Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Un-Still Life

May 25, 2014    Tags: , , , ,   

May is whooshing to its end, and I can’t believe everything that’s been crammed into it: An amazing visit to the school and library in Rye, New Hampshire (read more here: that allowed day trips to Salem and Concord (including a stop at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, which was everything my eight-year-old self could have hoped for), the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Maryland, three local school visits, interviews, Skype chats, and increasingly exciting preparations for the release of VOL. FIVE: STILL LIFE on June 17th.

In celebration of the approaching release, Literary Rambles is hosting a giveaway of one of the books in the series (winner’s choice!) and an interview with me:

The Books of Elsewhere is also being featured at The Book Cellar as part of Middle Grade May:

Next week, I head back to the East Coast for a round of school visits in Fairfax County, Virginia, and then I zoom back home for a slew of release events — like this one:

Jacquline West Still Life Launch Invite(That’s right.  You’re officially invited to the Official Launch Party.  If you’re in the area, and you’re free, and you feel like it, please come.)

More info about all of those release events soon…
View from our cottage window, Rye, NH

Incredible headstones in The Burying Point, Salem, MA

The Burying Point, Salem

Louisa May Alcott’s grave, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord


Endangered Authors (Part III!) Tour Wrap-Up

April 22, 2014    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

…And I’m home.  Funny how when you’re on the road, it feels like you’ve been traveling eternally, and you can hardly remember what it was like NOT to pull your wrinkly clothes out of a suitcase each morning, and you get used to waking up and not knowing what time zone, city, or state you’re in.  And then you get back to your very own house, and all your comfortable routines and favorite coffee cups and non-travel-sized toiletries are waiting for you, and you can hardly believe you ever left at all.

But I’ve got proof: Photos.  Lots of ’em.

In the final two weeks of the 2014 Endangered Authors Tour, we visited Swans Creek Elementary (South Bridge, VA) and the Nysmith School (Herndon, VA), Southern Pines Elementary (Southern Pines, NC) and West Pine Middle School (West End, NC), Hawk Ridge Elementary and Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte, St. Bridget School and G.H. Reid Elementary in Richmond, VA, Ensworth School in Nashville, Fairhope Intermediate and J. Larry Newton in Fairhope, Alabama, and Doss Elementary and Bryker Woods Elementary in Austin. Huge thanks to all the students, teachers, librarians, parents, and booksellers who made all of this possible.

Speaking of booksellers — Signed copies of The Books of Elsewhere, Wereword, The Accidental Adventures, and Tales from Alcatraz are (or were!) available from:

Bookworm Central, Manassas, VA
Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
Cardinal Lane Book Fairs, Charlotte, NC
BBGB Books, Richmond, VA
Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
BookPeople, Austin, TX

Onward to the pictorial proof section…

EA Elevator Richmond
Curtis (Jobling), Sandy (C. Alexander London), Gennifer (Choldenko), and Peter (McNerney) in the antique brass elevator at the Tobacco Company Restaurant in Richmond

Parnassus Books Scroll
With two young readers (Hi, Katie!) and a scroll of Elsewhere artwork at Parnassus Books, Nashville

EA BoE Crowns 1EA BoE Crowns 2
Rows and rows of readers at Doss Elementary, Austin

EA bulletin board
Feeling very welcome in Texas

EA Library Wall
And, on the library wall at Bryker Woods Elementary in Austin, between quotes from Swimmy and Holes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a passage from one of my very own books — and from Harvey, in particular. It doesn’t get any better.


Looking Backward

March 1, 2014    Tags: , , , , ,   

Where to begin?

One month ago today, I was finishing a fantastic visit at Pinewood Elementary School in Eagan and rushing off to the airport.  So much happened between then and now that it all feels chronologically impossible, as though when we finally flew back to Minnesota, we should have been flying back in time as well.

So, working backward, from most recent to least…

On February 25th, I got to do something exceedingly cool: A live online chat with the readers of New Moon Girls.  The magazine reviewed The Books of Elsewhere in their January/February 2014 issue, and the series is up for the Girls’ Choice Book Awards, which is also exceedingly cool.  The girls were bright, funny, and enthusiastic, and the chat went by in a flash.  You can read the full transcript here (and please excuse any fast-typing typos).

On February 21st, I visited St. Mark’s Cathedral School in Shreveport, Louisiana.  The people and the weather were warm and wonderful, and I got to observe a bit of change ringing practice on the cathedral’s massive tower bells.

