I flew into a dust-free Sydney on Thursday morning--leaving for the Brisbane airport at a horribly early 4:45am. The reason we had to get there so early was because I was on Kerri-Anne Kennerly's morning TV show. And morning shows require you to be there, well, in the morning.
I got to go to official "hair and makeup," which was a good thing since mine didn't look so fantastic after the crack-of-dawn flight. Still, my styling was nothing compared to the perfection of Kerri-Anne's. And of course, I wore my teal photo/TV/media dress.
Fun fact: in the green room beside the studio, the lead singer from Men at Work was hanging out and strumming a guitar. He was apparently a later guest, and it was crazy since I'd had that "Land Down Under" song in my head all day.
After the show, it was still pretty early in the day. I left to do more promo, and lolcatz struck out on his own to climb a bridge.
They do climbs in groups of ten people (with a leader) where you get wired up to each other and wear space age suits. You have to go over cat walks and ladders, while all that traffic's going on wayyyyy down below. The whole ordeal takes a few hours, and people with height fears sometimes freak out. The pictures are pretty awesome, though, and it allegedly burns 600 calories, so game on.
Meanwhile, as he did, I'm certain I burned 600 calories while signing 400 tour posters in Penguin's Sydney offices:
After that, publicist Felicity and I headed over to my evening signing. There was no reading or Q&A, so there was the chance it could be a quick event. Nope. As we approached the bookstore, we saw a huge line winding from the store's front all the way down the middle of the mall it was in. As we approached, someone asked us, "What is all that for?" Publicist: "Some vampire author, I think." That person wasn't into vampires, but that was okay because I got to meet lots of great readers who were.
We went back to the hotel afterward, where I was happy to learn lolcatz hadn't fallen off the bridge, so all in all, the day was a success.
The next day was my last work day in Sydney and started out with me meeting the winner of the Dolly Roving Reporter Contest. For those who don't remember, this was a contest Penguin Australia did in which people submitted YouTube auditions for the chance to win a trip to Sydney to interview me and go to the After Party.
The winner was the absolutely fabulous Jessie, and for those who missed her video and the new VA hand signs sweeping the nation(s), I recommend you watch it right now.
Jessie came to Sydney with her mom, sister Kait, and Kait's friend Liv. They got to go to an afternoon signing with me and interview the crowd, and then later, Jessie did a solo interview back at the hotel.
I had another signing after that, and then after that came the king of all signings: the VA After Party. It was held in a university hall, which didn't photograph very well when the party was in full swing because darkness and smoke machines tend to ruin pictures. But, here's the room beforehand. The picture can't do it justice.
There was a DJ, Adrian vs. Dimitri debates, and a lot of other fun stuff. I watched it all while signing for the 360 guests at my awesome station here--which doubles as a backdrop for the prom picture lolcatz and I never had.
Everyone dressed up and looked amazing, including Jessie and her crew.
The party was really fantastic and a great way to wrap up the tour. It was followed by the After-After Party with some Penguin folk, including the amazing Felicity. While with them, I learned more crazy Australian facts, like that it's acceptable to have French fries as a communal side dish at a table. Every good capitalist American knows you keep your fries to yourself.
Since it appears all Australians can outdrink us, we left the After-After Party early to get much needed sleep. We woke up early enough the next day to get in a couple hours of the city before heading to the airport and back to the States. We walked around and did some classic Sydney sights, like the Governor's House:
And, of course, everyone's favorite Sydney landmark: the Opera House.
After that, we were off to the airport and 16-hour flight home! But, we all know the ending to that story, and here we are safe and sound. Thanks again for a great tour, everyone. There'll be more t-shirt and art posts to follow.