Published on 21 March 2010
This tour diary is kept daily by Victoria Holmes (Editor AKA Erin Hunter) on her travels across the states. It has been typed up from warriorcats.com, and any spelling errors have been left untouched.
MONDAY OCTOBER 1
It's started! I'm on the road again, and VERY excited at the prospect of meeting lots more readers right across America. I arrived in New York two hours ago, and although I didn't have any events scheduled for today, I wanted to say hi, and welcome to the October Tours Diary!
I'm going to be talking principally about Firestar's Quest - and oh my goodness, that's a heavy book to carry around! - But if you've been to one of my events before you'll know that I'll answer questions of any of the books so far. Just don't ask me what happens net, because I'll never tell you! I know I'm famous for loving chocolate but there aren't enough Hershey bars in the world to persuade me to tell you how Firestar looses his ninth life...
My first event is at Bank Street Bookstore at 4pm tomorrow. Please come if you can! It's a fabulous store, a real treasure trove of children's books - so if I'm not out front ready to the event, you'll be able to find me lurking among the shelves, checking out the competition!
It's such an honour to be in the states again, sharing your passion for Warriors. If you can't make it to one of the events this time, I'll keep you up to date with my daily diary, and hopefully I'll be visiting a store near you when I come back next year.
Right now I'm off to find some food to build up my energy for the next eighteen days...
TUESDAY OCTOBER 2
The Erin Hunter tour for October 2007 is officially underway! I started off today with sixteen radio interviews (gulp), which were much more fun then I was expecting, to be honest. The presenters asked some very interesting questions about where I get my ideas from and what will happen in the future books - not that I gave anything away of course! I wonder if anyone heard me though? It seemed very early to be talking about books on a radio show, but it would be nice to think that a few if you were listening in.
This afternoon I had my first signing, at Bank Street Bookstore in New York. This is such a great place if you love children's books! I was a bit worried no one would come to see me because Forestar's Quest has been out for a while, and maybe lots of people came on my last tour because they wanted to buy The Sight. But I was wrong Over two hundred of you turned up, and I loved every minute of talking about Firestar's Quest and hearing what you thought of it. Special purrs to Sparkrain, Whitepaw, Runningstream, Mossystar and Shadowtail - in fact, to everyone who shared their warrior names with me. Why can't I be that imaginative when it comes to making up new names?
As always, I was humbled by how much you love these books, and how seriously you take them. There are always several people in the audience who know far more about the series then me! Extra-special purr goes to Becky today, for noticing that Bluestar's last word is "ThunderClan." I must confess I didn't do this on purpose, but now that she's pointed it out, I think it's fab!
Off to Philadelphia tomorrow, so until then, sleep well and maybe StarClan walk in your dreams!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3
Hi from Philadelphia! I drove through some lovely countryside to get here, with all the trees turning brown and scarlet. And I got very excited when I saw some pumpkins on front porches! I hadn't realized people would start decorating for Halloween so soon, and because it's not such a big deal in the UK, I'm fascinated to see all the different styles and sizes of pumpkins. If you have a pumpkin on your front porch, and you see a strange person outside taking photos, it's probably me...
This morning I visited wonderful Newtown Elementary School, where I was given the warmest, most feline welcome by Liz the librarian and all the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Special purrs to everyone who made a cat mask--and thank you especially to the students who let me take their masks away with me. I'll send a few to Kate and Cherith because they love to see your artwork too.
If I come to your school on this tour, you'll discover that one of the things we do together is create our own clans, which can be a club of any sort. "May StarClan light your path" to the brand new Fighting Phillies Fanclub and MaskClan of Newtown Elementary! You came up with some fantastic ideas for rules and duties, and I wished I could have stayed for the first official meeting.
After a chance to wander around the historic part of Philadeplphia--I saw the Liberty Bell, yay! (and I must confess I didn't realize it was an actual bell; I think I thought it was a ship)--I scooted off to Children's Book World in Haverford. I'll be impressed if I have a more enthusiastic response anywhere else on this trip. My ears are still ringing from the whoops and cheers (and a particularly piercing shriek). This was my very favourite sort of event, where everyone was a dedicated Warriors fan and had loads of interesting questions and observations about the series.