We spent the weekend of the 26th-27th in New Orleans, where we pastried and coffeed our way around the neighborhoods, and I even got a bit of writing done (as seen here, at my favorite breakfast place on earth).  DSC00069

And, because Mardi Gras is fast approaching, we caught the parade of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus, which, in spite of the rain, made the list of cutest things I’ve ever seen, right between a baby bat wrapped in a washcloth and a porcupine eating a pumpkin.  (Several more photos at my Tumblr, here. For added incentive: This year’s theme was “Dogzilla.”  You know you want to see some more wet dogs in dinosaur suits.)DSC00139

The three weeks before that were spent in Oregon with Ryan’s family.

I don’t generally post the most personal stuff here–or anywhere, really–but this is a big one.

Ryan’s mother, fearless adventurer Sherri West, died on February 12th, four and a half years after her diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer.  She was able to spend most of that time–between bouts of chemo, drug tests, research, and radiation –traveling, exploring, gardening, reuniting with far-flung friends and family; all the things that she loved most.

The entire immediate family was able gather for her last two weeks here.  We spent the days (and some of the nights) telling stories, singing, sharing bourbon and brownies, and at the very end, Sherri was in her own home, encircled by all of us.  It was good to be there.  It is also good to be home.

To the organizers and attendees of events I had to bow out of — in particular, to Vicki Palmquist and everyone at Children’s Literature Network/Books for Breakfast 2014, who were so incredibly kind — and to the librarians and teachers coordinating other events that were nearly rearranged at the last minute, and to the writers in the Twin Cities kids’ lit community who have reached out with notes and help: Thank you for your understanding.  As for the family and friends who’ve supported us, shoveling our driveway, sending messages, making donations in Sherri’s memory… What would we do without you guys? I really don’t want to know.


Recent events, not-so-recent reviews, and one truly awesome map

November 18, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

The last four weeks have been a little crazy: seven school visits, three bookstore events, one book festival, one cross-country road trip, and Halloween in New Orleans.  At Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, I met with lots of wonderful readers (including one with earrings that looked like miniature copies of The Strangers) and got to pet a chicken on its belly.
photo(3)photo 5

At schools in Wisconsin and Louisiana, I answered questions, signed books, led writing workshops, and received hugs and pralines.

In New Orleans, we visited yet another cemetery — Greenwood — and found the Ducoing family tomb, where John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces) is interred.  We also wandered in the Garden District and the Quarter and Audubon park, and bought lots of books and ate lots of pastry and caught beads at a Halloween parade.

IMG_20131102_192712IMG_20131102_171237IMG_20131031_130609Then I returned home to another school visit (here’s a newspaper write-up of this one), rehearsals for The Little Prince, and a middle grade panel at Addendum Books in St. Paul that included me, Brian Farrey (The Vengekeep Prophecies), Lisa Bullard (Turn Left at the Cow), Kurtis Scaletta (The Winter of the Robots), and Anne Ursu (The Real Boy).  I felt lucky just to share a row of stools with these people.

photo 3As long as I’m in the middle of overdue recaps, here are some reviews of The Books of Elsewhere that I missed when they originally appeared:

A recent and very kind writeup on the blog Remembering Wonderland

Great reviews of each book in the series from Common Sense Media

“My Top Ten EPIC Heroes. Or Heroines!” – a list from the Nerdy Book Club blog that puts Olive alongside Harry Potter and Frodo, which is some awfully good company

And now for the Truly Awesome Map.

On Saturday, November 30 — also known as Small Business Saturday — authors all around the country will be joining in Sherman Alexie’s brilliant “Indies First” project (and if you aren’t already familiar, follow the link) by hanging out at local independent bookstores.  As for me, I’ll be back at Addendum Books from 12:00 – 1:00 to chat with customers, recommend books, dust shelves — whatever Katherine and Marcus want me to do.  To help book-shoppers find out what authors will be where–and there are some HUGE names taking part in this!–IndieBound has created this incredible map of participating bookstores all around the country.  I hope that you’ll check out your local bookstores, maybe drop by one or two or more for signed copies and conversation, and show your brick-and-mortar shops some love.


One of those posts where you’ve procrastinated for too long and now have twenty disparate things to mention

September 10, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

Yep, this is one of those.

