Week one of the Endangered Authors tour (part III!) is done. It was a more endangering week than any of us expected: we were in outer Los Angeles during Friday night’s 5.4 earthquake. I was standing at the hotel room sink at the time, and my first thought was that some rude group of people was running loudly up and down the hallway above me, which shows what a weird old curmudgeon I’ve become. And then the walls started to sway. I stood in the doorframe, watching the curtains swish back and forth and hoping that I wouldn’t have to run outside in my glasses and my hotel bathrobe…and then the rumbling and swaying stopped, and everything was fine. (It was kind of exciting, really, at least to this Minnesotan. Still, if no tornadoes, hurricanes, or Biblical plagues follow us on the next leg of the tour, we all be happy.)
Earthquake excepted, California was very good to us. Curtis Jobling (Wereworld), C. Alexander London (An Accidental Adventure), Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts) and I spent our days getting threatened by diabolically smarmy game show host Holden A. Grudge (actually the brilliant actor Peter McNerney) and being rescued by excited young readers, and the show just keeps getting better. Thanks to everyone at Lakeview Elementary and Oak Meadow Elementary in El Dorado Hills, to Brittan Acres in San Carlos and Sacred Heart in Atherton, to all the schools and students who joined us at Amador High in Pleasanton, to Grant Elementary in Petaluma and Monte Vista Elementary in Rohnert Park, and to Telesis Academy in West Covina and De Anza Elementary in Baldwin Park, who even helped me sing “Happy Birthday” to my dad — thanks again, guys!.
Double-extra-huge thanks to the booksellers at Face in a Book (El Dorado Hills), The Reading Bug (San Carlos), Towne Center Books (Pleasanton), Copperfields (Petaluma), and Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fairs (Los Angeles), all of whom now have signed copies of The Books of Elsewhere, Wereworld, The Accidental Adventures, and the Tales from Alcatraz in stock.
Now we’re in lovely Alexandria, Virginia. Tomorrow we’ve got two local school visits before we head down to North Carolina. Nashville, Alabama, Austin: We’ll see you soon!