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On My Mind: November 3, 2014

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Halloween candy, specifically how much I have or have not eaten this year. My average is way down, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.

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Last week my family and I went to see the 1922 German silent film, Nosferatu, at The Elsinore Theater, an amazing historic theater and local gem.
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Though the gothic theater was a perfect setting for this film and the live organ playing was fabulous, I couldn’t stop thinking of this:

Ehhh.

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When I was a kid, my family would occasionally go to see dollar movies at The Elsinore. I was fascinated by the building, mostly because the gothic construction led me to believe it had once been a church. However, the giant mural of witches made me think it had been a church to Satan.

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Shakespeare, not Satan, Heidi.

I was only mildly bothered by this, since it was no longer being used for dark purposes (other than showing some terrible movies).

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I just sent out my November newsletter, which is always fun for me to write. If you haven’t subscribed, there’s a link right over there in my blog’s right sidebar. ——>

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge to a subscriber at the end of the month.

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Now I’m thinking about pie. I might need to go make some breakfast…

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Someone found this blog after googling “greatest thing on internet.” I’m flattered, but must decline that honor, as it clearly belongs to this:

What’s on your mind?

In Which I Travel the West, Talking Books and Pirates (But Not Book Pirates)

The weekend after Hook’s Revenge hit shelves, I packed my bags and set off on tour. I started in Tacoma, Washington for a signing at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow. I loved meeting, chatting with, and signing books for some of the wonderful booksellers in the area.

PNBA 2014, photo by Laura Stanfill

PNBA 14, Photo by Laura Stanfill

From Tacoma, I took a train to Seattle where I spent the next 40 hours alone in my hotel room, completing revisions on Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. It was just me, room service, and my laptop—with the occasional dance break to keep the blood flowing to my brain. I finished just in time to do my first school visit, meeting with sixty-five 5th graders at Olympic View Elementary.

You guys, these kids. They asked such smart questions and were so into books and reading. America, your future is in good hands.

They send me a bundle of letters and I absolutely treasure them.

letter from seattle student

That evening I had an event at the first of several amazing independent bookstores I would visit on my tour. Mockingbird Books is just as charming as its staff—a real treasure.

I had a lovely time appearing with Kevin Emerson, author of middle grade novel The Fellowship for Alien Detection, as well as numerous titles for young adults.

Kevin Emerson

Kevin Emerson shows off his wallet, in constant use since he was in fifth grade!

Martha Brockenbrough—grammar goddess, picture book and young adult author (I can’t wait to read her forthcoming The Game of Love and Death), and all around wonderful person—moderated and did such an awesome job I now want her to moderate my entire life.  She prepared magic tricks and trivia and even forced audience members to walk the plank! It was such a great evening!

Seattle, Heidi Schulz and Kevin Emerson, photo by Kari Bradley

with Kevin Emerson at Mockingbird Books, photo by Kari Bradley

The next day, Martha kindly drove me to KOMO Plaza where I had my first ever tv news interview, live on KOMO News 4 Seattle. I complained to my husband that I looked so stiff and nervous but he assured me I simply looked like I have excellent posture. You can decide for yourself, if you like:

After saying goodbye to Seattle I boarded a plane and set my sights on Salt Lake City. The morning after I arrived I spoke with 400(!) wonderful 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Antelope Elementary School. It was such an amazing feeling to read a section of my book to such a large crowd of kids—kids that sat quietly, fully engaged in what I was saying!

That evening, I had an event at the incredibly charming The King’s English Bookshop, appearing with two fantastic middle grade authors: Matthew J. Kirby, author of excellent novels such as Icefall and The Quantum League, and Jennifer Neilsen, author of the NYT bestselling Ascendence Trilogy (The False Prince, etc.).

King's English Salt Lake with Matt Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, photo by Hannah Schulz

with Matthew J. Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, photo by Hannah Schulz

Between Matt and Jen’s fans and my very large Utah family, there was not even standing room left for our event. Many people stood in the next room over, listening through the doorway!

Salt Lake, Heidi Schulz and Ashley Johansen, photo by Daniel Johansen

Photo by Daniel Johansen

Salt Lake, Heidi Schulz, Lindsey Lyman, and Kristi Hill, photo by Anthony Lyman

Photo by Anthony Lyman

From there, I flew to Denver for an event at Tattered Cover with Lindsay Eland, author of Scones and Sensibility and a Summer of Sundays. We had such a great time playing Truth and Dare with the audience. Anyone asking a question was able to draw a Dare Card from our deck and force Lindsay and I to do ridiculous and hilarious things. (If you would like to know how many books I can balance on my head, the answer is eight.)

