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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Get your ticket for the "High School is hell" tour!

Happy just-after-4th-of-July, readers! Here’s a look at our celebration of revolution here in New York.

I called Oscar Gingersnort in England to tell him not to try taxing me without representing me. He sidestepped this and said, “That rat on the rat hammock on your blog the other day . . . that was no rat. That was a ferret.”

I had already noticed this. But I didn’t want to make Oscar feel bad, what with us throwing off the shackles of his oppression and whatnot.

“A ferret?” I said innocently. “I’ll drop RatMart a line. Just another reason I should be running the place.”

“You’re going to mention this on your blog, aren’t you?”

“Of course not,” I answered quickly. “Let’s move on.”

I had to move on, because I’m off to the London Desk again, so there’s been a flurry of activity here. There’s packing and turning over the New York desk to its guard and caretaker. And, last but not least, preparing for the release of Devilish. Jane Jarvis is coming!

It’s still early days, but there’s lots of excitement. Some early reviews have come in. Check this one out from Kirkus, absolutely fresh, as of today:

“Johnson writes with flair, intelligence, and humor. Her characters are well-realized as she builds suspense as deftly as Stephen King. Great entertainment and hard to put down.”

The mind reels. They like Jane! You'll like her too.

I’ll be posting more sneak previews and news about Devilish as the release date grows closer. I’m scheduling some signings in the meantime for what I’m calling the “High School is Hell” tour.

I’ve gotten notes from a few of you asking me if I’ll be coming to your town. If you asked this—or if this is the kind of thing you might ask—here’s how you can help make that happen. Bookstores usually ask authors to come. You can influence your local bookstore by going in and asking them to put in a request for me with my publisher. (Or they can also e-mail me.)

Here’s a sample dialogue to guide you:

Bookseller: Hi. How can I help you?

You: I demand that you bring Maureen Johnson here at once! At once!

Bookseller: That woman from the musical Rent?

You: (slamming fist on counter, knocking over a cardboard display of Da Vinci Code “So Dark (the con of man)” chocolate bars) No you foolish person! That is a character! Maureen Johnson is my YA author of choice. And as a loyal customer, I beseech you to send for her now!

(The Bookseller straightens the chocolate bars.)

Bookseller: I heard that they’ve hidden the real Mona Lisa in the wrapper of one of these, and that Dan Brown personally licked the seal of the winning bar. They’re good, too. They taste like real Louvre.

You: That’s insane. You made all of that up.

Bookseller: I’m very bored. What did you want again? A copy of Rent?

You: No! You’re not listening to me! I am requesting Maureen Johnson, author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Key to the Golden Firebird, The Bermudez Triangle, and the forthcoming Devilish.

Bookseller: Devilish is a kind of chocolate. Well, devil’s food is, anyway. I like devil’s food cake. They used to sell it at the coffee bar, but they replaced it with these stupid green tea frosted scones. They have a definite aftertaste of cat food. I don’t trust them, even if they are supposed to increase your Zen.

You: Are you going to put in my request or not?

Bookseller: (taps on computer keyboard) Fine. What was it again?


Bookseller: Okay. I’m getting hits on four books. 13 Little Blue Envelopes . . .

You: I already told you that. I know her work. I am asking you to . . .

Bookseller: That book pops up at the top of the screen because it has a number in the title.

(You stare.)

It’s back in YA. We have seven copies. Weird. Seven is a lucky number, but thirteen is unlucky. Spooky.

You: Can you please just ask your manager to put in a request with her publisher to have her come to this bookstore? I realize this is no guarantee, but I certainly think this move of mine improves the chances of her coming here to have some snacks, sign some books, and drive out some demons.

Bookseller: Why didn’t you just say so?

(Makes request.)

Aside from the fact that they don’t make So Dark (the con of man) chocolate bars, it will probably happen exactly like that.

I’ll report in next from the London Desk, and I promise to have news that will knock you sideways. For now, I have to get a lot of stuff into my suitcase. I’m supposed to see my friends at Virgin Atlantic in just a few hours. If you've ever read my travel tips you'll know that this is not my strong point.


Anonymous beccaswitz said...

i find it very amusing that i actually thought there were So dark (the con of man) chocolate bars for about 1.25 minutes, namely because there actually are twilight chocolate bars. cool.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I am going to memorize this dialogue and go to Borders.

8:26 AM  

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