait to show you!

In the halls, Jessica, Ames, Melanie, Faye, and Lisa, lovely ladies of Publicity:

The halls themselves, land of book-makingness:

Back to the hotel for a nap, pause to admire the Ferrari, then out to dinner with NY librarians!

As I said after ALA, librarians are so awesome. Have you hugged a librarian today? (I haven't, not today anyway.) In attendance were Jennifer Hubert Swan who interviewed me at BEA, and Karyn Silverman, both of Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin HS. It was with Karyn at this event that I GRRM'ed out. She was going to the book signing for A Dance for Dragons the very next evening, lucky. Also, an fantasy guru, she is going to help me compile a Fantasy Education List for my blog! That is, a list of fantasy must-reads, because I have so many gaps in my education. Coming soon!

At each table, Lisa decorated with wishbones, feathers, and beads. Such a cool touch.

Finally, a drink at the Algonquin with Ames, Zoe, and Alvina of LB:

So beautiful. The Algonquin is this famous literary hangout from the 1920s -- most famously Dorothy Parker was of the "Algonquin Round Table." Our first book conference to NY Jim and I had a cocktail here, so it was nice to go back. Love this painting by Natalie Asensios:

And how cool is it that the Algonquin has a lobby cat? Matilda is her name, and we spied first her mouse toy, and then her twitching tail. Never got a good look at the dame herself, but here she is in a pilfered photo:

That's New York, and that's it for now. Exhausted. Enfeebled. Sorry for the dearth of links.

Thank you hugely ...


... to Little Brown for this amazing opportunity. Seriously.

I do not hold this luck lightly in my hands. I really can't believe it. Dreams coming true. No words.

Thank you.


Kelley Lynn said...

Wow, livin' the dream baby!


I'm from the Milwaukee, WI area... been to Chicago many a time. Great city :)

Amber said...

What Kelley said! And as you should, Writer McWriter Pants.

" Pretend to be someone brave and see what happens."


LOL @ you under the table eating the cake.


Lisa Schroeder said...

Looks like an amazing time! So happy for you!! Love your polka-dot shoes.

Dang, if I'd known you'd be meeting the B&N YA Buyer, I would have asked you to buy him many drinks and say, now can we remedy that situation where you skipped my friend Lisa's recent book? ;)

JM Gines said...

Thank you for taking the time to post pictures and chronicle your adventures! It's so inspiring to aspiring writers. I've checked your blog like ninety times to see if you'd posted yet heh heh.(hmm maybe that's not something I should admit) Have fun in San Diego!

Alysa Stewart said...

Wow that all looks so awesome! Congratulations on recognition well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! I want that disco tub! If I could ask Santa for only one thing for the rest of my life...

I'd ask him for a husband like Finnick from the HUNGER GAMES series.

But if I could ask Santa for two things, I'd ask for Finnick and that disco tub!

debsfreckles said...

Hey, maybe you could stop being so cute? Sheesh. Your killin' me. Also maybe you could make sure your book tour makes a stop in AZ. Pretty please?

Q said...

Everything looked awesome, but MAN I love those red polka dot shoes.

Jane said...

wow wow wow.
I can't wait for that fantasy education must-reads list! I need that now, I don't know what to read next

storyqueen said...

The last bit, about luck and dreams coming true made me a little teary.

You deserve all of the wonder that is coming your way, Laini.

I love your blog and the inspiration I find here every time I visit. Whether it's something profound about writing or something so beautiful to look at that my breath catches in my throat or a story about Clementine that makes me laugh and remember when my girls were that little...

Wishing even more awesome-ness your way.


James Kennedy said...

Laini! I'm so excited for when SMOKE AND BONE comes out! It's heartening when the marketing machine gets behind the RIGHT person once in a while.

Thanks for the props for THE ORDER OF ODD-FISH, too--I very much cherish that spectacular review you did of it back when it came out. That was my introduction to all things Laini, and I'm so delighted to watch your star climb higher and higher.

The good guys win!

Melanie said...

Oh Laini, you are the luckiest person alive! All due to your fabulousness though, seriously, luck has nothing to do with it.

I seriously am in love with that floral bat t-shirt! My 5yo son has a Batman shirt, so I'm going to template it and make my own! Oh and those orangey-red/white polkadot wedges... to die for!

When oh when, are you coming to Australia?

Beth S. said...

Ummmm... that might be the most awesomest bathtub EVER!

Looks like an awesome trip!

Johari said...

What a wonderful, wonderful thing...dreams into reality.

Congratulations!! :)

Oh, and that bathtub begs to be filled with a ton of Lush products!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this stuff, Laini. I love your polka dot shoes, I love your enthusiasm and bravery, I love that you have made your dreams manifest through talent and hard work, and I love the disco tub!

Anonymous said...

Surely one of your best posts ever. Full of excitement and whimsy and philosophy. And cake worth chewing off a co-workers hand to consume.

And how about that James Kennedy (hellooooo there!)? Talk about hot men of literature!

Sigh. Some amazingly-talented and hard-working writers have all the luck.

vscrol said...

So happy to see that picture of you and
James Kennedy--two of my favorite authors! I'm looking forward to seeing you in Chicago in the fall (And still trying to get my hands on the special UK edition of DAUGHTER :-)

James Kennedy said...

@Anonymous Well, well! Thank you very much!

@vscrol Thanks for the love! Maybe we'll see each other when Laini swings through town in the fall?

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