Biggest purrs go to Hannah and Sarah, who staff this charming store, for organizing the crowds so efficiently and making sure I didn't get pushed off the little platform! Special purrs to all the fabulous warrior names--I'll definatly be stealing a few of them--and to everyone who brought in artwork for me to admire. You are all so talented! In a few more years, I hope some of you get the chance to work on some Warriors covers. Special purrs to FeatherClan--or T-shirtClan as I shall always think of them--and to FeatherClan's exceptionally good-humored driver who wore a T-shirt too. Also to Duskfrost and Maplewhisker for making me my very own quill. It's beautiful, but I don't think I'll abandon my laptop in favor of writing with a feather...or you could be waiting for a very long time for the next book!
Up very early indeed to go to Cleveland tommorow. See you there, hopefully!
Well, I has a lovely weekend exploring the Berkshires in Massachusetts--you have such wonderful leaves!--but now I'm back on the Erin Hunter trail, and that means I'm whiting to you from Birmingham, Alabama. Phew, it's hot!
Just one event today, at Books-A-Million at the Brookwood Village Mall. There were some very dedicated fans here! Asking tricky questions, too... You'll know if you're a culprit! I don't mind you asking if certain theories about Leafpool and Jaypaw are true, but I reserve the right not to answer! This was my favorite sort of event, where it seemed like everyone had a question or a comment about the series, and there were people at every stage of reading the books. If you're still on series One, keep going! The stories just keep getting better--well, practice makes perfect!
Special purrs to everyone who came, and the moms and dads who drove for hours to bring them; extra special purrs to the two Victorias, and to Sizwe and Omari who were very excited to learn about the Manga books. There truely is a Warriors story for everyone! Also special purrs to John who seemed so very delighted to meet me (I was delighted to meet you too!) and to Mary Elizabeth and her brother Jay. I promise I'd have guessed your name in the end :).
Take care everyone, travel safely if you're coming to an event, and see you very soon!
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16
Down to my last three events! Two today, with one left (a school event) tomorrow. So first up today was an early flight to Los Angeles, then breakfast in Beverly Hills (I looked and looked but I didn't see anyone famous :( ), and from there to the lovely store, Children's Book World. Many thanks to Sharon for organizing the event, and squashing a LOT of people into a very small space to hear my talk!
Hi again to all the schools who attended, and the fans who...er..."opted out" of school for the day to come see me :). It was great to have you there, and the cosy atmosphere made the event even more fun. Stack Purrs to Christina, Larysa, and Lauren (Leopardstripe), who also brought a gripping script based on her role-playing with a whole Clan of folk: hi to all of you, especially Rainstorm, Bluu, Dreamchaser, and Hawkflight. Your enthusiasm for Warriors is just the best thing ever, do you know that?! Oh, and I'm afraid your petition to delay Seekers is a little late: Book One comes out next May. I really hope you're willing to give it a try because I've tried very hard to make it as fabulous as Warriors. :)
Fan Letter Award goes to JW, who wrote a beautiful, heartfelt, and sensitive letter which sums up the series better than I ever could. She asked how Warriors has changed me, which is a great question; not sure it's one that I can answer easily, or briefly, but I can definitely say it's made me appreciate cats a whole lot more! Special Purrs also go to Sabrina, who kindly shared some information on social issues close to her heart. I love hearing about the things that concern you, and fill you with the same passion as you show for the Warriors books. You are a formidable bunch, and if you all roared (yowled?) together, the whole world would have to take notice!
Far Driving Awards to Diana and Brackenfur, and to Meagan and her parents who stayed back for a chat after the signing. It was lovely to get to know you a little better.
Finally, I was thrilled to meet Cheese Girl, whom some of you may know from her awesome Warriors-themed video clips on YouTube. She's a delight in person, too!
This afternoon I headed north to the charming bookstore Adventures for Kids in Ventura. Huge thanks to Barbara and her staff for making me so welcome. There were some dedicated fans in this audience! Stack Purrs go to Katie, Rebecca, Cora, Katherine (who also provided me with pages and pages of brilliant names, and a map much better than the ones I draw!), and Peter who gets Fan of the Day Award for being truly delightful--and for baking me some tasty cat-shaped cookies, complete with green frosting eyes! Ashley and Sierra earned Stack Purrs and an extra purr for being two-thirds of triplets--kind of like two of Power of Three! It was great to meet all three of you, but make sure you keep your brother in order if you think he's going to turn out to be the evil one :).
