Diana Renn

Mysteries that Matter

Author

Today’s post will be hasty, as I’m writing to the soundtrack of Tom and Jerry cartoons. It’s breakfast time in our hotel room, and my 5-year-old and his dad are in full vacation mode. That means breakfast with Tom and Jerry on YouTube. Sigh. I’m not exactly a fan of this show. Partly because of the violence, and mostly because of the music, which makes me feel completely frantic. I don’t know about you, but I like to ease into my mornings, not start them with maniacal chase scenes.

Nevertheless. Tom and Jerry are generously giving me some blogging time, so I’ll wrap up my notes from the Seattle TOKYO HEIST tour before the cat catches the mouse! (For those of you who actually have leisure time to read . . . notes from Part 1 of my tour, if you missed them, can be found here. And Part 2 can be found here).

Saturday found me in the beautiful port town of Edmonds, just north of Seattle. Once again, a CSI team beat me to the bookstore! Here’s the creative storefront display at the Edmonds Bookshop:

The Edmonds Bookshop is a real gem, bursting with books and bustling with customers. The booksellers made me feel right at home, and the owner brought in a spread of sushi. I spent an hour chatting with customers about TOKYO HEIST, YA lit, mystery writing, and Japan.

I was thrilled to meet two ladies from the Edmonds Sister City Commission, both of whom had read the book. Edmonds, WA and Hekinan, Japan are sister cities, with a great exchange program for teens. I donated a book and some swag for their upcoming raffle, and they gave me this cool T-shirt (above). One of these women came in adorned in gorgeous contemporary clothing from Japan, including these awesome split toe shoes! She said they’re super comfortable. (If you’ve been following my footwear travails on the previous posts, you’ll know how much I want these!)

After Edmonds, my chauffeur husband, my personal assistant son and I raced, Tom and Jerry style, our feet spinning into blurs, over to the city of Bellevue, for my final book event on the tour.

At the Bellevue Barnes and Noble, I joined my fellow Seattle-area Apocalypsies J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just) and Marissa Burt (Storybound) to chat about our books. This was especially fun because the three of us had met in Bellevue for coffee at the beginning of our publication journey, about a year and a half ago when we all joined the Apocalypsies. Now we were all presenting together, our books complete at last!

This event had great turnout, despite competition from the huge Bellevue Arts Festival right next door and a street closure nearby. We had excellent audience participation for some fun activities, and excellent questions. I’ve been raving about indie bookstores on this tour, but I have to say, my experiences with Barnes and Noble — here and elsewhere — have also been extremely positive. Every B&N seems to have its own character, and they’ve all been welcoming and enthusiastic. They really do support teen fiction as well as debut authors.

With Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder

At this event, I got to meet two rock stars! One was fellow Apocalypsie Marissa Meyer (author of Cinder) who showed up for a little shopping! Hey, look what she bought!

And . . . I met Realm Lovejoy! Realm’s one of the four artists who did an illustration based on Tokyo Heist, which I displayed here on my blog last month. She’s also an agented YA writer, and I’m hoping her book sells soon and I’ll be seeing HER present at Barnes and Noble. (And if you want to look back at my interview with Realm and her artwork inspired by the novel, you can find that here).

Thanks for reading my Seattle dispatches and book tour notes!

I hear an anvil dropping . . . I’m off to catch the tail end of Tom and Jerry with my son! 

With artist/writer Realm Lovejoy

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!