May 30th, 2011

Blood Promise

Richelle, where have you been?

So glad you asked. This blog has been quiet for the last week because I've been on the road, enjoying my last travel of the year before I hunker down and have a baby. My husband came with me, and we made sure to make the most of my time away. First stop on the trip: Minneapolis.

If you've followed my blog before, you know about my snowed-out Minneapolis signing that had to be canceled in December. Well, in spite of springtime storms attempting to thwart me this time, I finally made it to the twin cities. There, I got to meet Sylvia--a writer, VA fan, and MAC makeup artist.

Sylvia offered to do my makeup before the Minneapolis signing. Since I love MAC and dislike doing my own makeup, this was hardly an offer I could refuse.

She brought me into the Mall of America's MAC store and did a pretty awesome job. I only wish I could have her on-hand for every signing I do!

After that, it was off to the signing. And just like a 1980s Tiffany concert, my signing was held right in the middle of the mall and its traffic.

Here's a shot from down at ground level. I got to sit around leisurely, like I was holding a boardroom meeting, and read from the first chapter of Bloodlines.

Those who read about my canceled December signing probably also read about the hardcore fans who still trekked out to the mall through the blizzard and had their own signing with Fauxchelle. I got to meet up with these lovely ladies for a meet-and-greet and some photo ops.

And here we are, together IN THE SAME ROOM: me and my doppelganger, Fauxchelle! I didn't get a shot of it, but near my signing table in the mall, Fauxchelle also got to pose with fans too.

The Mall of America signing was super fun, and a lot of people who'd wanted to come in the blizzard were able to make it out this time. And yup, we still had t-shirts and tattoos on-hand.

After the signing, my husband and I had a little bit of time before we had to fly out. So, we took in the sights around the mall and got to see the famous amusement park in the center.

We also got to see the insane LEGO sculptures surrounding the mall's LEGO store. These are bigger than us and made entirely of LEGOs.

From Minneapolis, it was time to move on to New York City and BookExpo America. BEA is the publishing industry's big annual trade show. They highlight upcoming releases, have giveaways, and bring in authors to sign. A lot of the authors sign in these corral-like stations, and the signing times are a very specific length of time. They're fast and furious, and when time's up, it's up, and the next author gets shuffled in.

This year, I actually signed at Penguin's booth, but it was of the same quick nature. One hour of me signing for 300+ people! No personalizations or pictures, but I still got to say hi to everyone. It was crazy but super fun. Beside me is Casey McIntyre, the hardest working publicist in NYC. Those in the know will also spot my agent, Jim McCarthy, in the background in blue.

Lots of others were signing while I was, including--wait for it--Tyra Banks! She has a novel coming out, and my husband was able to get some pics of her, including this one which we're pretty sure qualifies as a classic example of smizing.

Ice-T was also working the BEA floor. I don't know the whole story, but I assume he must have something book-related going on too.

Good times all around! And before I left BEA, I posed with Bloodlines at the Penguin booth. Standing next to one of your book covers--one that's bigger than you--is pretty surreal.

And that wrapped up BEA. Before heading out of New York, my husband and I got to take in a play and bum around the city. We were only there for a few days, though, and then it was time to go! Our last stop of the week was west Michigan, where both of us grew up. This was an entirely family trip, with no business or book stuff of any kind. It was great to see everyone, especially since I won't be traveling for a while when the baby comes in August.

We got home from Michigan yesterday, wrapping up three cities in one week! Twitter-followers will know the journey back to Seattle was "complicated," to say the least. But that's a post for another day. For now, I want to thank everyone that came out to see me on this trip. It's a little bittersweet knowing I'm on hiatus from travel for a while, but it's also kind of a relief. I picked up a cold in Michigan and am just getting a little more tired and sluggish in general. So, it's going to be nice to just hang out at home now, write some books, and wait for the baby. I'll still be blogging and interneting (is that a word?) the whole time, and you can expect me back on the road in 2012!