Thursday, April 2, 2009

This Post Is About People

Hellooooooooooo beautiful people!

I'm home.

I'm still processing the last two weeks, so this post might be scattered.

I'll start in Bologna, where I had dinner in a restored medieval tower with my editors / publishers from Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Finland, and Spain (both Castillan and Catalan), not to mention my wonderful agents and scouts from all over Europe. The dinner took place on the middle floors of the tower, but beforehand, we climbed up the steep (and I think it would be fair to say perilous) steps (and, closer to the top, ladders) to the roof, for a toast. The view of Bologna at night from the roof of the Torre Prendiparte was just... well, let's just say that I started to cry. I simply could not believe that I was on top of this beautiful tower looking out at this beautiful city with all of these beautiful people.

What else?

A knight accompanied me to my press conference and stood behind me the entire time. I've never felt so safe in my life. I almost wished someone would try to rob me just to see what would happen. I hope to post photos soon.

I did SO MANY INTERVIEWS! The Italian press is very impressive. (No pun intended.) My Italian editor Beniamino, who is a darling, translated like a champ all week long. By the 5th or 6th interview, I'm not even sure he needed me there anymore, because he knew all my answers. De Agostini, in general, made Bologna a wonderful experience for me, as did my Paris agent, Lora. Can I say thanks one more time? :o)

Later in the week, I got to meet my Brazilian editor, and then my U.K. editor showed up and we played! yAt!

Also, the German edition (out next fall) is going to have one of those ribbon bookmarks. This makes me happy.

Also, the Italian edition is out (I saw it in stores before I left), and so are the Spanish (Castillan), Catalan, and Dutch editions. The cover I'm using for this post is the Catalan cover. I used the small version just for space considerations, but if you click on it, I think you can see a bigger version.

I had the immense pleasure of spending some time with Melina Marchetta, who is as wonderful as her books.

After Bologna, I flew to New York, only missing one plane (I've mentioned before how I feel about Delta). Sigh... I ♥ New York. I met a gazillion wonderful people at Penguin; I got to hang out with my agent and my editor AND a very handsome young chappy, secret code name: Cutie, who didn't talk much, probably because of the pacifier in his mouth; I went to dinner and met more lovely people....

The Penguin Fire ARCs are beautiful. The cover is metallic and shiny!

I had a rough patch on Tuesday morning, when I was being driven from Manhattan to Greenwich, CT for the Penguin sales conference, where I was scheduled to give a speech. I think the long days of travel and of so much EXCITEMENT finally hit me and combined with my tendency toward car sickness and my terrible nerves about speechmaking. I was pretty green; I wouldn't be surprised if the driver began to worry about his upholstery. It was one of those times when you just keep counting down the minutes, and every minute that passes is one more minute in which you have successfully not thrown up, which feels like the world's greatest achievement.

Finally, the silliest thing comforted me and made my nerves and nausea go away. I noticed we were driving on I-95. It takes a certain level of jet-lagged exhaustion to make a person start to feel sentimental about an interstate highway, but the thing is, I-95 isn't just an interstate. It's a ribbon that connects not all, but many, of the important people in my life. My sisters, my parents, other family members, and a lot of friends are part of the I-95 ribbon, from Massachusetts down through New York and Philly, all the way to my Great-Aunt Marnie, who lives just beyond the end of I-95 in the Florida Keys. And all of those people love me, and I love them, and they all know what it's like to be tired, overwhelmed, and a little bit scared.

I cannot tell you what a comfort that was to me. And I just want all of my friends and family, even the ones not on the I-95 corridor :o), to know that I was holding on to you on Tuesday, and you gave me courage.

Anyway, it was just a speech -- you'd think, from the way I'm talking, that I was being driven to my own execution or something ^_^. The speech turned out to be a lot of fun to give! It was a very kind crowd. I ♥ book people.

So, this is a post about people. It's a thank you note and a love letter to all the friends I've always had, and all the new friends I've made.

On Tuesday night, my sister, secret code name: Cordelia, and my outlaw brother-in-law, secret code name: Joe, picked me up at the airport. All four of them. Cordelia happens to be pregnant -- with twins! They drove me home through a torrential rainstorm. On I-95, of course. :o)

When I got home, two new young trees had been planted in my front yard.

Welcome, trees.

Life is good.

31 comments:

JMS said...

Welcome home dear friend!! Many hugs from I-95 in Massachusetts!!! We love you too!!!!!!

A. Grey said...

A very warm welcome home to you! Not to sound like a stalker, but I thought about you the whole time you were gone, wondering what you were seeing, who you were meeting, if you were having fun or pining for the states. My 'big trips' have been to Alaska and Ireland *sigh* oh Ireland... And all of those people! All of those little strands in the spiderweb that is the Graceling phenomenon! How ravishingly exulting and absolutely terrifying all at the same time!
Well, glad to have you back, extremely glad that you had and awsome and successful adventure! =^.^=

pamcjordan said...

