Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Change the World Tour: Day 4

No better way to start a day than to realize the house in which you grew up is haunted.

No lie. I went in to take a shower in the bathroom I used my entire childhood, and for the life of me I couldn't push in the little silver button that makes the water run from the bath spout to the shower. That thing was plain stuck, and despite my rather voluminous muscular structure, I finally gave up.

I went downstairs (still dressed, thank you very much) and asked what the dealio was. My sister called me an idiot and said I just need to push it harder. I went back into the bathroom. AND THE BUTTON WAS PUSHED IN. Yeah, that's right. My house is haunted.

Sorry, that was probably very anticlimactic. But if you think this was a mere coincidence, please don't burst my bubble. I want my mom's house to be haunted, okay?

Anyway, there is this whole tour thing going on, huh. Today was a great day. This is how awesome my publisher is: because of the scheduling glitch this week, they overnighted me a stack of books so I could go around and deliver them to some schools and libraries. They didn't want me sitting around eating grits all day with my mama.

And let me tell ya, I think this empty day was meant to be. I had the greatest three hour trip around my hometown, visiting my old schools and the town library. Talk about surreal. First stop was at my alma mater, Duluth High School. The Wildcats. My mom works in the counselor's office and all six of her children graduated from the school.

Of course, I started by embarrassing myself. Mrs. Seals works with my mom, and I purposely put her name in The 13th Reality. Only problem was I put her name as Mrs. Sears. I realized this right after I said hi to her and told her she was in the book. I really hated telling her that I forgot her name and that I was terribly sorry.

I was able to see my AP English teacher Mrs. Becker, my old Biology teacher Mrs. Kinard, both of whom were very influential on me back in the day. I also saw Mrs. Casalou, mom of one of my best friends growing up. It ended with donating a book to Dr. Hunter the librarian. I'm so glad I was able to go.

Next I went to Mason Elementary, which is only a mile from my house but wasn't there when I was a kid. The principal, Mrs. Deweese, was one of my favorite teachers in middle school, and we spent a good half hour catching up. I left her far more 13th Reality goodies than she could handle.

And then the real kicker. I keep revealing things to you guys that totally kill my reputation as Mister StudBuddyBillyGoatMountainMan, but I have to admit I got just a teensy bit teary eyed as I walked up the stairs to B.B. Harris Elementary School, the very place I spent Kindergarten through 5th Grade. It didn't work out to present to them this time around, but I really wanted to stop by and give them a couple of books.

My mom's neighbor, Ms. Fullerton, teaches third grade there, and I sought her out. I can't describe the feeling of walking around that school, visiting with her students, giving the books to the librarian, reliving my past. It was incredible and I'll never forget it.

My final stop was the Duluth Library, where I gave a book to a real nice librarian named Jan, who I love because she remembered when the library used to be in the old courthouse building downtown 20 years ago.

Other than that, it was a relaxing day with the family. We ate lunch at a pizza joint called Pepperoni's, and had lasagna for dinner. My nephew Matthew came over to join the others who were here last night. My brother Paul and his family get in later tonight. I made everyone sign a contract to let me go to sleep at a decent hour so I'm not a zombie tomorrow when I visit the schools.

The 13th Reality Charity Drive is going pretty well, I guess, but I think I did a poor job of organizing it. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to donate a big chunk to the charity and call it good. Next time, I'll have someone smarter than me figure out how to run it! I'm worried too many people just thought it was a ploy to drive sales, and I didn't mean that at all. So I'll talk to my wife and we'll decide a good amount to donate. Anyone who'd like to join in and pledge, let us know.

Speaking of sales, I'm pretty ecstatic about hearing from several sources that various Barnes and Nobles and Borders have already sold out of their copies of The 13th Reality. That can only be a good thing. I just hope they order more in! Also, Amazon still has an amazing price, almost 6 bucks off. Check it out while it lasts.

Okay, I keep promising to talk more about the actual presentation. I'm now officially declaring that I will do it Saturday or Sunday, when I have nothing scheduled. Today ended up being more full of activity than I originally thought.

