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Yes, they built us a Waffle House

I am happily home for a few days before the CT/NY leg of adventures begins!Below, mangled, non-chronological news from the California part of the tour.



Lauren wrote with lipstick on a truckstop mirror.

One of our escorts was an ex-bounty hunter and we were scared of her.

We met one of the stars of Greek!  She was prettier than you could imagine.

We stayed up very late and felt sorry the next day.

We got lost.  A few times. Sometimes, it was not even my fault!

We read The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando (Lauren), Attack of the Theater People by Marc Acito (me) and Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin (Sarah). We loved them all and think you should read those books immediately. 

(Emily Giffin came to see us on tour in Atlanta!  I forgot to tell you that. She was glamorous and really friendly.)

We forced the awesome Walter the Giant Storyteller to perform an impromptu Frog & Toad puppet show at Hicklebee's bookshop. Well, Lauren forced him. He was a very good sport.  Really, I don't know that you could force Walter to do anything he didn't want to do. He is a person of significant stature and what's more, deals with middle school girls on a daily basis (librarian) so he doesn't manipulate easily.

We did several school visits and were moved by the enthusiasm, sincerity, and smart questions of the students. Only Lauren and Sarah did make fun of my vocabulary because I told a group of students that what drives me to write is "visceral agita" and they said I should just say "a strong feeling" or something like that.

But visceral agita is so much more fun! I said.  They said, it is only fun if people understand what you're saying.

Lauren cozied up with the hall monitor at one school we visited.




She also helped the landscapers use their weed wacker!  (I have it on video, so you can see it later).



We had an excellent time signing stock at BookPassage in San Francisco. Here we are with Virginia, who curates a great teen section. Lauren is worshipping her. I am stepping on Lauren. Why? It was too tempting to resist. 


Anyway, Patty at Copperfield's got Waffle House to send her hats, menus, signage, aprons, everything she needed to create a Waffle House right in the bookstore.  People came an hour early and ate waffles with fruit and whipped cream.  We got to wear the hats! 


Now, you may or may not know that we have been shooting MASSES of video on this tour. We have plans to use it for world domination. Or possibly just to make some excellent YouTube videos.  But if you can't wait to see us in actual action, you can go to the How to Be Bad website and see footage of the Florida road trip we took when we were about halfway through writing the book. It inspired a lot of the story.


Meanwhile, did I tell you that Roo3 is done done done? I mean, I hafta revise it, but it is a whole complete story with romance and molten chocolate cakes and pygmy goats. And there will be a 4th book,  too!





Melissa Walker's Disreputable History

Melissa Walker's Violet on the Runway and the sequel, Violet by Design, are smart novels about a young fashion model -- and what life is really like on the catwalk and in front of the camera.  The third, Violet in Private, comes out this summer.  Melissa is a fashion insider (see her blog for proof) and she really knows what she's writing about.

Anyway, I know Melissa from teen author readings at the New York Public Library, and she's really sweet and interesting, and tall!  We also went to the same college, although I am (cough cough) quite a lot older.

 (Vassar!  a breeding ground for YA writers such as: Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfeld, Mariah Fredrickson, Carolyn Mackler, Megan Crane  -- well, she's not really YA but teens would love her books -- and more whom I'm forgetting right now). 

Anyway, I got Melissa to tell us her Disreputable History, meaning I got her to submit to my questions based on The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, in which   the heroine infiltrates an all-male secret society and stages ornate and controversial pranks on the campus of her boarding school.  

Melissa has invented an excellent secret society, plus she is a sneaky-puss. Read about it, below. 

1. Tell me the sneakiest thing you ever did. 
Hmm, once in high school, I stood watch as my friends rearranged the letters on a Burger King sign from "Free Whoppers" to "Free Whores." Is that too racy? It wasn't especially intelligent, but we got a laugh driving by the next day.

2. Tell me the sneakiest thing that happens in your new book. 
Well, in Violet by Design, Violet's frenemy Veronica manages to finagle a fashion campaign out of Violet's hands while making it seem like it was all the designer's idea. 

3. Are you a prankster? Tell me a story.
I'm not really a prankster, but we did used to do these elaborate scavenger hunts around my hometown when I was in high school. I remember once, one of the items was the Ben & Jerry's tip cup. I felt so bad taking it that I ran in, dumped the money onto the counter, and ran out. But it was worth 10 points so I had to get it!