Welcome home! Nice to see you pop up on the reader this morning. And glad to hear you had a wonderful trip. The world is full of people who think you are an amazingly talented woman! :)

tinkandalissa said...

Sounds like you had a pretty nifty trip. Lucky duck. Glad to have you back. I had to find new blogs to read while you were away to pass some time while I am alone at work in the mornings!
I love the color of the Catalan cover and that it says "violent" on it. Also love little ribbon bookmarks. Why can't ours have that?!
And, the last thing I want to comment on is that I totally feel your pain w/the carsickness thing. I can't even read in the car. It makes me so sick. But the worst, I think, by far, is the trip to the North Cascades from Seattle I took w/my bro (code name:Art), uncle and his wife and my nana. Somehow, the night before, my brother coerced me into drinking WAY to much red wine. Now, wine doesnt usually give me a hang over. Usually. But, coupled w/a long car ride...not good. We had to stop a billion times because I just knew I was going to throw up every one of those times. Ever the loving brother, Art was there with his camera every step of the way...We finally did make it and got to see a lot of pretty stuff we wouldnt have if I hadnt had to stop along the way so many times! It always works out in the end. Congrats on the speech giving. No small feat!

Reverie said...

Welcome HOME!!!

what a wonderful experience!! All the best!!! Can't wait for Fire and your tales of your many more journeys to come.

E. M. Reads said...

So glad you're back and that you had a fantastic trip. I've missed your blog posts.

I just think it's great that the rest of the world appreciated how wonderful Katsa, Po, & The 7 Kingdoms are! Your work is loved! So awesome!

**nostaglic thinking** I remember in June 2008 when the Graceling ARC showed up and I read it in less than 24 hours. sigh **end nostaglic thinking** :o))

Can't wait for Fire! :o)))

katek said...

Welcome home! The trip sounds wonderful. I have to say, the "every minute in which I haven't thrown up is a success" is a sensation I am far, far too familiar with, but you summed it up perfectly!

I also want to toss in my insignificant praise for Graceling... I had been keeping a list of books recommended by Leila from Bookshelves of Doom for about a year, and I finally started working my way through it and hit Graceling last week. I'm rereading it now, with only a break for the fourth Septimus Heap book in between. What a lovely, lovely book you have written; I'm gutted that we don't get to hear more about that set of characters for a couple years! I am picky about fantasy (though this wasn't fantasy, really, I guess), and about alternate "worlds," but everything flowed perfectly in yours, and I loved everything about it.

Sorry about the gushy lack of coherence; I haven't had my coffee yet!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! It sounds like your trip was hugely successful--and, more importantly, fun. :)

My heart goes out to you for the car-sickness. It's not fair that stress makes it worse...one thing that really works to combat it is peppermint candies. And it leaves your breath nice and pleasant, too.

Congrats on the new trees. Nothing brings a smile like new plants!

Can the American books PLEASE get the ribbon bookmarks? Not that you get to choose...

Star

Natasha said...

Welcome home! Sounds like you had quite an adventure of a trip. You've been missed.

I, for one, have kept myself busy reading some of the books you've been chatting about. I devoured Wicked Lovely so I could get along to Ink Exchange, which I began last night and already love. And The Adoration of Jenna Fox just came home with me from the library...

I've recommended Graceling so often now I fear I'm getting to the point where I'm telling the people I've already told to go read it...

Again, welcome home!

Jen said...

Wow! Your sister is pregnant with twins! Many congrats to her! The day my sister announces she's pregenant will be A shocker and I don't want to even think about it for about another 20 odd years...Italy! Of all the places Italy! You are soooo lucky! I am pleased to say I missed you:D :P I'd visit your blog everyday waiting for a comment or post...They never came:( I'm so happy your back and even happier you had fun! We love you up here in Dubai:P Well the people who know you that is... Looking forward to pictures!!!!!!
-Jen

Rose said...

You just brightened my day SO much! Congratulations to your sister, and I'm glad you survived!
<3

J.L. Hart said...

That sounds like an exhilarating two weeks, carsickness and all. As others have already noted, it's been a bit lonely around here without your blog to read! I've been busy doing what Natasha's done - borrowing the books you've recommended or that others who comment on the blog have recommended (all of you who wrote about Megan Whalen Turner - I will be forever grateful!!!!).

I love that your blog is detailing what you go through in the process of publishing a book - rewrites, ARCs, interviews etc. It's fascinating to someone like me who knows so little about the process to hear it, and also your excitement.