Everyone is sitting here watching Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel. As much as I desperately wish that show were for real, I ain't buying it. We also watched American Idol. Last week I confessed to my wife that I was officially in love with Kristy Lee Cook, and declared her the most beautiful woman who had ever walked the Earth. My wife was cool with it because she knew I had no chance with Kristy. Well, the love affair is over. She didn't look so hot tonight, and I'm thankful for my wife.

(And yes, I'm obviously kidding, for those of you who were about to send me hate mail.)

Well, that's about it for tonight. Next stop: Berkeley Lake Elementary at 9:00 tomorrow!


Irish said...

JD - there's nothing wrong with a little shameless self promotion. You wrote a book, got it published and then decided to share your success with a good cause. If sales go up because of that then everyone wins. Although I think that people would be buying your book even without the charity drive. I know that I was planning on doing so even before I knew of it...just as many others in the Green Dragon were as well.

You're also doing pretty well on Amazon...a few days ago the book was somewhere in the 35K range...and now your in the 13K range. You are moving up in the world. =)

One last thing before I go...don't be dissing my boys from TAPS. They are from my home state of RI and deserve lots of love. Ghosts are real they are just camera shy...I know that the one who lives in my house is, though he loves playing with my tv!

Author said...

Hey, I posted a review of your book on my blog, if you want to read it.

Don't worry, it's good!

Good luck with the rest of your tour.

Tamra Norton said...

I'm so happy you got this time with the fam in the (now haunted) house of your childhood. Sounds like the day was great.

I'm enjoying the book tour report. Can't wait to hear about the school presentation.

Melinda said...

Dashner Dude,

A little problem with the faucet and showing a little emotion will never change my opinion of you as the Mister StudBuddyBillyGoatMountainMan.

Even now, as I am laughing so hard I am practically dumping my laptop to the floor and my husband is asking me if it is that Dashner guy again, I still think you're okay, even if you had a thing for Kristy. I'll forgive you. Also, wasn't her makeup wierd tonight? All glittery and stuff?

Anyway, it sounds like your tour is going great. Hooray!

Also, the house I grew up in was REALLY haunted. None of that mamby-pamby faucet stuff. I'm talking footsteps, voices, piano playing by itself, radios turning on, dolls laughing spontaneously. I'd better stop, I'm totally freaking myself out.

Fly on the Wall said...

sounds like a great trip you're on. my 10-year-old just finished your first book and gives it a 9.5.

he's a voracious reader and pretty critical, so that's pretty high praise.

have a great trip and keep posting.


Ron Simpson said...

you should have told her that the typesetters had a typo and you did not catch it till it was too late.......

James Dashner said...

I have a quick break before my next school. Thanks for the comments. Irish, I promise to hereby believe everything those dudes say. I want it to be true!

Thanks for the review Mandi, that's awesome!

Trent, glad your son liked it, too.

Okay, Melinda, please tell me that this house of yours is still standing and that we can tour it. I must see this house.

Thank goodness for Dunkin Donuts and free wi-fi. Ya'll be good now, ya hear?

Anonymous said...

When you get your pledge worked out let me know and I'll chip in. After all, we starving students/starving writers (as I'm both, by all rights I should be dead) have so much to spare.

LaFemmeSimple said...

I had the privilege of seeing James talk at Berkeley Lake this morning. It was so freaking cool, one can't even begin to describe how cool it was. :)

Thanks for the entertainment James ;)

Unknown said...

I hate to admit it, but I just finished your book about 3 hours ago, even though I have had the advance reader copy for months. Its not as bad as it sounds though, because I just started reading it yesterday...that's right, I didn't even put it down while at work...I hope my boss doesn't read this.
Anyways, I can't believe how AWESOME!!! this book is. It had me flipping through the pages to see what was going to happen next. Absolutely incredible!
So when you decide to get your behind back here to the frozen hood, we (my wife and I) are taking you and your wife out to dinner. Kapish? I think that is how you say it?

Anonymous said...

I think that your books are very good. My favorite series is the Jimmy Fincher Saga,I am already on the third book :The Tower of Air.