• Trainspotted!!

    19 November 2010

    I finally made it out Boston late on the 15th, not getting to bed that night until 02.00!! I spent a couple of enjoyable days in Virginia on Tuesday and Wednesday -- lots of good schools, attentive children, lovely booksellers. The time flew by, which is always a good sign on tour! Thursday was especially full-on. I had to get up at 03.45 to catch my flight to Charlotte, North Carolina!! As if that wasn't bad enough, my driver slept in and never turned up to collect me! Luckily I was able to get a taxi and made the flight OK. In Charlotte I did another couple of cool schools -- it's been a really good tour, schools-wise, I've been welcomed warmly everywhere I've gone, there haven't really been any reneged promises when it comes to numbers (i.e. schools haven't promised to let 100 kids come to my event, and then only allowed 20 to come), and the kids have listened politely and patiently. I did a nice, intimate event Thursday night -- my last solo public event of the tour -- then flew on down to Miami.

    Today I did my biggest schools event of the tour in Miami -- 700 teenagers from a variety of schools!! It started ominously. I got to the place where the International Literary Festival is being held, but because it was the first day, they weren't quite as organised as they might have been. I had trouble getting somebody to take me to the room where my event was, and when I got there, the microphones weren't working and there were no technicians on hand to sort them out!!! Luckily somebody managed to get one half-working, and I was able to fire ahead. The sound wasn't great, and some of the kids got a bit restless, so I was having to raise my voice a lot of the time, but I held the crowd in shape for the most part, which I was pretty proud of -- controlling 700 kids with a dodgy microphone in a massive room is no easy achievement!!!!! I did an interesting interview with The Inside Reel after my event (if I find out when and where it's due to air, I'll let you all know in a future posting). Then I got on the metro back to my hotel. As I took my seat, two young women surged forward and gasped, "Are you Darren Shan?!?" The pair had just flown in from Houston for my panel event on Saturday, and were on their way to their hotel -- how's that for destiny?!? If I wrote a chance meeting like that into one of my books, nobody would believe me. I got off to chat with Rachel and Courtney (I THINK those were their names!) for a few minutes, as I always like to spend a bit of extra time with fans who go the extra mile to come to my events. They left with BIG smiles on their faces -- and I was smiling too!! After that I had lunch in my hotel, then went for a walk around Miami. When I got back I wrote up a speech which I'll be delivering at the NCTE event on Monday in Orlando. Later I went for a massage in the hotel's spa (I'm getting into my massages -- I had one a few days ago as well -- they're keeping me nice and mellow ont he road!) then watched "The Kids Are All Right" which I enjoyed, then finished writing up my NCTE speech.

    Right -- time to hit the sack! If you're in Miami this Saturday, don't miss me at 1.30pm at the Book Fair. I'm only doing a panel event, so I won't get to babble on as much as I normally do, but it's the last public event of my tour!!!!!! If you miss me now, it might be quite a long wait before you catch me back in the States again...

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