4. Were you in any clubs or societies in high school? Did any of those club activities make it into your novels? 
Violet works on the newspaper staff in Violet on the Runway, but it's really just mentioned in passing. I was editor of my high school yearbook and I was in the Spanish Honor Society. Does that count? It wasn't secret, though I bet it would have been more fun if it had been!

5. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why, or why not?
Yes, because I am all about women having strong and equal roles in all they do—from family to career to every conceivable opportunity.

6. How does your answer to question 5 show up in your new book?
In Violet by Design, Violet really struggles with the weight issues that are prevalent in the fashion industry, and she finds ways to stand up for herself—most of the time. She's definitely on her way to becoming a resolute feminist, despite superficial and shallow pressures from the world she's in.

7. The club in my book is called The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. If you were to found a secret society, what would it be called, and what would its mission be?
I think it would be called The Honorable Order of Smart People Who Watch Bad TV. My DVR list is hugely humiliating, but I really enjoy my couch time with trashy TV on rainy Sundays—and I know there are others out there like me. Join us!

Tour Dates in NY/CT area


The How to Be Bad tour is epic. We are recuperating for a few days, and then taking our schtick on the road in Connecticut and NY. Come see us. 

May 29, 2008
4:00 pm Borders 1499 Post Rd Fairfield, CT 06824 203-256-1619

May 30, 2008
7:00 pm Outback Teen Center, hosted by Elm Street Books, 71 Main St. New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 966-4545

May 31, 2008
2:00 pm Barnes & Noble Country Glen Center 91 Old Country Road Carle Place, NY 11514 516-741-9850

June 1, 2008
1:00 pm Books of Wonder 18 West 18th St. New York, NY 10011 (212) 989-3270

Tour Tour and more Tour

First off, please forgive any weird formatting going on here. My blogging software completely redesigned itself and there are GLITCHES. Or else I can't figure stuff out. Also, I am stuck in the airport for FOUR HOURS and am exceedingly crankypants.

Visit Lauren's blog to learn more about our tour -- I am not covering all here!  There will have to be more blogging later.

HUGE thanks to everyone who came out to see us, and to the  bookstores that hosted us and stocked our books and gave us waffles and cookies and adorable cupcakes.  (These are from Not Your Mother's Bookclub).


At NYMBC I got to hold a large stuffed basset hound (for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, a book that features basset hounds) through the whole presentation. Lauren and Sarah got crows. Which have nothing to do with any of their books. But they held them anyhow. 


 Yes, that is a massively unflattering picture of me. But I really wanted to show you the basset. I suspend my vanity for you people. Because I care!

At Cody's bookstore, where we dropped by to sign stock, we were met by two of the Three Evil Cousins. Their teen-run website reviews YA books.

Now, it is true that the Cousins are evil. But, they also love musical theater! (And so does Sarah, it turns out. She has kept this on the DL. She knows all the lyrics to Sound of Music.)Here we all are singing Doe a Deer and fortunately  not being thrown out of the bookshop. Stay tuned for HIGHLY EMBARASSSING VIDEO of same.


 Author Tina Ferraro (How to Hook a Hottie), blogger and author Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrator Marla Frazee (Clementine, Roller Coaster), debut YA novelist Sarah Quigley (I'd post her blog, but Sarah, I am not sure I am supposed to!) --  all came out to see us, and so did author Kristin Harmel  (When You Wish) back in Florida. You guys are awesome and we so appreciate your support! It made me feel glamorous that so many people who make books came out to see us. 

Two others who came to the Vroman's event were the charming Megan Crane and the effervescent Cecil Castelluci.




More in next post. Waffles! (There are waffles in How to Be Bad). 



Quizzy quizzy

So: The Boy Book (sequel to The Boyfriend List) just came out in paperback, as did Dramarama -- so I thought I'd remind you that you can FIND OUT YOUR DATING DESTINY. 

Here is mine:

You will live in a Apartment.
You will drive a 
blue Mercedes Convertible.
You will marry 
Robert Downey Junior and have 3 kid(s).
You will be a 
Broadway star in Bombay.

How I will be a broadway star in Bombay, I do not know, but married to RDJ, I am sure I will manage it. Anyway, take the quiz and post results on your blog, if you you have one! 

And while you're at it, here's another awesome quiz -- my publisher just made this up for How to Be Bad: Which "bad girl" are you
I am Vicks, of course!!!