I'm in Memphis, hence the photo. Well, where to begin..?
The tour's coming to an end, but I've still New York to look forward to. However, I've met a lot of people over the last ten days or so and there's a lot to sort out.
1. HUGE thanks to all the awesome schools I've visited. There's St. John's, Kingwood, JFK and Timber Ridge. I can't thank you guys enough for the displays, the welcome, the cake, the gifts (I'm listening to the CD right now) and all the enthusiasm and bright and scary ideas you've given me. The appearances of Kanye West and the demon ducks are memories that will linger far longer than are healthy. I'm also incredibly touched (and humbled even) that you've found things worth discussing out of Devil's Kiss. I'm glad there's more to it than just the sword fights. Though there's nothing wrong with swordfights.
2. The bookstores have been great and giving me a very fresh view to the front end of bookselling. The enthusiasm and passion everyone's shown has been a great reminder why I love all this. Books are just cool. They're little presents to youself. Murder by the Book, Watermark, B&N at Oak Brook, Anderson's and tonight's trip to Davis-Kidd, a big thanks to everyone there and those that came along to help a debut author not feel too alone.
3. Hiya to Dina, with whom I shared a long road trip and in doing so found a musical soul-mate. If you do throw the 80's party, make sure I get an invite! Also next time I really do want to stop off at the Guns and Ammo store and shoot off a few rounds. Purely for research purposes.
4. John Mason, Jim, Linda and all the great people at the USBBY conference. It's opened my eyes to a wider world than the one I previously inhabited.
Fingers-crossed and hope to see you all same time next year!
Right, a few practicalities:
1. The Short Stories. For those of you who are interested I'm releasing stories to fill the gaps between Devil's Kiss and Dark Goddess. The first, Bodmin Moor, is already out BUT I'm going to reissue it to everyone on the newsletter in it's entiriety, next week. So if you want it, join the newsletter via my main website. There are more to follow, I'm just sorting the release schedule with the publishers. I wrote them because it allowed me to focus on the other Templars, since most of them only appear briefly in the books, and to expand on Billi's world, and to give a few hints and clues to what's coming up in Dark Goddess. They are packed full of story vitamins!
2. To all of you who've sent messages, thanks and I will be replying. My laptop's a bit rubbish so I'm going to do all of the correspondence when I'm home, which will be next week.
3. The competition. I have not forgotten. The comp is now closed and I'll be picking the names out of the hat also next week. I'll be intouch then.
4. I'm going to report on the trip in much more detail when it's over, so I can sort my head out.
Finally, the biggest shout goes to my wife and daughters. I cannot wait to see you.