I had an absolutely wonderful time on Tuesday, October 20th. Caught a 6am flight from Saskatoon to Toronto (okay, the early flight was not so great), checked in to my fancy hotel, was picked up by the Harpercollins "posse" and taken to Cheyne School in Brampton for a surprise visit with BOOKED (B.O.O.K.E.D is a group of students who received advance reader's copies of The Hunchback Assignments and are the focus of a documentary that HarperCollins is producing). It was a surprise visit, so they appeared suitably shocked when I walked in the room. Here I am with the BOOKIES.
We had a chat about the book and I answered questions about the characters and the next book in the series (The Dark Deeps). I was absolutely impressed by this group of readers (and their teachers). I had seen the videos from the HarperCollins documentary, so I felt like I knew them all already. And it was a little like meeting movies stars for me. Really smart movie stars.
They had so many ideas about the book and about other characters that could appear in future books. Very impressive. And there was even a great series of posters on the wall (do notice what BOOKED stands for).
Then I was off to sign stock at Chapters and Coles Stores in Mississauga and to dine with the "Posse."
They kindly laughed at my jokes and I hid my jealousy when their jokes were funnier than mine.
Then we zipped back to Coles in Brampton for the main event--an audio video presentation. The place was packed (I even had some family who I forced to come).
Several of the readers had dressed up as characters from the book. We started with a video presentation from the BOOKED students, then another vid presentation by HarperCollins and I followed with my audio/visual extravaganza (I just like to add "extravaganza" to the end of things, to make them sound cooler). It was so bizarre to look out at the crowd and see several characters from the book. It was as if it had all come to life (thankfully no one dressed like mechanical steam powered hounds, that would have scared me). And in the end the BOOKED students gave me a brilliantly designed scrapbook and a t-shirt (there are even more photos at this
link, including the groovy t-shirt). Then the "posse" spirited me away for donuts at Tim Horton's. It honestly was one of the best days of my long (in the tooth) career.