After my first YA novel was published, I spent a lot of time on the road, traveling to libraries and schools.
Some of my favorite book tour memories include:
—painting t-shirts with the graffiti-loving kids at the Chicago Public Library (I still remember the girl who wrote "Adam Levine" with a heart on the back of her shirt!)
–during school visits, I always have a blast talking to the students at lunch....especially when it's prepared by the future chefs at Capuchino High School in San Francisco. Also: their book club has the most awesome name, "You Say Books...We Say Party!"
–taught a creative writing workshop at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I was blown away by the raw, honest poems that the teens shared. And I really loved the zombie comic book that a boy doodled in his notebook!
Recently, my school visits have taken a new shape with the magic of Skype. A virtual school visit is an inexpensive, easy way for teachers to bring conversations with an author into their classroom. We can even share our computer screens (I like to show "behind the scenes" pictures of the settings of my books, the handwritten notes on the pages of my revisions, and of course, the office where I spend long days hunched at my desk.
As much as I love to pack my bags and jump on a plane, it takes time away from writing. Now that I've been chatting with schools online, I can pop open a window on my laptop and magically travel across the planet.