I can’t believe September is already one-third over.  The end of the summer was a whirlwind: a visit from the in-laws, a final round of revisions on STILL LIFE, and my (not-so-little) brother’s beautiful lakeside wedding.

Dan and Katy Getaway CarCongratulations, you two.

Now I’m digging back in to the Shakespearean YA project, which has been put aside for so long that I can see it clearly again.  I’m eagerly destroying and rebuilding, rewriting and reacquainting, and spending a lot of time staring dazedly into the distance as new ideas fit themselves together.  It feels really, really good.

My fall schedule is rapidly filling with school visits and public appearances.  Among the recently added (public) events are:

Wild Rumpus Bookstore, Minneapolis – Saturday, October 26, at 1:00 p.m.  Reading, signing, chatting, and all sorts of special Halloween fun.

Addendum Books, St. Paul – Saturday, November 16, at 1:00 p.m.  This is a group middle-grade author event, featuring me, Anne Ursu, Kurtis Scaletta, and Lisa Bullard. (I’ll be insanely excited just to be in the same store with these writers, so please come and watch me make a fool of myself.)

And new information is constantly being added to the Louisiana Book Festival website.  The Festival is held in Baton Rouge on Saturday, November 2nd; once I know just when and where I’ll be speaking, I’ll share the info here.

Even with book releases, summer tends to be the quietest time of the year for me, events-wise.  I’m looking forward to a new round of school visits… And speaking of schools, this 4th grade class in Milford, CT read THE SHADOWS, created their own magical paintings, and wrote short stories to accompany them.  Learning that your work has inspired others to create things of their own — stories, paintings, playground games, new names and histories for their stuffed animals — is just about the coolest thing in the world.IMG_5605-1

Thanks, Ms. Nastasia, and everyone at Meadowside Elementary. 

Another cool Elsewhere-in-the-wild sighting, this one courtesy of my very own editor:

Water Street Bookstore Exeter NH On display at Water Street Bookstore, with THE SHADOWS sold out, in Exeter, NH.  If I ever/finally get to New England, I’ll have to make a stop there.

And (I was serious about the twenty disparate things) I am starting to use Tumblr at last.  I know a lot of my readers can’t/don’t use Facebook, so I’m hoping this platform will be a bit more accessible.  I don’t think it will take the place of this blog, in terms of actual information, but it may outdo it in number of dog pictures.  We will have to wait and see.


Summer Events

June 24, 2013    Tags: , , , ,   

In three weeks,  THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS will appear with a burst of shimmery purple in bookstores, mailboxes, and readers’ hands!   23 days and counting.


June began with a week of school visits in DC/northern Virginia.  To the fabulous teachers, librarians, and students at Porter Traditional School, Centre Ridge Elementary, Eagle View Elementary, Crestwood Elementary, Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary, Old Bridge Elementary, and Laurel Hill Elementary: Thanks again for the welcome, the pizza and strawberries, the works of art, the fabulous questions, the follow-up emails…and most of all, for reading my books.   Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And more thanks go to the staff at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, for providing boxes full of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE.

Now, with most schools out for the summer, I’ll have a couple of quiet-ish weeks before THE STRANGERS events kick off.   And THEN…

Thursday, July 11: THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME THREE: THE SECOND SPY is released in paperback.

Saturday, July 13: I’ll be at the Anderson Center here in Red Wing, MN for the annual Summer Celebration of the Arts — an outdoor festival featuring local food, art, and entertainment on the Anderson Center’s gorgeous grounds — selling and signing my books, including a limited number of pre-release copies of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS.  Come on down/up/out and join us.

Tuesday, July 16: THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS is released in hardcover and downloadable audio format.  The book is already available for pre-order, so visit IndieBound, Amazon, or B&N anytime.  And if your favorite bookstore doesn’t have it on the shelves, ask them to order it — word of mouth means so much.  AND, for those of you who have been waiting for it, THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME THREE: THE SECOND SPY will also be released in downloadable audio format.  More info on that when I’ve got it.

Saturday, July 20: Party for THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE at Karma Gifts, 204 N. Main Street, River Falls, WI.  Art projects, treats, reading, Q&A, book signing — the whole shebang — and copies of THE SHADOWS, SPELLBOUND, THE SECOND SPY, and THE STRANGERS will be available.

