Monday, April 14, 2014

"Excuse me, Miss, There's a Spider about to Drop on Your Head." Tales from the Book Tour Road (Plus, a BIG REVEAL...)

I just got back from a whirlwind trip through Connecticut and Massachusetts, and my head (and heart) are still throbbing from all of the activity. Most of the visit circled around promoting my YA book Thin Space, but seeing as how I grew up in the area, I made time to reconnect with friends and family, which cast a nice nostalgic tinge over everything.

There's material for 15 blog posts here--and maybe I will expand upon all of this in the near future, but for now, a few highlights:

1. Oh please please please --if I ever die and come back as a teen, let me return to this planet as a student at Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts! Geez louise, this is an awesome school. I didn't know when I set up the visit that this school is a boarding school. Actually, it looks a lot like a college campus (and I have been visiting a lot of these lately with my daughter, a high school junior, but I digress.)

W & M is set on a hill with a darling brook meandering across the campus. The librarian, who is also a teacher and a writer, escorted me from building to building so I could meet with five classes, from Creative Writing to AP English to 7th grade Language Arts. These kids are clearly smart and creative but what blew me away was how kind they were in their welcome.

Case in point: I'm just starting my little "How to Write a Book from Idea to Revision to Publication" talk, when I notice two boys sorta leaning toward each other whispering. I'm thinking, huh, that's kind of rude, but okay. I keep talking and one raises his hand hesitantly.

"Yes?" I ask.

Boy: Um, excuse me, ma'am, but there's a spider about to drop on your head.

I look up and find this tiny, adorable (thank God!) spider slowly making its way down a web strand about a foot above the top of my head.

The boy gallantly catches it with his notebook and shuffles it over to the window and returns it to the wild.

This situation could've totally gone off in another direction and I could picture it: Me, with the spider landing on my head and the kids watching curiously and amused as it skittered around in my hair while I blathered like a clueless loon.

Sad truth: When I was a teen, I fear I would've been the one watching amused instead of the kind person alerting the strange middle aged woman to the impending spider droppage.

LOVE LOVE LOVE that kind boy. Whoever he is, he has given me new faith in teens and humanity in general.

2. I am bowing down to the librarians at the Storrs Library in Longmeadow MA and particularly grateful for the generous Odierna family who made my visit there possible.

3. Since I am on the topic of librarians... Have I mentioned how much I love libraries and librarians lately? I talked at the New Britain Public Library (the very library I blogged about in the linked post above) to an audience of family and friends. Also, a few patrons who happened to wander in, probably wondering why everyone was hugging each other.

mini reunion of middle school pals
the crowd of relatives and friends

Me and my best friend Kimmy  (NOW)
(And THEN)

There is more to share (and I promise I will), including a TV interview that I will never watch, but, uh, you can. But first, I must reveal some exciting news:

So, this Wednesday, April 16, my publishing company will be doing a live video chat interview at 4:00 EST. I am ridiculously helpless in the tech area so I am going to share this link: CLICK HERE and hope that gets you through to the interview.

If you tune in that day (or thereafter) there will be an opportunity to order
*a copy of Thin Space
*The first 5 orderers will win a lovely hand-crafted necklace by my creative and clever friend Deb.
drum roll--
              when you order the book, you can purchase the first two chapters of the Thin Space Sequel for the bargain basement price of $1.99.

Here's the fun teaser:

Marsh revealed all of his secrets and now he's got to face the consequences. His parents are shocked and grief stricken; his friends are angry and confused. But he's relieved that the truth is out and his brother is safe.

What he doesn't foresee is a surprise visit by his gruesomely dead former neighbor Mrs. Hansel. She's got bad news for Marsh, and suddenly, telling the truth is the least of his problems...

A lovely necklace available to 5 lucky winners... 


  1. A THIN SPACE SEQUEL!!! You sly dog! Your "This Is Your Life Jody Casella" trip sounds awesome, and so does your upcoming sequel! Dead Mrs. Hansel returning - YUCK!! (in a good way, of course). I can't wait to hear more!