Heidi Schulz and Lindsay Eland, Denver, Photo by Erica Oliver

Daring deeds with Lindsay Eland. Photo by Erica Oliver

And Tattered Cover so kindly gave me this keepsake bookmark!

tattered cover bookmark

My last event was back in Portland, again playing Truth and Dare, at A Children’s Place Bookstore. Shelby Bach, author of the Ever Afters series was my partner in absurdity there, with our shenanigans moderated by whimsicologist Kari Luna, author of the YA novel The Theory of Everything.

with Shelby Bach and Kari Luna, photo by Kelly Garret

with Shelby Bach and Kari Luna, photo by Kelly Garret

I had such an amazing time meeting readers, writers, and booksellers throughout the west. If you attended any of these events and have photos I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram or twitter or send me an email.

So that was my tour. I loved it! Bye!

But wait, there’s more!

Though this wasn’t technically a part of my tour, I did get to do a live radio interview a couple weeks ago. If you are interested, you can listen to a recording of it here:

If you would like to see me in person and you will be in either Boise or Miami next month, you are in luck!

On Friday, November 14, come see me and kidlit authors Robin HerreraSarah Tregay, and Miriam Forster at Rediscovered Books. Details

The next afternoon we will be appearing at the Boise Public Library. Details

I will be appearing at the Miami Book Fair the very next weekend, 11/22-23, though I do not yet know exactly which day or what time. I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I know.

Can’t wait to see you, friends!

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The Terrible Wonder of Launching a Book (with lots of pictures)

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter Photo by Kelly Garrett

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

I am woefully late in posting this update. I’ve had an Add New Post window open on my laptop for well over a week, but every time I actually went to add said post, I allowed myself to get distracted. I’m finding it hard to explain how great and terrible launching a book is.

The night before Hook’s Revenge was released into the wild,  just after turning out the light, my husband asked, “Are you excited? Tomorrow is the big day!” and I promptly burst into tears. There weren’t words to express how not-excited I was. I was, in a word, overwhelmed.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t all that afraid of how Hook’s Revenge would be received; I was simply exhausted. I was in the midst of a grueling round of edits for Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. I had been experiencing some health problems and was working to sort them out. And I had been ticking item after item off a never ending Back to School list (my book was set to release on the same day my daughter would start a new year at her homeschool co-op).

I explained to a friend that every part of me was stretched thin, that I felt like I was making a peanut butter sandwich with my life, but the peanut butter was almost out and furiously scraping the sides of the jar still wasn’t giving me enough to spread to the edges of the bread.

So I cried. I cried because I felt like the day I had waited my whole life for would be ruined. I cried because I didn’t know if I had enough metaphorical peanut butter in me to make it through the congrats and the parties. I cried because it just felt so big and I didn’t know how else to express it. I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I awoke a published author. You know what? Other than the puffy eyes, I didn’t look or feel all that different from the day before. But throughout that day and the days to come, you, dear reader, brought about a change in me. You congratulated me on Facebook and Twitter, via text and email. You sent me pictures of my book in bookstores and in the hands of eager young readers. You filled up all my empty spaces and gave me the energy, the excitement, and the joy I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find.

Today I’m sharing pictures of my launch parties. Tomorrow I’ll drop back in with pictures from my book tour.

Take a look at my face. That smile is genuine. You put it there. I can’t thank you enough.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day Hook’s Revenge Launch Party at Powell’s Books

Launch at Powell's

Full house! More than 100 people attended my party, many in pirate costume!
Photo by Walt Schulz

"My

My lovely niece Ashley
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and her young pirate friend. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and young pirate friend
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Susan Hill Long and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt, as Mr. Smee Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt as Mr. Smee
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress. Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress 
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Ticktock. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Ticktock
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Pirate Party and Hook’s Revenge Celebration at the Salem Public Library

Salem, OR Launch Party, Heidi Schulz and Landon Springer, Photo by Brittany Springer

Peter Pan and me Photo by Brittany Springer

Launch Party Grog, photo by Heidi Schulz

Walt, Hannah, and I spent a couple Sunday afternoons affixing labels to our “grog.”

Cupcakes and pixie dust, photo by Heidi Schulz

Cupcakes, chocolate gold coins, and Pixie Sticks (pilfered pixie dust). Sorry parents!

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Thank you to my sister, Julie, for so beautifully setting up the food!

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Even my mom dressed up!

Thank you to Powell’s, the Salem Public Library, everyone who attended, and each one of you. You brought the peanut butter!

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