2011 Book Tour Diary, Day 3

Wednesday, June 8: Portland

Another pre-dawn wakeup. Another early morning work-out at the Westin O’Hare hotel gym…this time with a lot of sweaty businessmen. By 8:45 I was piling my luggage into Bill’s van and heading for the airport. My fellow Dark Daysers and I accompanied each other through security checks and hung out chatting until it was time to get onto the plane, where we were all seated separately. Our theory: there must have been former Dark Daysers who actually didn’t enjoy spending every free second with each other and asked not to be seated side-by-side.

Therefore, Aprilynne and I were forced to pass notes back and forth over the seatback about the guy sitting next to her who had what appeared to be a homemade tattoo of brass knuckles on the back of his neck, which was not visible from her perspective (but which I thought she should know about in case he tried to strike up a conversation with her about jail tattoos).

We arrived in Portland to meet our media escort, the elegant Deb Flynn Hanrahan, who was another mom-of-someone-almost-my-age, which meant I stuck to her like Superglue. Got the info on her artistic daughter who lives a few blocks away from my old apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She took us to a really cool place in Portland for lunch and then on to the hotel, at which point I ditched my suitcase with Aprilynne and ran off to the Portland City Grill where a dozen members of my family had flown and driven long distances from California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington to meet me.

Aunt, uncle and lots of cousins

Our get-togethers are rare and I really really love these people, so I stayed as long as I could, and then ran back to the hotel to get ready for the Main Event: the Dark Days signing at Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall. However, we almost didn’t make it into the bookstore, since Aprilynne spotted an Anthropologie just a couple of shops down and had to be forcibly steered away.

We were led to a meeting room, and introduced to the effervescent Sara Gundell (who was rocking an amazing dress). Her site, Novel Novice, was serving as HarperTeen’s official blog partner, and we spent a few minutes shooting a video interview with her.

Here we are, pre-signing, being interviewed by Novel Novice

And then we walked into the main room and saw a huge group assembled there waiting for…us! I had a serious heart-in-throat moment, so it was a good thing that Deb was there to lead us to the table and show us where to sit.

Holy crap, that's a big crowd!

We followed the same “introduce ourselves, then Q&A” format, which was live-Tweeted by Sara (front row, red hair, rockin’ B&W dress). She took some great action shots, which you can see here. (How exactly she managed to Tweet and photograph at once is a mystery to me. I suspect that she types with her toes.)

And then came the signing, and let me tell you – it was AMAZING. I met so many people who I knew online, including Kristina, Melania, Jennifer, Vy, Candace, Angel Morgan, Nancy. (Click on their names to see their own photos and accounts of the event.) And then Suzanne Young, whose own book, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, was just published yesterday by HarperTeen, stopped by and introduced herself. Annie Jhun, a girl I used to work with in New York, walked up with her boyfriend, totally surprising me. And then my family all came up and hugged me and took pictures.

Signing next to Tara. (Photo by cousin Melissa.)

As you can see in the picture, we all had stuff we gave away. I had sea-salt chocolate that I had brought from France, Tara had the blue bracelets you see, and Aprilynne and Veronica had temporary tattoos. I signed two Nooks and a Kindle. Someone gave me a beaded bookmark she had made. People talked to me about their own writing aspirations. It was AWESOME!

Finally, after the last book was signed, we returned to the hotel and had dinner in the restaurant before heading to bed early. Because the meeting time the next morning was (gulp) 4:45a.m.!

9 Comments to 2011 Book Tour Diary, Day 3

  1. by Jennifer A - On June 22, 2011

    Amy, I can’t even tell you how tickled pink I am that you mentioned me, and the other bloggers! It really made my day. :)

    You’re so sweet and nice. It really was fabulous to meet you. All of the authors were amazing.

    Thanks for flying all the way from France to come visit with your fans!

  2. by Jennifer A - On June 22, 2011

    Oh! Candace was there too! I don’t know if she shared her blog with you, but I wanted to mention it. :)

    http://www.candacesbookblog.com/2011/06/in-my-mailbox-63-dark-days-event-recap.html

  3. by Carli - On June 22, 2011

    I’m seeing an Anthropologie theme here… now, I have no excuse about reading Aprilynne’s books– as an Anthro addict myself, I’d totally forgive detours!

    (The only thing that’s better than Anthro is Fluevog. If either of those shops were closer to me, I’d have no book money whatsoever.)

  4. by Vy - On June 22, 2011

    It was really nice meeting you Amy! It was really sweet of you to bring those yummy chocolates :) I haven’t been to a lot of book events but this had to be my favorite and you were really nice!

  5. by amy - On June 22, 2011

    Thanks for the heads-up on Candace, Jennifer. I added her! And Jennifer and Vy – it was so nice meeting both of you. Vy – I love it that you brought your dad along as your photographer. So cute! :)

    Carli – I’ve never heard of Fluevog. Will have to look for it next time I’m back in the States!

  6. by Kristina Ebert - On June 22, 2011

    Thanks for mentioning me :) I did love the chocolate as well. That was me Kristina that you linked that give the bookmarks. I love these Dark Days event tours they are so awesome!

  7. by amy - On June 22, 2011

    Kristina – OH!!! I didn’t put the name and the face together! You told me that you made the bookmarks while you watched t.v. Very industrious of you! :)

  8. by Angel - On June 22, 2011

    Thanks for the shout out Amy! I so loved meeting you and have a chat. It’s so fun to see people at the beginning of their career when they can have the time to chat. I will be celebrating along with you.

    I’m so enjoying your book! A+ for whoever put together this tour. I’ve loved all these books! What a great opportunity to see you all together. I wish I could have heard you all read. I understand that would have taken too long.

    I’m really looking forward to your next book. :)
    <3 Angel

  9. by Melania - On June 23, 2011

    Thank you for the shout out, Amy. By the way that chocolate was amazing! How could it not be, it came from France. I have to say for as nervous as you may have felt, you certainly didn’t appear so.
    So happy I got to meet you.
    ~Melania

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