Saturday, July 27: I’ll be reading, chatting, and signing books at Valley Bookseller, one of my favorite bookshops, in Stillwater, MN.

Those of you who live far from my part of the world: I love getting pictures of my books in the wild.  If you spot copies of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE — and THE STRANGERS in particular — in bookstores, libraries, or readers’ hands and feel inspired to send me photos (, I’ll share them on my blog.







Thank you notes

May 29, 2013    Tags: , , ,   

So, I had some minor surgery on my tear duct yesterday, which means that today I’m a little black-eyed and bloody-nosed and bleary — but hopefully I will not have to make any more public appearances while crying out of one side of my face.   Hooray!  (Even better: They had to verify the site of the operation with permanent marker, and my doctor’s initials are JK, so it looks like someone punched me in the eye and then wrote “Just Kidding!” over my eyebrow.  It’s pretty great.)

And what better time to catch up on blogging than while lounging groggily on the couch?  None.  Groggy blogging.  Here we go.

From the time we were able to print, my brothers and I were trained to write thank-you notes for any gifts we received.  Because Christmas and my birthday were four days apart, I spent a lot of each post-holiday season squirming on my knees beside the living room coffee table, whining and sulking and wrestling with mannerly writer’s block.   But Mom persisted, as mothers are wont to do.  And eventually I would finish writing the thank-you notes and send them out into the world, often to relatives who lived only a few miles away.  The crazy thing is, a lot of those relatives kept my thank-you notes.  As a graduation gift, my (Fairy) Godmother Kris gave me a scrapbook full of letters and drawings and thank-you notes that I had sent to her over the years.  When we emptied out the big family house after my grandparents died, we found scads of thank-you notes from grandchildren, all written in shaky print or flourishy cursive.  (My own favorite might have been the one from me that read, “Thank you for the pretty rosary case! I’m always losing my rosary, and now I’ll always be able to find it,” like the future little nun/saint that I wasn’t.)

I still try to write actual, on paper, through-the-mail thank-you notes today, because I like getting them from others, and I think a thank-you that’s put in words, that you can hold in your hands, is something special.  But sometimes sending actual notes is difficult, like when we only make contact with someone through email, or when the list of thanks grows impossibly long, or when schedules get so hectic that we barely remember where we were and what we did there by the time we get home to our stationery.

So here are some belated (and not on paper) thank-you notes:

Thank you to everyone who made April is for Authors in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, such a great event — especially Sue and Helen, the coordinators, and Helen’s husband, who came flying out of his house very early in the morning in order to get me to my second school visit on time.  Thanks to everyone at Starlight Cove Elementary and Morikami Park Elementary, especially media specialists Christie Connors and Becky Brant (and to Christie’s parents, who drove me around and got me lunch and told me all about high school hockey), and to all the kids who gave me amazing thank-you notes of their own after my visit.  Thanks to volunteer coordinator  Thais Villanueva, who fed me amazing Cuban black bean soup beside her beautiful swimming pool, and thanks to Andy Larson, founder of Thinkersize, for creating a Cranium CoRE game for The Shadows.

IMG_20130427_091821Here’s one group getting ready to play Cranium CoRE.  They picked the team name “AUSOM: The Absolutely Unrelenting Seriousness of Mathematics,” which made me happy.

Thank you to all the staff and students who made this year’s Hiawatha Valley Young Writers’ Conference at Winona State University possible.  The setting, the concept, and the all people involved were exciting and inspiring.

Thanks to everyone at St. Croix Central School, especially 4th grade teacher Ann Leque, for making last week’s school visit happen.  I’ve never spoken in a giant tent before, and the students were wonderful.  I’ll be thinking of all of you as repairs to your school and library move forward.  (More on the SCC arson and the school’s current home at “Panther Camp” here and here.)

And thanks to the third grade teachers at Burnside Elementary here in Red Wing (especially Emily Seefeldt, who made it all happen!), for using my books as a read-aloud, and for getting the students so excited about these stories.  What a treat to speak right here, in my hometown, to a group of such engaged and enthusiastic kids.

On Sunday, I head to the Washington DC area for a week of school visits!   Hopefully my black eye will have faded by then…

Ooh, one last important note: Earlier this spring, I got a lovely letter from a 6th grader in Santa Ana, CA, named Flor M.  I sent a reply, but it was returned to me, because the return address provided was incorrect or incomplete.  Flor, if you happen to read this, I hope you’ll double check the address and send me a message at


Endangered Authors Tour Wrap-Up (with fake awards!)

