Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back to reality: Tour, Prize Packs, and a new stage of life

 Hello friends! Fall is a season of firsts, isn't it?

This week we moved my firstborn to college. The house is quieter. This morning I keep looking up when I hear a noise, expecting to see him. There's this fist-sized ball of pride and loneliness in my throat, and my eyes keep leaking at random times. It was hard saying goodbye yesterday, knowing I won't see him until Thanksgiving. But I'm so excited for him, and I know he's going to have some of the best times of his life.

My friend Margaret Peterson Haddix, with whom I toured last year for The Unwanteds and with whom I'll be touring again this year for The Unwanteds: Island of Silence (and her newest book Caught), has been really helpful -- her firstborn went to college last year, and her second child is heading that way this year. In a way, she's helped me prepare for this for a year.

It didn't really make it any easier. I'm glad I had my sunglasses handy when I hugged my son goodbye -- no kid wants to see his parents fall apart, grasping at the past, when they are only looking toward the exciting future.

Today I looked at the calendar and I realized I have an exciting future too. I have a book coming out in ten days. Ten days! That means I'll be touring soon. Amazing how life and careers go on here at the McMann household minus one.

If you are in the following areas, I will be nearby in September & October:

Tempe, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Houston, TX
Austin, TX
Frisco, TX
La Verne, CA
Pasadena, CA
Provo, UT
San Francisco, CA
Austin, TX (again) for the Texas Book Festival
For booksellers, I'll be visiting NCIBA and SCIBA.
And for teachers, I'll be at NCTE in Las Vegas in November.

Next spring I'll be doing several book festivals as well around the country. Check out the full tour schedule here.

Continuing the tradition from last year, I have another free Prize Pack for this Unwanteds book. It's only available by pre-ordering through my local independent bookstore, Changing Hands, through Sept 4 (release day for Island of Silence). They ship almost anywhere, so you don't have to be local or even in the US to get the prize pack!

Inside is a handful of goodies including another collectible drawing by my talented college boy, this time of Matilda, a new character in the Unwanteds series. She's the cutest, ugliest gargoyle ever. Wanna see?

I want to thank you for all of your support over the years, and for your amazing love of The Unwanteds series, which is very dear to me. I hope to have several more books in the series--book 3 is already in the editing stages. Pre-order your prize pack now -- you never know, maybe that collectible drawing will sell big on eBay someday and it'll help your kid go to college too. We can have leaky eyes together. :)


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