On the other hand, it was the most amazing and delightful of trips with the best of all companions, as well as brilliant, witty, and kind organisers.
I signed stock in bookshops in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Decatur. I had astonishing vegan food and can highly recommend the following restaurants: "Charlie was a Sinner" in Philly, "Busboys and Poets" in DC, "Herban Fix" in Atlanta.
Almost every night included an opportunity to meet with booksellers, librarians and media. They smiled, they were open to chatting about pretty much anything at all and I felt... cherished.
I took part in a panel of writers in The Little Shop of Stories in Decatur. It was packed to the rafters with fans of the other authors -- Maggie Steifvater, Rachel Cohen, David Levithan and Bill Konigsberg. I was hugely, hugely lucky to hang out with such superstars, even if it was only a way to throw their genius into relief.
But the aim of the trip, indeed the whole point of it, was to attend a double whammy of English teacher conferences taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. I loved it and was a little jealous of the Scholastic folks working in the exhibition hall. We mingled with teachers and librarians. We writers performed scenes from our novels. I watched Maggie Stiefvater give a brilliant, elegant, personal address, and signed at least 50 books for enthusiastic educators.
I could write a dozen blog-posts on all the things that happened. Or a book, maybe. But instead, I will bore you with the details next time we meet at a convention and there's nowhere for you to run...
Hope you all had a great few weeks!