Sunday, 26 September 2010

The US Book Tour

Well this was just wonderful. Or in America-speak, it was AWESOME!

Flying in to Atlanta was an interesting experience. Have you ever done it? Apparently it's the busiest airport in the states - which I'm guessing must mean it's at least one of the busiest in the world. Oh my goodness, the number of planes taking off! As we landed, I could see a queue of seven planes taking off one after another - land, take off, land, take off, land, take off. A LOT of action here. Good job I've recently decided that I'm not scared of flying any more. (Seemed a sensible thing to decide, as I've so far done 16 flights this year and would otherwise have spent a lot of the year being scared!)

We were actually staying in Decatur, a small town just outside Atlanta. The reason for this destination was the fabulous (sorry - awesome!) Decatur Book Festival, which I'd been invited to.

Taking part in the Book Festival was loads of fun. As always, I really enjoyed meeting some of my readers and having a chance to share what I do, and sign some books.

Me on stage at the Decatur Book Festival

As well as the festival, I visited a few schools and bookshops and libraries. I have to say the hight point was the event with the Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock. Oh my! If you live anywhere near this bookshop, you have to pay it a visit. Run by three ladies who have just the right mix of eccentricity, enthusiasm, warmth, creativity and fun, this shop is one of the nicest bookshops I've ever been to, and the event was THE best event of the book tour. (Thanks again, ladies!)

Me with the lovely Foxtale ladies

It was billed as a creative writing workshop, which I thought meant there'd be 8-10 of us sitting round a table. Wrong! A creative writing workshop Fox-style is fifty girls plus parents squeezed into every corner of the shop, and we had lots of laughs and lots of fun. And I discovered that Woodstock has lots of talented young writers!

Lots of great young writers

Just time to squeeze in a visit to the Georgia Aquarium - the biggest aquarium in the world - where I got a bit of Emily Windsnap inspiration and we saw some amazing sea life.

A handsome chap swimming above my head (behind glass, thankfully).

Moving on from Decatur, we headed for Nashville. Well, all I knew about Nashville was that it's the home of country music - but what I didn't know was that I actually really, really like country music!

We had a tour of the town, in this!

The cool way to get around Nashville

We bought cowboy boots from shops like this!


We went to bars and listened to fantastic musicians like these!

One of the many brilliant country bands we saw

And we stayed here!!

Best hotel in Tennessee, and the poshest hotel I've ever stayed in!

And I did a few events too! In Nashville, I met up with the wonderful people from Ingrams wholesalers - which was such a treat and an honour. I also met some fantastic librarians for young people and had a great afternoon at Davis Kidd, where they advertised my event with the biggest poster in the world!

This poster is now on my study wall - and only just fits!

I met lots of cool Emily Windsnap and Philippa Fisher fans

Some of the fab Emily and Philippa fans who came to my events

And I met up with a girl who brought along the Emily Windsnap box that she had literally just brought home from school.

One of the fabbest fans, who made this Emily Windsnap box

All too soon, it was time to head home. But it wasn't over yet! Just time for one last book signing - at the airport! That was a fun thing to be asked to do as I'd never done a book signing at an airport before!

My first ever airport bookstore signing!

So then it was just three flights, 23 hours of travel, 6 time zones and three days of jet lag - and it was all over!

Till the next one...

PS If you enjoyed reading this - put a comment, will you? Just so I know that people are out there and reading my ramblings!!! Thank you! : )