the tour that never ends!

Okay, so not really. Eventually, I WILL stop doing appearances for WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE. But not until AFTER The Texas Book Festival (in Austin, Oct 22-23) and the Miami Book Festival and NCTE in Chicago (late November). By that point, I think everyone will be as sick of me as I am of myself, if they aren’t already. That said, though, I LOVE that I am still doing stuff for this book, because it took me not only to Toronto, but the National Book Festival in D.C. I know I have said before how much I love my job, for all kinds of reasons. One is that you get to meet your idols:

Yes, that IS Katherine Paterson, who I have been lucky enough to meet before, but seeing her (and having her know my name!) still is just so, so thrilling. I mean, have you READ Bridge to Teribithia? Enough said. I also got to spend some time with Tomie dePaola, who, aside from being an amazing author and illustrator, is also as a fan of The Real Housewives. Not even kidding!

The Festival itself was two days this year, and just SO much fun. Authors and readers EVERYWHERE. What more can you ask for? I tried my best not to gawk in the author tent, although it was hard, especially when I saw Julianne Moore, who I had met at the BEA breakfast. People: she TOTALLY remembered my name and face. I almost DIED. In fact, I almost died just writing that, that’s how much of a nerd I am. She also signed a copy of her new Freckleface Strawberry book for my daughter, and if you think I will NOT be forcing everyone who comes to my house to look at it, well, then, you just don’t know me very well.

Also, I got to ride in a golf cart! (With my fab author escort Kathryn, who got me everywhere I needed to be):

And speak in front of a GREAT tentful of people:

And sign books and meet SO many awesome readers (that is not Joe Jonas in front of the table, but imagine if it WAS!)

The fact that I was able to be all these places and do all these things is all due to the fab folks from the Library of Congress, who organized the entire festival and really made things run like clockwork. But the fact that this TOUR has gone so well, and I have stayed (relatively) calm throughout, despite travel snaufs and occasional craziness, is all because of my publicist Elyse Marshall. She is always there, behind the scenes, checking and double-checking details, working the signing line to make it run super smoothly, and making sure every single thing I’m given, like cards and notes and little gifts, all make it home safely with me. She is flat out AWESOME. So if you come to any of the remaining events and see her, tell her so! Thanks, Elyse.

Then, it was back in the car, back to the airport, and back home, where I arrived in time to put my daughter to bed (And read her all the books I brought. And show her Julianne Moore’s inscription. Several times.) By the next morning, I was in jeans and flip-flops at the playground, no golf cart, signing line or publicist in sight, watching her work her way up the big slide. My double life. It never fails to blow my mind.

Have a great day, everyone!