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From: Ann
The Summer Before

June 2010

The Summer Before/BSC Tour:  Planes, Trains, and Telephones

Hi, readers!  It's been a busy, exciting time for me since the April 1st publication of The Summer Before, the prequel to the Baby-sitters Club series.  The fun started in New York City, where I attended a party to celebrate the relaunch of the BSC books.  Many of the guests were original fans of the series who are now adults, and their enthusiasm for everything BSC was contagious!  I got a kick out of the displays of old BSC memorabilia, including dolls, board games, backpacks, and even an old boom box.  I also enjoyed the tables filled with the characters' favorite foods: popcorn and pretzels for Kristy, sugar-free snacks for Stacey, baked goods for Mary Anne, and of course, junk food for Claudia!
A few days later, I caught a train from New York City to Philadelphia for book signings at several area bookstores and a visit to a local elementary school.  I love meeting the people at these events.  When the BSC books were first released over twenty-five years ago, just about all of the fans were kids.  Now, many of the people at book signings are these same kids, but all grown up.  Often, they've introduced the books to their own children, so parents and kids come together.  It makes me happy to know that there's a new generation of BSC fans!

Next up on the BSC publicity tour was a flight to Chicago, Illinois, to attend the International Reading Association convention.  The convention is an opportunity for authors, publishers, teachers, and librarians to see what's happening in the book world.  Scholastic had a gigantic booth with a section dedicated to the BSC. While I signed books and chatted with fans, visitors ate delicious, specially-designed BSC cookies and could also have their picture superimposed onto the cover of Kristy's Great Idea – as if there were originally five members of the club!  (Check out the photo link to see the cover I made.  I really like it!)

Two more events took place at the Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois.  I'm a big fan of libraries, and this is one of the nicest I've ever seen. Co-author Laura Godwin and I attended a luncheon to celebrate the selection of The Doll People as a favorite book in the 8th Annual Voice of Youth Awards.  After a slide show presentation featuring lots of photos and information on our backgrounds and the Doll People books, we had a great time meeting the 4th and 5th grade students from East Prairie School.  Later that same evening, I returned to the library to give a talk on The Summer Before and my other books, and then to stay for a book signing.  I was amazed to learn that some people had driven many hours to get to the event.  It's wonderful to have such dedicated fans!

In between the days on the road, I fit in many telephone interviews from home. It's been a lot of fun to talk about the BSC and the characters again after almost twenty-five years.  I think the biggest difference I've noticed in this process is that when the books were first released, most of the interviews were for print - newspapers and magazines - and today, a large number of them are for web sites, blogs and other online venues that didn't even exist then.  

I'm back home now, enjoying a beautiful spring in the Hudson Valley with my dog Sadie, and my cats Gussie, Pippin….and a new addition!  Curious?  More about this, along with the cutest pictures ever, in my next entry!

Happy Spring and happy reading!


P.S.  I posted pictures from my travels over the past month, so be sure to check out the photo link!