Back Home to Pyjamas and Bears (and a Very Stern-Looking Deadline)

Hello lovely readers!

It’s been about a month since my last blog post, which, I’ve just noticed, seems to be about how long it takes for my guilt complex to kick in and make me do another blog.  Hmmm!  I’d say, “Oh, OK, maybe I’ll just plan to blog once a month, then,” but I’m afraid that would let the guilt off the hook and then it wouldn’t work quite so well and then I would never blog until I felt REALLY guilty.  You know what I mean?  In the same way, if I’m not filled with panic and anxiety when a deadline is coming, would the manuscript actually get done?  I’m not sure!  PSYCHOLOGY.  This is my brain on writing.  🙂

Which is different from my brain on book tour!  That was SUPER FUN and also hilariously exhausting.  On the one hand, I could happily hang out in a bookstore with Wings of Fire readers to talk about books and dragons all day — I met so many amazing, funny, brilliant people on this tour!  On the other hand, I think fourteen planes in three weeks is maybe a few too many planes for me.  And I missed my munchkins SO MUCH!  And I got no writing done, which is normal but also ominous (loooooooooming deadline!).

I did, however, read OODLES of wonderful books!  And I got to hang out with some of MY favorite authors and illustrators, YAY!

Me and Kiersten White at Cavalcade of Authors in Washington!

I’m sure I’ve raved about Kiersten’s books here before — she wrote the Paranormalcy trilogy and a bunch of other funny, smart, surprising books that I think you all would love!

Authors Kiersten White, Amie Borst, Lorie Ann Grover, me, Ken Oppel, and Justina Chen at dinner with the incredibly sweet and wonderful Cavalcade organizers!

Cavalcade of Authors was a really great event — I was so impressed by how much work and energy and love went into organizing it and by how warm and sweet all the volunteers were!  A million thank-yous to Michelle Lane for making it all happen, and to Melissa for being my amazing host and taking care of me so well!

With Caragh O’Brien at the Tucson Festival of Books!

I also loved the Tucson Festival of Books, and it was crazy fun being on panels with Polly Shulman and Natalie Lloyd, and then with Peter Lerangis and Adam Rex.  Plus hanging out with more lovely authors — remember Caragh from our Williams event about a year ago?  She wrote the Birthmarked trilogy, which I think might be the best dystopian trilogy out there (I love it madly and passionately), and now her second book in a new trilogy is out (the sequel to Vault of Dreamers).  I will confess that I am waiting for all three books to be out before I read this new trilogy, because I know I will love it and I want to read the whole thing at once instead of having to be tortured in between books (ha ha! says the woman writing a 10-book series! I know, the irony…).

Hanging out with one of my favorite illustrators, Molly Idle, in Tucson!

The kids and I so adore Molly’s books — she illustrated Flora and the Flamingo (a Caldecott Honor book) and its sequels, Flora and the Penguin (which I brought home from the festival to MUCH GLEE from my children) and the forthcoming Flora and the Peacocks (EEEEE I can’t wait!), plus also Zombelina Ballerina, which I’m pretty sure was created specifically for my three-year-old.  Because his two favorite things are literally dancing and zombies.  DANCING AND ZOMBIES!  IN ONE BOOK!  It is ALL THE JOY!

And with a new favorite author/illustrator, Brianne Farley, in Traverse City, Michigan!

Brianne is the author/illustrator of Ike’s Incredible Ink (which we love in this house) and coming soon (next week!), Secret Tree Fort, which is ALSO wonderful (I got a sneak peek, so I can guarantee it!).  🙂  She’s also super fun to hang out with and just the greatest interviewer in the world — here we are on stage at the Battle of the Books in Traverse City:

I wish we could have kept talking for another hour!  And that I could have asked HER more questions, because she is awesome and fascinating (and you should all buy her books!).  🙂  🙂  🙂

But I must admit, as much as I love all those people, I’m afraid my favorite person I got to see on the book tour was this one:

Eeeeeeee!!  Tiny adorable nephew!  Who flew up to Seattle to hang out with me for a couple of days and fill my missing-my-bears snuggling quota.  It was SO AWESOME to see him!  Oh my goodness, THIS FACE.

Who, me? The king of adorableness?

All right, I feel like this blog post could be eight more pages long, but I should probably go work on an actual book instead.  So just a few more notes!

* Over on the Wings of Fire forums, it was Fan Appreciation Week this past week, so check it out for a note from me, story starters, book suggestions, a sneak peek at a Darkstalker chapter (the one I read on tour!), and more!

* Shannon Hale is helping organize an online auction to raise money for charities that help refugees — if you’re an author/illustrator/editor/book person with something to donate, check out her post for ways to help!  I’m trying to figure out what to contribute…what do you guys think?  (Send me a message here or on Facebook if you have any ideas/suggestions!)

* Two of my favorite authors, Marie Rutkoski and Kristin Cashore, are doing an event THIS FRIDAY, April 8, at the Harvard Bookstore, to celebrate the release of the final book in Marie’s trilogy which started with The Winner’s Curse.  I’m so excited to finally have all three books — and I’m sure this event will be awesome, if anyone can make it!

And stay tuned, because I’m planning a giveaway contest…coming soon, I hope!  As soon as I get myself organized!  🙂

Thank you again to everyone who came out and saw me on tour!  You made the whole experience so so so wonderful!  *Giant wings of hugs for all of you!*

What We’re Reading:
Me: The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski (again, to get ready for #3!); The Importance of Being Little, by Erika Christakis; Masterpiece, by Elise Broach (so great!); and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (again, because it’s awesome)

With my bigger bear: Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, and Chi’s Sweet Home, by Konami Kanata

With both bears: The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi  🙂