Hi to wandsandworlds.com Clanmates Dancingleaf, Silentclaw, Scarletfire, and Frozenfang. See you at the next live chat, guys!
Thank You Purrs to Kristen for her tremendous fanfiction, and to Radiantheart (Tasha) for her alphabetical list of names, enough to fill a dozen future Clans! As always, your imagination leaves me speechless. Radiantheart also gets the Accessory Award of the day for her customized Warriors-themed book bag. And Ultimate Creative Purr goes to Bridget for her charming, funny, and clever magazine. Articles include "Firestar's Guide To Being A Good Warrior", "Graystripe's test to find your perfect Clan", and, best of all, "Sandstorm's Recipes!" Who knew Firestar's mate would be so good at cooking up Breakfast Burritos and Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread?! I'll definitely be trying those when I get home.
It was a great way to end the bookstore part of my tour (well, you know how much I love good food!), but I'm sad that I'll have to wait a while before meeting more of you on the road. Thanks, purrs, and hugs to everyone who came to see me at a store. Keep checking this site for the latest Warriors news, and the first details of my next tour!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17
My very last day! And huge thanks to the students at Irving Middle School and Jennifer from Vroman's Bookstore for providing such a memorable end to my tour. Welcome to BearClan, for fans and players of American footbals, whose territory consists of a cave dug in the hill beneath the Hollywood sign, and use of the Rosebowl Stadium for games. As always, you guys bowled me over with your energy and creativity. The requirement for becoming Clan leader was owning a tabby cat, for becoming Deputy owning a brown and white dog, and for a medic, owning some sort of reptile. There were plenty in each category, so our Clan was well-run right from the start.
Warrior duties included being a member of the football team, a nutritionist, a cheerleader, a poster and merchandise designer, and technical and fitness coaches. Special purrs to the brave chap who volunteered to be the ballet coach, because that's a great form of exercise! Our mascot would be a bear (of course), and there were three volunteers to wear the costume during games to whip the supporters into a frenzy. Team colors would be blue and yellow, including the mascot's jersey. Some warriors offered to be in charge of kit-training--coaching younger kids in the game--and Milargos volunteered to be our press officer, responsible for writing game reports and keeping our fans up to date with all the latest Clan news. Rules ranged from "Don't talk to rivals" to "No kits on the field during a game." Safety and loyalty--perfect!
I'd like to give a Special Purr to Alex, who very kindly bought me a cookie after I mentioned I'd been munching them in every city I visited. (I've just eaten it, and it was delicious!)
I am lucky to meet some truly amazing people as I travel around. I think every one of you is special (I've yet to meet a fan I didn't want to take home with me!), and I'll never get tired of hearing about your role-playing, reading your fanfictions, and admiring your artwork. But every so often I find someone whom it is a real honor to meet, the sort of person whom I will remember forever. Today I was fortunate enough to meet two people like this: Laura, who read aloud from the first ever Braille version of Into the Wild, which has been produced by the wonderful staff at Irving, and Milargos. Milargos was the BearClan member who volunteered to be our press officer, and she's a talented and enthusiastic reporter already, with articles commissioned for the school newspaper as well as the local press. Like Laura, and several other students at Irving, Milargos reads with the tips of her fingers and uses a Braille word processor for written assignments. She even typed "Erin Hunter" for me so I could experience what it felt like! (It feels like a row of tiny dots, to be honest, but then I have blind fingers, unlike Laura and Milargos.)
Whenever I do an event, there's always someone whispering, "I can't believe I'm meeting Erin Hunter!" Well, you know what? I can't believe I get to meet you. Milargos, Laura, Alex, and everyone else who has built a Clan, listened to the extract from Firestar's Quest, asked me a tricky question, and laughed at one of my feeble jokes: Thank you. There aren't enough Special Purrs in the world to tell you how grateful--and lucky--I am to have you in the Warriors Clan.
See you next year! :) :) :)