It’s hard to truly recap the last few weeks. I was honored by the folks who came out—across the country—to make the release of Nyxia such a special experience. Here are some of the highlights:
Launch Parties in Cary/Raleigh
On launch night, we had 190+ people come out! It was such an overwhelming display and I had so much fun hanging out with former teachers and students, friends and family… even a few rowdy fantasy football league members.
The next night at Quail Ridge wasn’t going to be outdone, however. We had a great showing of around 60-70 folks. Thrilled to see so many of you in Raleigh, and a special shoutout to the folks from CtK who came out.
Wake County Schools, NC
6 schools in 4 days. You read that right. My time at Cary High School was particularly special, as I visited the school where my story as a writer kind of begins. Each school brought out 200+ students to the events, and I have to give special props to Apex High School for winning the #NyxiaChallenge with over 700 retweets. Their school will be namedropped in book three of the series.
SIBA 2017 – New Orleans
Enjoyed dinner in the company of Brendan Reichs, Renee Ahdieh, S. Jae-Jones, and Sarah Nicole Lemon. It was also just a treat to be back with Nic Stone and hanging out a little bit. Finally, I loved sharing a panel with YA authors Corabel Shofner, Sarah Tolcser, and Alan Gratz. The booksellers we met that weekend were wonderful.
The school visits here were great, but one of the highlights was certainly spending time with Marie Lu at Changing Hands Bookstore. So much fun to laugh and talk books. We counted our rejections during the talk, but then I spent time counting the number of books people had Marie sign—I think she turned out okay! It was a lovely event. I also have to mention the Valley Ho hotel that I stayed in… It was like this retro-hipster hotel that had me feeling like I was lounging by the pool in the movie Catch Me If You Can. I didn’t steal anything, but I kind of wanted to.
Weather. The weather. I’ll take that 65 and a breeze that greeted me at the airport any day of the week. I took advantage of long mornings by walking to my favorite coffee shops in the area. Enjoyed being back at Sightglass Coffee, as well as discovering Saint Frank’s at the suggestion of Travis Jones.
I’d say my first event in Palo Alto was highlighted by both familiar and unfamiliar faces. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Andy Weir, Gail Carriger, Anne Nesbet, and Marie Brennan. All four of them impressed with their brilliance on the panel. I was happy to avoid tripping over myself as we chatted with a huge, standing-room only crowd. It was also a delight to have Stephanie Garber and Stacey Lee come out for the event. Both are brilliant writers and it was an honor to have them join us in the crowd.
But back to familiar faces. I got to see Francisco Suarez on back to back nights. So great to catch up with a good friend and favorite roommate—especially when it involved meeting Nancy! Great to get together with the two of you.
Katie and Henry joined forces with me to take Asheville by storm. The stunning highlight of the adventure had to be Henry rolling 4 hours across the state—both ways—without having one serious incident. Barely even cried. The kid’s a rock star.
I’d say the schools were a huge highlight of our time in Asheville—we loved being at Christ School, Asheville High, Owen Middle, and Owen High. Each campus had its own unique flavors. The campus at Christ School is worth exploring, and the students were a lot of fun. Ashveille High sent me off with a souvenir shirt and had this perfect little auditorium for events. The students at Owen Middle asked me more questions than all the other schools combined. Sorry! Can’t beat that middle school enthusiasm. But Owen High School’s students did put out the red carpet for me, so there’s that. Thanks to all of you for hosting, and to Spellbound Children’s Bookshop for being such a great partner.
And last but not least, I loved getting to visit Flyleaf Books and partner up with the hilarious Jessica Cluess, who just released the second book in her series, A Poison Dark and Drowning. Always good to be back in Chapel Hill!
A huge thank you to everyone who came out to events and had fun at these various stops. I really enjoyed taking this huge step of my writing journey with you at my side.