Welcome Back!

~Jen

wendyedit said...

Congratulations to code name Cordelia! And to you--being an aunt to twins sounds wonderful!! Glad everything went well on your trip

Meg said...

Ahh, you were in Greenwich?! That's where I live! Hahah "sales conference" sounds pretty official and businessy, otherwise I would've been so mad I missed seeing you in my town! :)

Meg

AndrewsMommom said...

Glad to hear you're back! Many of us have missed your posts - and what adventures! Can't wait to hear some more about your trip.

I'm totally in agreement with J.L. LOVE LOVE LOVE The Thief and am on the final of the trilogy, King of Attolia, as we speak. After this post, I wish I could say I'm reading, but no, work calls and summer school curriculum needs to be written. But I hope to finish on Saturday.

Any more awesome recommendations since Fire won't be out for awhile?

Congrats on being an auntie again!

Amanda said...

glad you're home, kristin. haven't read your post yet (callum won't let me sit here very long) but i've been thinking about you.

Aria said...

Gald your calm and home again. I just went through a period where I was going back and forth between Texas and Flordia for like a month. When I finally lay down in my bed it was like AHHHHHHH!

I heart book people as well. We don't talk as much because we're wishing we could be reading rather than maing conversation. Then you get bored with silence and pull the book out thinking "Get over it!" and the other person is like "FINALLY!"

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Kristin. So glad that you're able to enjoy some of the fun parts of the fruits of your hard work! And thanks for sharing it - I missed your blog. Your writing is sweet-tart refreshing, and I enjoy reading your point-of-view.

Be well,

Laura

Blayne said...

I am too exited about fire...i would do anything to get a copy right now....ur such a good auther and i give u a big welcome back...XD

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was very suprised when I read about the concept of 'Gracling', as there is an anime called 'Gakuen Alice' about kids born with 'Alices' like the 'Alice of Fire/Alic of Death' etc, that was written a number of years ago. The concept is exactly the same, just your books are with 'Graces'!

cindy said...

wow! your post gives me shivers! how very exciting and surreal and fantastic for you! couldn't be more thrilled for you, kristin!!!

kristin cashore said...

Hi everybody! Thanks for the welcomes home! It's good to be in my own space again. I'm glad you all understand about the car sickness... sigh... and Star, thanks for the peppermint tip! Katek, no one's comment is insignificant -- and thank you for yours! :o)

Jen, so cool to get a comment from Dubai! :) And I'm happy to hear everyone's doing good reading. I just finished the audiobook of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, which was MARVELOUS listening. Now I'm re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time in probably 15 years. LOVE it, but am a little bit annoyed with the annotator, who over-explains everything.

I will pass on the well-wishes to Cordelia!

(Oh, and A, I am determined to go to Ireland some day!)

Charly said...

What a fantastic trip! I'm jealous. I love traveling.

Mazal tov to your sister! :D

After you finish Pride and Prejudice, maybe check out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

Anon makes me want to continue reading Gakuen Alice... I started reading it a while ago, but then got sucked into other things.

Dianna said...

Welcome home. =] Sounds like you had a rouch but exciting trip. I actually feel a similar way to I-95. Its always a symbol of home for me. (mostly because I can see it outside of window XD) Im so excited for Fire =] Things are moving along. *dances* That one comment now makes me want to read that manga... XD Well anyways, welcome home.

Dianna

angie said...

I loved reading about your exciting time away.

Because of your recommendation I've read a few of Melina M. books. Thank you for introducing her to me.

From one mom of twins to a future aunt of a set, CONGRATULATIONS! :)

Welcome back home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin,

I know exactly how you feel about speeches. I work for a publisher in Australia (we distribute your books)and because I managed to overcome my shyness last year and do a piece in front of a camera about how much I loved Graceling, I have been roped into doing the same thing for this year's sales conference, for Fire. Don't get me wrong, I adored Fire, but I dread having to talk in front of the camera. Mind you, I'm usually ok after a few minutes - it's the anticipation that kills me...

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A. Grey said...

Kristin, you will LOVE Ireland, when you eventually get there. If you don't want to travel alone, let me know, I'll travel by suitcase if I have to...

kristin cashore said...

Thanks, everybody -- especially Anon in Australia, for facing your fears for my sake!!!

And Charly, I've heard of that book -- might have to give it a look :o)

Angie, it's always good to hear from someone who had twins and survived!!!! :o)

rantingnerd said...

<chiming in late on the carsick issue>

My remedy of choice for motion sickness is ginger chews (http://www.gingerpeople.com/ginger-chews.html). They also gets me through migraine nausea.

kristin cashore said...

rantingnerd, thanks for that... i'm going to look for ginger chews.