It's two days until we hit the road on what promises to be an incredible journey. I've spent a few hours this morning updating the itinerary which includes over 20 schools in the US and almost as many in the UK. What's really struck me so much in organising the trip is the spirit of generosity that exists in our world. I have approached many strangers, often found on a school website and have found them not only receptive to the idea of an author from Australia speaking to their students but genuinely excited and organising activities and events way above and beyond the call. I cannot wait to meet these people, many of whom I'm sure will become friends. I've also reconnected with people including a girlfriend from high school who I haven't seen in 25 years! I think my visit has unearthed for her a whole new set of skills as I'll be talking to almost every school in Greenwood South Carolina and doing a bookshop event - all through Dianne's phenomenal networking - she should be a publicist! I am looking forward to seeing her and meeting her husband and three children too.
Yesterday marked the end of my Australian tour with Random House, having visited 30 schools, spoken at the Somerset Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast, visited at least 10 public libraries, had 7 bookstore events and spoken to several thousand children. We started the tour with a huge launch for Alice-Miranda In New York in our very own Wahroonga (Central) Park with 250 enthusiastic attendees, many of whom were dressed up as Alice-Miranda. I think if I added up the number of sessions I've spoken at I'd scare myself! It was tiring but fantastic and I loved every minute (perhaps not the 6am flights) but other than that it was incredible. I met so many amazing teacher librarians, public librarians, booksellers, teachers and of course children. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to go out in the world and talk about Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose.
So today I am packing - or at least contemplating packing and trying to tidy my house for my mother in law who is having an extended holiday in Sydney. My husband is quite possibly the world's fastest and calmest packer - unlike me. I'd better get to it - the goal is to take only half a suitcase worth - and hopefully have a little bit of time to shop.
Until next time...
A Bookish Adventure
I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.