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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Notes from Seattle, Part 2

It's been a busy week here in Seattle! I blogged about the first part of my tour here, and now that I've caught my breath, I'll try to catch you up on the second part.

Just a few of your friendly neighborhood booksellers!
On Thursday, I met my amazing Penguin Sales Rep, Colleen, who put together a fun lunch with Seattle-area book buyers (complete with a TOKYO HEIST cake! Wow!) We went to one of my favorite Asian restaurants, Wild Ginger, which is also mentioned in my novel. It was great to chat about books with such a knowledgeable group, and to see their side of the book business. I'm amazed by how many indie store are surviving -- thriving -- here in Seattle. (Compared to New England, where so many have closed). Is it because of the strong indie spirit here in the Northwest, as one bookseller suggested? The gray weather that encourages curling up with good books? Whatever it is, I'm blown away by how many stores there are -- I don't even have time to visit them all -- and I love the cooperative spirit of the store owners, and the creative ways they reach out to schools, libraries, and community centers. Yay for Seattle indie bookstores!

Me and my shadow
After that, Colleen and I strolled over to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, where I got to sign stock, meet more wonderful booksellers, drool over the bulging bookshelf full of new YA and MG mystery titles, and blog in the hot seat from their store! I wrote all about this experience over on my Sleuths, Spies and Alibis blog the other day, so you can hop over there for all the details.

You can also check out the post I wrote at gunpoint at their kind request here.

Storefront at Queen Anne Books
Friday was another two-event day, which led me to regret my impractical choice of footwear. It started off at Queen Anne Books, the most charming neighborhood bookstore I've ever seen, and where TOKYO HEIST is their teen "Book a Month" selection for July. (15% off all month . . . two more days to take advantage of that, and there are now signed copies in stock!) When I arrived on the scene, I discovered that a CSI crew had beaten me there. Check out their amazing window display!

Bookseller Tegan Tigani made me feel right at home, and served up great sushi in honor of the visit. I had fun signing copies and meeting with customers, and getting to know the great staff there. The multi-talented Tegan also wrote an article about my Seattle tour in Examiner.com, which you can read here.

I thought I might escape empty-handed, but no such luck. I seem to be picking up books everywhere I go, and I left Queen Anne Books with two books and the dangerous knowledge that they have an online store and speedy shipping anywhere in the U.S.!

Author panel at Barnes and Noble, Northgate
Friday evening found me at Barnes and Noble Northgate, presenting with a panel of Seattle-area YA and MG authors: Carol Estby Dagg (The Year We Were Famous), Helen Landalf (Flyaway), Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood), and fellow Apocalypsies Megan Bostic (Never Eighteen), Jennifer Shaw Wolf (Breaking Beautiful), J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just), and Marissa Burt (Storybound). We had great turnout, and it was fun to hear about everyone's writing processes and publication journeys -- I picked up new tips and, yes, more books! (I was actually so giddy after meeting all these rock stars that I walked right out of the store with an armload of books I forgot to pay for! Which, uh, is a fancy way of saying shoplifting. Yep, I did a Barnes and Noble heist. How embarrassing. I did make it back into the store before sirens wailed, and I did pay for everything, I promise!)

Don't feed this to children.
There were two more store events yesterday, but I'll save that write-up for tomorrow, so please check back.

Today I have a real day off, and am leaving momentarily for a family hike in the mountains.

I'll sign off with a picture of my son's dubious breakfast the other day: The Mickey Mouse pancake special, served up cold at a bar/diner around the corner from our hotel. Yikes. Ah, life on the road!

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