hiya Reading Ninjas, I have something different for you this week... I've been on a book signing 'tour' across the USA both as my bloggy Ginger Reading Ninja self and as the author self Jakki Frances. A first for me as JF (my first USA signings that is). So, I wanted to share some of the fun with you guys and encourage you all to hit up a local signing when you can - they're HUGE fun and a great way for readers to find new authors and visa versa... Plus you can fan girl your faves too...
So as always, my trip started at Darwin airport, with the obligatory 1 am writing sesh. I'm getting pretty good at these 1 am flights, it's the downside to living in the outback I guess.
Flying from Darwin to Sydney on the redeye is pretty easy, and thankfully Darwin airport was not in chaos like a lot of Aussie ones are currently. Amazingly, neither was Sydney. I landed, rechecked the baggage and headed through security without a hiccup. Thank goodness. Of course, I packed half my stuff in each bag just in case 1 went missing.
Sydney to LA was long... really long. But although we left Sydney at 10 am it was an overnight flight too, landing at LAX at 6 am. Then there was a 3hr line at immigration. 3 full international flights landed and only 3 immigration staff working. I could barely stand by the time I got through - and I'd missed my connection. But again, upside - my luggage made it. Thank you to Qantas and Delta airlines for rejigging my schedule and getting me to Seattle only 2hrs later than planned. YAY!
That brings me to signing #1... READERS & WRITERS SEATTLE
A fantastic time was had by all, especially by me - book dork extraordinaire Ginger Reading Ninja and signing author Jakki Frances. This was my first ever USA signing and so I was really nervous. However, the wonderful readers, other authors and the R&W team made the event so much fun. I met so many readers who are all about books, just like us Reading Ninjas, and fangirled more than one author myself (Pepper North/Payne Craven). Making great friends along the way with both readers and other authors and partying into the night at 'games night' as part of the little onesie group of weirdos led by Payne Craven, who's turned out to be a good friend I can't wait to sign with again.
After a few days playing tourist around Seattle, I hit the skies again and ended up in Winston-Salem NC. What a cute little town, with a fantastic hotel in the Historic Brookstown Inn, where my book dork self had a suite complete with a faux fire (which I immediately lit despite it being humid as hell). What better way to spend time than sitting and reading or writing by a 'roaring' fire, right?
And that brings me to signing #2. ROMANCING THE CAROLINAS.
Again we all had a fantastic, booky time. Unfortunately, another major signing rescheduled themselves to clash with us not too far away, and so the readers were a little light on the ground. However, those who attended, readers and authors alike, had a blast at both the signing and the afterparty. I discovered that 2 Coors light makes me a happily tipsy book dork, who despite not liking to be front and centre - managed to be the centre dance floor and teach a bunch of authors how to nut bush... Oh, and I may have given the couple in the room next to mine a round of applause at 2 am while still 'happy' - with the 'performance' they put on and Daddies stamina - they totally deserved appreciative applause.
I then followed the signing up with playing tourist again around Winston-Salem and then Charlotte. W-S is such a great little historic town, I can't wait to sign with Romancing the Carolinas again in the future. Charlotte - not so much. There's not a whole lot to play tourist there but being the Reading Ninja, I'm always content with days to just play sloth and read - So I was happy anyway.
And then into the sky again, a short hop to Moundsville WV and
LOCKED UP WV.
This was a fun signing held at WV Penitentiary. Which is a spooky, historic prison with a grizzly past. Naturally, the goul in my had to do a guided tour which was both creeky and inspirational for my author soul. LOCKED UP WV is a signing put on by the AAP team, and was heaps of fun. Attendance was good and readers were all very book dorky enthusiastic, and I had a great time talking books with everyone. The raffle drawing for charity at the end of the day was heaps of fun and hilarious as many of the items went to the same people over and over... Some attendees definitely 'stuffed the ballots', but hey, raffle tickets were purchased and it all goes to charity so that's great... I am jealous of whoever won the cocktail gift basket though. What can I say, I'll definitely be back at LOCKED UP if possible in the future and am already booked for 3 signings with the AAP team in 2023-24. YAY!!! They put on a great event.
So now I'm playing tourist around Moundsville WV for another few days and then in 3 days, my ass is back on numerous planes for the 34-hour flight back to Darwin and then, of course, the 3hrs drive into the outback before I'm home. It's been a wonderful 21 days of book dorking and touristing. Thank god TRAVEL IS BACK.
So the moral to my story Reading Ninjas is get out there, find a signing event near you, and have a blast. Tickets aren't always expensive and some events are even FREE. (Locked Up was free general entry.) Meet the authors, browse the books and make some friends. WE ARE YOUR TRIBE and we are all Reading Ninjas.