April 26, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

The big tour is over, although I’m not home yet — I’m in sunny Palm Beach, Florida, meeting with some wonderful kids as part of April is for Authors — and I’m feeling the mix of sadness, weariness, and wistful joy that comes after the run of a play (or after a delicious and way-too-huge meal). I miss my fellow Endangered Authors and our diabolically smarmy game show host already.  Sigh.

During our final few days, we had a fabulous time with the kids at Hollin Meadows Elementary and Mt. Vernon Community School in Virginia, at Meadowside School and Abraham Pierson School in Connecticut, and at C.H. Bullock Elementary and Ridgewood Avenue School in New Jersey. Huge, HUGE thanks to the booksellers at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, VA, R.J. Julia in Madison, CT, and Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ.  (Get your signed copies at these locations now, Wereworld/Chronicles of Egg/Grimm/Books of Elsewhere readers!)

And now, without further ado, here are Jacqueline West’s Completely Unofficial First-Ever Endangered Authors Tour Awards…

Best chai: Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama. (Oh my god.  And there’s more than one kind.)

Best school wildlife: The tiny chameleons skittering through the grounds at Carver Middle School, Miami.  Adorable.

Best dressed: Team West at Palmer Trinity.

Most memorable student conversation: With Anastasia at Campbell County Middle School, who asked, ‘Have you ever had anyone tell you that you couldn’t write because of who you are?’ and then shared her own story with us.

Best comeback to host Holden A. Grudge’s snarkiness: 6th-grader Miguel at Palmer Trinity, who said, ‘This is the first time I’ve met a Holden, and I would have expected you to have the last name Caulfield, but instead you are just a phony.’ Even Holden was rendered temporarily speechless, but he promised Miguel that he would email his own comeback — when he thought of it — to ‘’

Best beer list: Brick Store Pub, Decatur, Georgia.  Overwhelmingly awesome.
(Adam Gidwitz, Peter McNerney, Geoff Rodkey, powerhouse bookseller Diane Capriola of Little Shop of Stories, marvelous YA author Terra Elan McVoy, and Curtis Jobling, over a barrel.  Ha.)

Best bathroom: Little Shop of Stories (complete with The Books of Elsewhere poster by the sink.)

Best tale of a school visit gone wrong: Curtis, hands down.  I can’t repeat it here, but the other four of us laughed so hard we hurt ourselves.

Best photo prop: West University Elementary, Houston.
(Geoff, Curtis, and Adam all live in a yellow submarine.)

Best celebrity sighting: The entire current lineup of Styx in our Chicago baggage claim.  One of them was smoking an electronic cigarette.  Middle-aged rebellion.

Most coma-inducing meal: This one.
(At Gino’s East, Chicago.)

Best kiss: From service dog Peanut, at Oak Terrace Elementary.  IMG_20130419_145023IMG_20130419_144852

Most brilliant blog: Geoff Rodkey. This entry in particular.

Favorite Hotel: The Warwick, NYC.  Schmancy.  Hanging out there with my dear friend Emily (see her incredible work at Haptic Lab) made it even better.

Best Holden A. Grudge book pitch: It’s tough to narrow it down, but it might have been the peacock with the bacon tail, or the rainbow that became a boy with five differently colorful personalities, or the talking mountain of spaghetti and the German mozzarella mountaineer…  (Please head over to the Wereworld Books Facebook page and see several of them for yourself –check out the two from April 17th in particular; you might hear me crying in the background–and if you’re in New York, go see Peter’s weekly improv show, Trike, at Magnet Theater, and know that I am envious of you.)

Two more sleeps, and I’ll be home.











Endangered Authors, Week 2

April 22, 2013    Tags: , , , ,   

It’s the end of another exciting/exhausting week on the road!  The “Endangered Authors” show is running like a smooth and bookish circus: We pile out of the minivan, snap the set together, talk and laugh with kids, and zoom away again, leaving the scent of Sharpies in our wake.  For another (and another) perspective on the tour, check out this review in ( and this blog by a teacher at Carver Middle School, Miami (  Thanks for spreading the word, Pamela and Janas!

