Well... THAT was a tour...!
I've been back home for a few days, trying to get used to sleeping in my own bed and struggling to figure out how I managed to exist without someone from Publicity leading me to and from destinations, ordering me food, arranging hotel rooms and cars... It's not easy, adjusting back into normality, especially after meeting thousands of readers, many of whom go strangely quiet when they finally get their book signed... Not all of them go quiet, however, but we'll get to that...
I flew to London on September 2nd, a Friday, and had dinner with my VERY lovely agent Michelle, where we talked about all manner of cool things- INCLUDING the kitchen that I'm planning on refitting. (See? Seriously cool things like that my kitchen. I live such an exciting life.)
Saturday morning, Publicity Girl Extraordinaire Tiffany picked me up from my hotel and we started a day of public signings in Brent Cross and Bromley. Oh dear GOD. People had been waiting for hours- the queue went on forever- and a certain number of Skulduggery fans were actually screaming. Then they descended on me with their mad, crazy babble. I sat there, stunned, as they babbled and yattered and chattered and gibbered. I was given an inflatable unicorn called Clarabelle, and I'm pretty sure I was proposed to.
That evening I flew to Edinburgh, and the next morning Publicity Girl Extraordinaire Mary picked me up and I did events in Perth and Stirling, both of which were amusingly manic.
On Monday, we were in Glasgow, and I did TWO 400 person events one after another... This is when my voice started to go, and by the time I turned up at Waterstones that evening, I was definitely starting to worry. My voice has never been a problem before, but then, every tour the queues get longer, and I chat and laugh with more people, so it was only a matter of time before I was talking constantly for 8 hours a day... My poor voice just wasn't prepared for it.
We finished up in Scotland on Tuesday and drove to Newcastle, and from there it all started to blur together. We were in Bolton next, then Sheffield and Boston, then Cambridge and St Albans, and I met so many Skulduggery readers who each had their own theories as to what's going to happen next, and their own opinions on what just happened in Death Bringer, and each and every one of them were unique oddballs who made me grin and chat more and lose my voice AGAIN...
And then suddenly it was Saturday, and I was in Muswell's Children's Bookshop, talking to my old English teacher who'd come along, and I was given a WONDERFUL cake by a couple of readers who'd made it themselves. And then- Bluewater. The legendary Bluewater, where the queues are longer than anywhere else. If there is one thing this tour has taught me is how to speed up while signing, and I was definitely signing faster here in order to make it to the airport for my flight... But I did it, and I hopped on the plane, came home, and the next day I was at the Mountains to the Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire, meeting the coolest people and getting lots of hugs.
Then I had a few days off, and Publicity Girl Extraordinaire Sam came over, fresh from her wedding, to spend time with the TRUE love of her life- me. Over the next three days we did events and signings in Tallaght and Kildare, Liberty Hall and Swords, and finished with epic signings in Dundrum and Blanchardstown.
And now? Now I'm finished.
I must, at this moment, thank my Publicity Girls. Thank you very much Catrina, it was so good to meet you! Thank you Mary- a few years ago I changed your life when I introduced you to the glories of the Gilmore Girls, and now I think I have done it again by introducing you and your family to the classic Batman: The Animated Series. Sam, after a few days with me, I hope life with your new husband won't appear too drab by comparison. And last but not least, Tiffany. Tiffany has been around for a few years, but this is the first time she's ever come on one of my tours, and unfortunately it's also going to be the last, as she heads back home to America in a few weeks. Tiffany was a wonderful companion, completely overawed at my wit, which is understandable. I knew we were going to get on when I heard the Imperial March coming from her phone.
I just want to thank all of you who came to an event or a signing- it really gives me a thrill when someone says "Hi, I'm Sue, but you probably know me best as Raven Darkclaw from the blog/facebook/forums." So many of you guys identified yourselves to me and it was like meeting an old friend for the first time. The lovely thing about these tours is when the Publicity Girls say how much they love the people who come to get books signed. For some reason, they seem to think you guys are fantastic, and fun, and sweet, and smart, and hilarious and goodnatured. I try to explain that ALL of my Minions are this way, and you are. From the people who froze when they met me (which is ALWAYS amusing) to the people who just wouldn't stop talking, to the girls who were practically hyperventilating, you were all magnificent. I don't particularly like going away to stay at bad hotels for a week, but every single one of you make it all worthwhile.
And I know I missed huge chunks of Ireland and the UK, but hopefully we'll visit your area next time. Next year there'll be more tours to add on, and whatever else pops up. Whenever I get a request, I do take note of it, because I know there are passionate readers all over the world who just want a chance to meet their Golden God. All you folks in Singapore, and Australia and New Zealand, and all the requests I get from Sweden and Germany and Canada and Estonia, not to mention you Americans...!
I really hope that one of these days I'll be able to tour America, but I just want to say right here and now that I truly appreciate all your support. It's not easy for you guys- not least because only the first three books are officially available over there- so your support really does go above and beyond the call of duty. I hope to be able to do something nice for you sometime soon, in thanks. In fact, how many of you are actually out there? I know Kallista is American, and Skulgirl, and I think Mar Chu, but how many others?
American readers, let yourselves be known!
One more thing, before I head off. It's thanks to you guys that Death Bringer sold so well, so thank you for officially making Skulduggery Pleasant a NUMBER ONE Bestselling Series!
Now I have to go. I need to finish The End of the World in the next few days. I love my job.