• All toured out!!

    22 November 2010

    The tour is over!! I enjoyed my panel event in Miami on Saturday with Ellen Hopkins and Scott Westerfeld. Met up with Rachel and Courtney (the young ladies from the train on Friday) again afterwards for a Starbucks, then pointed them towards the waterfront and set them loose! Then caught a short flight down to Orlando and set up in a Disney resort for a couple of nights.


    On Sunday I spent an amazing day with a teenager called Tabish in Islands of Adventure. Tabish has been battling a serious illness for two and a half years, and is winning out over it by sheer determination and will-power. He still has a year of hard treatment ahead of him, but he has the spirit of a vampire, so I'm sure he'll breeze through it!! Tabish is a big fan of mine, and the wonderful Make A Wish foundation arranged for us to spend the day together in Islands of Adventure, along with his parents. It was an incredible experience for me, and I feel so honoured to have been able to give him my time and help him fight at least part of the good fight. We also both loved the rides, particularly the new Harry Potter ride, and the themed HP zone of the park -- truly mind-blowing!! My day with Tabish is a day I'll never forget.


    On Sunday night I went to a fun dinner with teachers and librarians, and relished reading out one of my grossest scenes from Lord Loss just as they were about to tuck into their main course! One teacher wasn't able to finish her meal afterwards, which gave me a lovely, wicked, warm glow inside!!!!


    Today I did my final event, a speech at the NCTE, for about 400 teachers and librarians. I spoke about teenagers finding themselves with the help of books. It went down very well, but I got my biggest round of applause when I cursed!! I covered quite a lot of ground in my speech, but ended up by reading a letter I received from a teacher of kids with problems a while back. It was a lovely, humbling, uplifting letter, which tied in perfectly with the theme of the speech. It ended with a quote from one of her most problematic students, who had been turned on to the wonders of reading by my books -- "F**k free time! Let's read more!!!" I knew it would either win me a huge round of applause or absolute, horrified silence -- luckily it was the former!!!! That's the first time in 11 years of touring that I have sworn at an event, and despite the rapturous applause, any teachers out there who are hoping to bring me to their schools in the future don't need to worry -- I won't be making a habit of it!!!


    And that's the end of the tour! I'm off to have a bite of lunch, then I'll be making my way to the airport for the long flight home. It's been a top-notch tour -- the time has flown by, which is always a good sign!!! Bye-bye for now, America -- hopefully be back soon!!!!!

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