Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thanks Chicago! See you next year...

I love Chicago. Always have. It's a city I could spend weeks exploring. While I was there, I stayed with my pal Sally and her husband Steve, who spoiled me -- wonderful food, shopping, sightseeing, and we took in a comedy show at Second City, one of my favorite things to do!

I had an almost 'spa-like' stay while I was there, which means (although Sally probably doesn't realize it yet) I'll be knocking on their door next year when The Silver Compass comes out, wanting my old room back!

Yesterday's reading was great. It was held at Borders Books at 150 North State Street in Chicago and we had a nice crowd show up (whew). Thanks to all of the DDB Chicago staff who came out to join us, and a very special thank you to Katie and the rest of Border's staff, who made me feel so welcome and did such a wonderful job.

We arrived early and there were displays everywhere promoting The Penny Tree and (bonus) The Tin Box.

Sally did take a few pictures of me, but they were so bad (certainly not her fault) that I refuse to post them here. Instead, all you get is a cropped version of my eyes, looking happy, because I was. In fact, things went so well I've decided to beg my publicist to let me return to the same Chicago Borders next year when The Silver Compass comes out. Thanks again everyone!

Reminder: We're drawing names Saturday to give away three copies of The Penny Tree, so if you haven't added yours to the blog post below, better do it now.


Anonymous said...

I have added my name, but figured it wouldn't hurt to do it again.


kyla-dale said...

The displays they did up look great!! Can't wait to find out what it feels like to do a *reading* all my own some day.

P.S. I LOVE Second City, too!!!

Anonymous said...

I was at your Chicago reading
(the third one I've ever been to) and I have to say, I could have listened to you talk and tell stories for hours!!

When your publisher sets up next year's date, let your bloggers know will yah?

Dianna J.

ORION said...

I am so jealous!!! I wanna do a reading. Holly can you tell us a bit about it. What chapter do you read (what makes you decide) and do you do questions from the audience?
Come on.

Jess Riley said...

Oh, that display is gorgeous! ANd yes, tell us more about your reading process!

Anonymous said...

Holly is so interesting to listen to! She doesn't just *read* which would be all get out boring, she *entertains*. I've been to two of her readings now so call me an Holly-book-reading expert!

If you've met her, you'll know what I mean when I say there is NOTHIN boring about this girl and when she gets talking about 'the writing business' (something I have no intrest in) even that is fun to here about. :))

x-lurker from Edmonton

wordman17 said...

I'm impressed.
Those displays looks awesome!

Hats off to yah from Texas.

Here's hoping Penny Tree finds a whole whack of new homes looking for a good read!!!

Holly Kennedy said...

Thanks for popping by everyone!

Anon "x-lurker from Edmonton" pls reveal yourself!!! :) & thanks for the kind compliments...

ORION and Jess -- What I 'read' depends on the crowd & the venue. ie., in my home town, I read an excerpt I call BLUE DINOSAUR and I dished it up with some fun back story (ie., how it was the first piece I ever wrote and how I slipped it into The Penny Tree as a scene :)

In Chicago, I read the 1st chapter, mostly because I knew the crowd probably hadn't read the book yet, whereas in my home town many people already had.

I always pick a few talking points about to cover -- fun things about the book's "success to date" (subrights sold to book clubs, published in other languages, Book Sense notable, etc).

And then, somehow, it seems I always manage to digress and tell 'stories' about how I write (ie., this time around I've been sharing my sleep walking story and how I'm sliding it into the next book - which both entertains and also (hopefully) gets everyone interested in the next book!!)

I've been to a lot of 'dry and serious' readings where the author reads the first chapter, takes a few questions, thanks everyone for coming and.... that's it.

And I always think, "That's it?"

I attend readings because I want to support other authors, but when I leave I want to feel as though they were both accessible AND entertaining in some way; I want to "get to know them a little".

And that's how I want people to feel when they attend one of my readings.

P.S. *lol* I guess it also helps that when I get talking it's pretty hard to shut me up!!

Anonymous said...

You mentioned in another blog post that you're coming to Winnipeg to do a reading.

Can you tell me when and where it's being held?

Paula W.

Holly Kennedy said...

Yes, I'm flying to Winnipeg next week. I hope you're able to make it out to the reading.

Here are the details copied from an e-invite from the bookseller (which I'll post on my blog this coming Friday):

Holly Kennedy and McNally Robinson Booksellers invite you to a reading and signing of "The Penny Tree", published by Penguin Books Canada. The event will take place at 7:00 pm at the Grant Park location in the Travel Alcove on Thursday, May 3rd.

Therese said...

So glad your trip and reading went well...I am so envious of those displays!!

Just sent back my copyedits--so I'm now a little closer to seeing my novel on the bookstore racks. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm so glad you had a great time. I loved Chicago when I was there, but since I was on a business trip, I didn't have near enough time to explore!

Anissa said...

That's so awesome, Holly! Thanks for sharing your process. I'm ready to attend my first reading. So who's coming to Phoenix? Holly? Pat? Come on! The displays look amazing too. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

I got your Winnipeg invite last week. Can't wait! See yah from the front row with a BIG smile.

P.S. Feels good not to lurk anymore! Karin

Larramie said...

So happy to hear, Holly, that you had a wonderful trip, both personally and professionally.

And that display...fantastic!

Holly Kennedy said...

Good to hear from you, Therese.
Glad to hear your copy edits are done!

Melissa, couldn't you just spend days wandering around that city?! Honestly, Chicago rocks.

Anissa -- I would LOVE to do a reading in Phoenix. Maybe next year (cross your fingers!!)

Larramie -- Always good to have you stop by. Hope things are well at your end. :)

Holly Kennedy said...

Hey, Karin!
Good to see you stop lurking.
I'll watch for yah in the front row in Winnipeg next week.

Maia said...

I was in our big Toronto bookstore, Indigo yesterday, and The Penny Tree was in the stacks, turned face outward for all to see. They only do that for big authors you know! So good to see it and buy it. Have fun in the windy city.

ORION said...

Thanks Holly for answering that. Each time we talk on the phone I forget to ask!

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'll be turning your book face outwards when I see it in our bookstores. I do that for all my friends. And if the store puts them spine out again...I just put them face outwards again.

I'm incorrigible.

LadyBronco said...

Holly -
Any chance you'll ever make it out here to Colorado?

Holly Kennedy said...

Maia - The closest store to where I live is an Indigo book store. Aren't they great? So inviting.
Thanks for telling me the book was stocked face out :)

M.G. - You aren't incorrigible; you're a sweetheart for doing so! Thanks a ton :)

Lady Bronco -- I flew through Denver in January but that's probably as close as I'll get for a few years. It all depends on book sales and how this one + the next one do. I'd LOVE to, though. Denver is gorgeous!

Lindsay Sasseville said...

Looks like Chicago was great fun for you! I bet you still get the cool feeling that comes over you when you see your books on store shelves! How exciting!