Monday, February 25, 2013

Back in the Saddle! A Winner! And Book Tour Pics!

February has just flown by and I can't believe I'm back already from my trip to Chicago.  Total whirlwind.  Had a BALL!! But before I share a few photos, I wanted to announce the winner of the Book Spotting contest...

Using to choose the winner, the winner is...

drum roll...


NancyB, I will email you today.  Please contact me within 48 hours with your mailing address!

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Book Spotting contest.  It was so cool to see Hooked on shelves, desks, tables, and in peoples' hands from everywhere from Iowa to Australia.  Thank you for emailing, tweeting, facebooking, Tumbling your photos.  It was so fun and I think I will have to do this contest again.  :)

First Night!
Now, for Chicago.  First, I spoke to a group of teens at Bridge Communities the first day I arrived.  They were so adorable and energetic and had such great questions about the book, writing, school, even career aspirations.  I loved their energy and I think that is what I adore most about teens: they live in exclamation points.  The whole world is right before their eyes and they are breathless about it.  I hope I inspired these amazing girls as much as they inspired me.  Too soon, I had to leave.

The next event was held at the Rudy Lozano Library in downtown Chicago with a group of students and teachers from the nearby Benito Juarez Community Academy who were part of a school bookclub.  By the way, the YA section at the Rudy Lozano Library?  AWESOME.  And they also had chess tables (with plenty of people playing) so I pretty much could have visited for hours.  Anyway, I took the train into the city with my sister and, side-trip, met my brother-in-law for lunch.  My cousin Vicki, who lives in the city, met us at the library too.

Once again, it was inspiring to meet these Benito Juarez teens and talk to them about books, creating diverse characters and writing.  They asked such great questions about Hooked, Arizona, the writing process, even e-readers! I loved hearing about the books they'd read in their book club and the kinds of stories that kept them turning the pages. Once again, the time went too quickly.

This pic is them playing rock-paper-scissors for an autographed copy of Hooked! I was thrilled that they all wanted to wear their pink Hooked wristbands too. Warmed my heart.  Such a great group of kids and their teachers were pretty special too.

Rock-paper-scissors for Hooked!
The last event was to Just the Bookstore in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, right before I had to return to Phoenix.  This was a book signing and, to be honest, I was so incredibly nervous.  A snowstorm had been predicted for that evening and I was stressing: what if no one shows up?  What if this poor bookstore bought all these copies and the only person who buys one is my sister? Who already owns a signed copy?! What if I forget how to sign my own name?? Gah! I did not sleep much the night before...

Well, it exceeded my expectations.  Not only did the bookstore sell out of Hooked, but they had to order more.  For those still wishing a signed copy, I signed a bunch of bookplates for the bookstore so that they could add some signed copies to their shelf.  It. Was. Fantastic!  I will never forget it.

Stacey from Page Turners and me!
Not only did I get to meet new readers, but I also met cool book blogger Stacey from The Page Turners and writing buddies Michael Di Gesu and Nicki Elson, all of whom traveled great distances on a snowy and wintery night to the bookstore.  Needless to say, I was beyond honored.  Here are some fun pics!

Just the Bookstore, Glen Ellyn, IL!

Michael, me & Nicki!

And then Sunday when I returned home, I was in the Arts & Entertainment section of The Arizona Republic, our Phoenix newspaper.  Somebody pinch me!

And that is how I spent the first leg of my Hooked book tour. Excuse me while I sleep the next 12 hours. 
Next stop:  Changing Hands Bookstore on Wednesday, February 27 in Tempe, Arizona...Um, that's in less than 2 days!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I saw Michael's post - very cool he and Nicki caught up with you.
Glad it was all a big success!

LD Masterson said...

Sounds like everything went great. I'm happy for you.

shelly said...

Sounds like fun. This morning, I'm putting something together for my daughter's senior class.

Hugs and chocolate,

Tracy Jo said...

Liz! So cool. You are living a dream. It has been so fun following you on FB and seeing what is happening. Yay!!!

Karen Walker said...

So happy for you, Liz. What a wonderful celebration of your hard work

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Liz,

I was such a fun time, but MAN was it cold, getting home... BRRRRRRRRR.

CONGRATS on the news article. ENJOY THE RIDE!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations! Sounds like an awesome trip. I was in Chicago last week but sadly it was for only two days! No chance to meet blogging buddies - but now I have an unsated love of the city. Must visit again, at length!