Archive for May, 2010

Back from Book Tour

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I’m back home after spending the past week on the road to promote “Marley and the Kittens,” my new illustrated children’s book. The tour began in New York City where I spent half a day in a television studio doing interviews with stations around the country. From there, I headed to New Jersey, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Dayton, where I shared my hotel with about 200 body builders there for a competition. Talk about feeling like a wimpy kid!

The tour was fun. I always enjoy talking about writing and books with kids, whose enthusiasm is truly contagious. And their questions, comments, and cards crack me up.

Lowlight of the tour: Rising at 4 a.m. to catch an early morning flight out of Kansas City and arriving at the airport to learn my plane had been struck by lightning overnight (in a Wizard of Oz worthy storm) as it sat on the tarmac and was disabled with no other flights heading my way any time soon.

Highlight of the tour: The little girl who broke out of line as she was following her teacher back to her classroom after one of my talks in Houston. She walked over to me and without a word gave me a big hug. Awwww!

Midlight of the tour: Really great barbecue at Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City. I ordered the half slab of ribs, and it was enough meat for a family of four. Who gets the full slab?

Now I’m home catching up on spring yard and garden work. Picked the first salad from my backyard patch today: four kinds of lettuce, spinach, arugula, chives, tarragon, pea sprouts…all tossed in a little olive oil and fresh lime juice and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds. Nice. I swear, my kids are half rabbit.

Thanks to everyone who came out for my events the past week — especially all you kids who made me feel so welcome in your schools. It was great meeting all of you!

And a quick note: I’ll be speaking in Fairless HIlls, suburban Philadelphia, this Thursday, May 20, and in York, PA, on May 27. Details to come soon.

Marley and the Kittens

Friday, May 7th, 2010

A couple summers ago, my daughter Colleen and I were driving down a country road near our home in eastern Pennsylvania when we spotted movement in the weeds along the pavement. I stopped the car, and we got out to investigate: There in the high grass were three tiny kittens, hungry and crying. They clearly had been abandoned by some heartless soul. We knew we could not leave them there. Home the cats came with us, and soon they had names. And their own bed. And a litter box. And pans of food and water. Our household had just gotten a little bit bigger.

That real-life experience is the inspiration for my newest children’s book, Marley and the Kittens, now in bookstores. Once again, I have teamed up with the abundantly talented artist Richard Cowdrey who provides his trademark charmingly joyous illustrations to accompany my story. Richard and I enjoy working together, and our creative collaboration is rewarding for both of us. My words inspire his drawings; his drawings inspire my words. It’s a beautiful thing.

This is our fourth illustrated children’s book together, following the bestsellers Bad Dog, Marley!, A Very Marley Christmas, and Marley Goes to School. And with this new book out, you know what that means, don’t you? Yes…. ROAD TRIP! I’m off on another book tour. Actually the tour began Thursday in New York City with a satellite television tour, which took me via satellite to TV morning shows in fifteen markets around the country. This morning I made my way out of Manhattan to the leafy New Jersey suburbs, where I presented Marley and the Kittens to about 700 school children (who I am delighted to report squealed their enthusiastic approval). I’m home for a truncated weekend, then head out again for a week of appearances. My schedule will take me to two schools during the day and a bookstore each evening. The bookstore events are open to the public, and I also will be signing my adult books, Marley & Me and The Longest Trip Home. Hope to see you there!

Here is my tour schedule:

Sunday, May 9, 2 p.m. — Hollywood Palms theater, 352 South Route 59, Naperville, IL 60540. Sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Tuesday, May 11, 5 p.m. — Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079

Wednesday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. — Rainy Day Books, 17800 West 106th Street, Olathe, KS 66061

Thursday, May 13, 6 p.m. — Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Rd. Rookwood Pavilion, Cincinnati, OH 45208

Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. — Books & Co., The Greene Shopping Center, 4453 Walnut Street, Beavercreek, OH 45440

Thursday, May 20, 4:30 p.m. — Barnes & Noble, 210 Commerce Blvd, Fairless Hills, PA 19030

Thursday, May 27, 7 p.m. — Borders, 3000 Whiteford Road, York, PA 17402