Except, compared to the reality, that would have been an easy day.
Here's what happened. I woke up at 4:15am in order to leave my Mobile hotel at 5am for the airport. Because I'd be going straight to the Newark signing from the airport, I had to make sure my hair was flat ironed before I left. Otherwise, I would have gotten up at, like, 4:45. Anyway, I got to the airport in a dress with nice hair to learn my flight to Charlotte, NC was delayed "by at least 40 minutes." When "at least" is used, that's a bad sign. It turned out to be 2 hours in this case, meaning I would miss the connection to Philadelphia I needed for Newark. No worries. They rebooked me on another flight to Philly, one that put me at my signing a little late--but not too badly.
But, when I landed in Charlotte at long last, I discovered the flight I'd been rebooked on had been cancelled and that I'd been booked on to ANOTHER flight to Philadelphia--one that would most definitely make me late for my book signing. Then this flight got delayed too, but by that point, there was nothing we could do except notify the internet and bookstore that I would be late. The store handled this time change efficiently:
Love it. One marker is all it takes. I landed in Philadelphia at 1:45pm, retrieved my bags a little after 2pm, and then my driver got me to the Newark Borders by 3pm sharp, just as the newly amended sign promised. It's a good thing, too, because here's what was in store for me:
300 very patient people, some of whom had arrived very early and/or driven extensive lengths. I was astonished by the turnout (isn't that more than Delaware's population?) and so moved at how everyone was still in such an upbeat mood in spite of the delay. It turned into a really fantastic event, and I loved all the people who turned out. The Borders staff did a wonderful job of organizing and managing the event beautifully.
Delaware apparently wanted to one-up previous tour stops. In addition to spotting a first printing of Vampire Academy itself, I also saw quite the flood of t-shirts:
This last picture deserves a pause and a close-up. Now, I make it a policy not to make jokes about other fictional vampires, both because I don't think I should as a professional author and heck, half the vampire writers out there are my friends. But one of those shirts was pretty clever:
I really like that there's an almost logical proof thing going on here to justify her love for Adrian--that, and she invoked Lestat, which unfortunately isn't a name heard too often at vampire book signings anymore. That's kicking it old school.
Along with the shirts, I was promised "the coolest molnija mark tattoo ever," and yup, this is pretty sweet. I love the shadings and colors, and it's the real deal. Not a temporary one.
I'm always awestruck at people who wait hours to get me to sign their books. I was downright astounded today to meet someone who had waited hours to take a picture of me signing her friends' books. She waited the whole time and took posed shots of them with me. I was so impressed that I had her take one with my camera too. Turned out pretty good. I wonder if she's looking for a staff photographer job.
And, as someone noticed last night, I'm building up headband tolerance, which was a good thing on a day like today because all that travel does a number on your hair. This headband--the "fancy" one from the UK that I mentioned a long time ago--is pretty visible in these pics, but here's a good side shot of it while I talk to Suma.
Of course, my tolerance may not be as awesome as I think since I currently have a headache while I type this. Said headache might also be the result of my hours and hours of airport/airplane fun today. Oddly, I wasn't that stressed while it was going on. I was worried about being late to the signing for my fans' sakes, but otherwise, I was really mellow each time I heard about a flight change. I think it was the Xanax I take to fly. I guess it makes me less anxious about flying and...not flying.
I also was totally at ease going straight from the airport to the Borders signing (which lasted four hours). It was only afterward, when I was on the two hour car-ride to New York City, that I started getting restless. Maybe that was the point at which my body just decided, "Enough travel!" It gets its wish because I'll be staying here in NYC for the next few days for two more signings (CT and Long Island) and then my Book Expo commitments. People keep missing these dates, so make sure you check my calendar if you haven't already.
Tomorrow (Monday), I continue my visit of small northeastern states and will be in Madison, Connecticut. FYI on this one: it's being held at Arts Barn by RJ Julia Booksellers, who are charging $5 tickets for the event...but then that $5 goes right back toward a book purchase, which is cool. I'm not 100% sure if that book has to be Spirit Bound or can be any book, but store contact info can be found by clicking on the above calendar link. Can't wait to see you guys there! I've never been to Connecticut!
In closing, one more time: thank you so much to the Borders staff and my very, very patient readers who waited for me in Newark. You guys rock, and I had so much fun! Thanks also to my long-suffering publicist Casey, who was woken up by a crack-of-dawn call about my missed connection and handled the ensuing details like a pro. Because she is one.