Monday, May 06, 2013

Endangered Authors US Tour

I'm back home in Blighty now, the tour complete and a mountain of dirty laundry all I have to show for it. If you want to find out more about the tour, your best port of call is the official Wereworld Facebook page. The tour featured four authors - myself, Geoff Rodkey, Jacqueline West and Adam Gidwitz - with Peter McNerney from the Story Pirates the maniac behind the microphone. But this is just a teaser of how things went, the transcript of the final days of the tour and a few choice snaps from the trip. How were those final two days? Let me tell you.

 We were in Connecticut for the penultimate day, our first port of call Meadowside School in Milford where librarian Gail Sostilio and a tremendously excited gang of kids (and teachers) awaited.... Molly Sardella from Penguin had joined the gang - alongside Elyse Marshall the whole tour has been down to their perfect pitch, planning and handiwork. In the afternoon we headed down the road to Abraham Pierson School in Clinton, where librarian Emily Kelsey greeted us with grinning kids and rather fabulous homemade brownies.

Thanks to Karen from RJ Julia bookstore for championing both of these events.
 And the final day? New Jersey awaited, under the watchful eye of Watchung Booksellers (specifically the lovely Marisela and Liane!) What hospitable hosts and grand (and giddy) company! Our first port of call was Charles H Bullock Elementary in Montclair, followed by Ridgewood Avenue school in Glen Ridge. Both schools provided us with a terrific send off for the final Endangered Authors day. Adam's temptation to total the set on the final event at Ridgewood Ave needed to be tempered - I suspect he'd seen a Who documentary or somesuch the night before. Or he'd had too much coffee at the fab Comfort Food Kitchen that lunch. We certainly went out on a high, with Peter pulling out all the stops as Holden A Grudge for the last two shows. There was mad cackling, pantomime child-bullying, screaming, hooting and hollering - all wholesome, nutritious family entertainment. And I only managed to upset one girl with my One Direction mockage (sorry Hannah!)
 Then we were on our way, Jacqui and I the first to depart to Newark for our respective flights home. It was strange and sad to say goodbye to the gang after we'd formed such a tight unit/troupe over the previous three weeks. We'd all got used to one another's oddities: Geoff's need to eat six square meals a day; Peter's inability to imbibe more than one beaker of alcofrolic drink; Jacqueline's moist eyes whenever a waggy-tailed, furry-rumped, four-legged friend trots by; and Adam's penchant for locking his travelling companions in the back of each car we travelled in. Yep, sad indeed to say goodbye to them all as I feel I've made friends for life.
 I've got to say a BIG thank you to Elyse Marshall and Molly Sardella at Penguin who put the tour together. It's been quite an incredible achievement - thank you so much my dears for inviting this wee fella along with such fabulous authorly company.

THANK YOU to all the schools and especially their librarians who have got behind the tour. This has only confirmed to me my suspicion that the job of librarian is truly a calling and one of the most worthy within any school.
 CHEERS to all the students who attended the show - I hope you've fallen in love with all four of the authors who fought for their lives under Holden A Grudge's wicked questioning. Remember - KEEP YOUR HOBBIES! Who knows where they might lead?

LOVE and STUFF to all the wonderful booksellers and stores who have liaised between Penguin and the schools and ensured that every child (and adult) had a chance to snaffle a book or four as a memento of the tour.
But most of all THANKS to my fab four travelling companions. Couldn't have imagined doing this with anybody else. The sadness of our parting is outweighed by my reunion with the Jobling wolfpack back home, though.
Coming next is my report from my trip over to Moscow to speak at the Anglo American International School. It was a hoot and an eye opener. Don't expect my body clock to be in working order again until sometime in May.

 Bada Bling!

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