This was my fifth visit to Texas in two years — the Lone Star state has been awfully good to me — and we had a great time in Houston and Austin on Monday and Tuesday.  Thanks again to everyone at West University Elementary, Bunker Hill Elementary, Mills Elementary, Kiker Elementary, and to the booksellers at Blue Willow Bookshop (where, by the way, signed copies of our books are currently in stock), and to the fabulous folks at Perma-bound.

IMG_20130415_103939(A slew of signed books at West University Elementary)

Then it was off to Chicago, where torrential rain caused some crazy flooding, turning roads into rivers, schoolyards into swamps, and cemeteries into zombie aquariums…or so we imagined.  Dozens of schools were forced to close, including Hester Junior High, where we were supposed to stop on Thursday.  [Students/staff at Hester JHS: We’re sorry we missed you. If you’d like to arrange an email interview, or get some signed bookplates, or schedule a future in-person visit with me, please get in touch any time.]  To everybody at Lincoln Middle School, Cossitt Middle School, Heritage Middle School, Lincolnwood School, and Oak Terrace School: You were awesome.

Here’s the crowd at Lincolnwood on Friday morning, making us feel welcome (and slightly deaf):IMG_20130419_101056

Chicago is a wonderland of indie booksellers.  To find signed copies of The Books of Elsewhere, The Chronicles of Egg, Wereworld, and A Tale Dark and Grimm, visit The Book Stall in Winnetka (where Robert can answer all of your kids’ lit questions), Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park (thanks again for braving the deluge, Rosie!), and Anderson’s in Naperville.

While the rest of the troupe flew home to NYC for some family-hugging and underwear-washing, Curtis and I headed on to DC.  We spent today visiting TWELVE local bookstores to sign books (it was supposed to be THIRTEEN, but we were just a few minutes too late for the downtown B&N), so for a limited time, you can find signed copies of Wereworld and The Books of Elsewhere at almost every DC-area Barnes & Noble, at Books-A-Million in McLean and at Dupont Circle, and at the practically perfect Politics & Prose Bookstore.

Here’s the staff picks display at the Rockville, Maryland Barnes & Noble, which made me very happy:

(Not staged, I swear)

And here’s famous author Curtis Jobling in the children’s section at Politics & Prose:


And lastly, here’s some student art from Lincolnwood Elementary:

Read Forever Lincolnwood El

“Read Forever.” Good advice.




Endangered Authors Tour, Week 1 (mostly pictures and thank-yous)

April 11, 2013    Tags: , , , ,   

Hey, everybody!

We’re wrapping up our first week of traveling, school-visiting, and book signing.  Things have been marvelous all around, although I’m starting to feel a bit loopy and disoriented. (This morning, I couldn’t find my glasses, my phone, or the buzzing alarm clock, and I spent several seconds wondering where on earth I was and whether I was supposed to be asleep there before I found my glasses, saw palm trees out the window, and remembered that I was in my very own hotel room in Miami.)  Geoff Rodkey and Curtis Jobling are top blokes, as Curtis himself might say, and they’ve both been blogging about the tour.  You can read their delightful observations here and here; I’m feeling too out of it for a full-scale recap.  Maybe later.  For now: Pictures!!!

IMG_6387Watching Curtis mock One Direction and sparkly vampires at the Davis Academy in Atlanta, Georgia

IMG_6408Chatting with readers at the Davis Academy

IMG_6422Assembling the crazy collapsible set

IMG_6472The crowd at St. Thomas More School in Decatur, Georgia

IMG_20130410_103152Curtis enthusiastically signing books at Page & Palette between school visits in Fairhope, Alabama

Speaking of signed books, you can now find signed copies of all four of our series (A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Chronicles of Egg, Wereworld, and The Books of Elsewhere) at the following fantastic independent bookstores:
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA
Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

These are the kind of bookstores that give me hope for the future.  Huge, HUGE thanks to all of the booksellers who have hosted us, and who have connected us to these amazing schools:

– Campbell County Middle School, Alexandria, KY
– Davis Academy, Atlanta, GA
– St. Thomas More School, Decatur, GA
– Fairhope Intermediate School, Fairhope, AL
– J. Larry Newton School, Fairhope, AL
– Carver Middle School, Coral Gables, FL

The enthusiasm, insight, and warmth of the kids at each of these stops has blown us away. Palmer Trinity School and Gator Run Elementary: We’ll see you tomorrow!


In Minnesota, there’s an April snowstorm.  In Miami, there’s an orchid in my drink.


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