My final vampire tour20 May 2012
It's a bit late for a round-up of my Brothers To The Death tour, I know, given that it ended more than a week ago, but better late than never! Since this was my final tour (for the time being) for HarperCollins, and the last time (again, for the time being) that I would be touring with my vampire books, I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would be able to end on a high -- and happily that's how I did! It was a smooth, enjoyable tour. I did more fan events this time than I have done on recent tours, and it was a lot of fun to read out some of my favourite extracts to hardcore Shansters, from old, current and future books. Many thanks to everyone who turned up to them, along with all those of you who came along to my signings too.
There was an average crowd of about 100 people at most of the events, although we got about double that in Kettering, where the event was held in a cool church that had enough space to hold a couple of hundred fans. Some of the many school events I did during the tour had far bigger crowds than that -- the nice thing about school events is that you have a captive audience!! The average signing time at stores where I just signed instead of doing an event was over 2 hours, although I was signing for 3 hours on the very final day of the tour in Liverpool -- a nice way to finish up!
Touring is still the most enjoyable part of the job for me. The actual travelling around from A to B is a pain (if only we had transporters like in Star Trek!!) but meeting the fans make all the hours on the road more than worthwhile. It's such a treat to be able to chat for a little while with you guys, and to see the impact that my books are having. I get a certain sense of that at home, from all the letters and e-mails that i receive, but that's not the same as meeting people in the flesh and seeing by the expressions on their faces that my stories have touched them maybe even more than they have touched me. It's elating and humbling all at the same time.
I'd like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who made this tour happen, all the teachers, librarians, booksellers and others who worked hard behind the scenes to set up the events and signings. And a MASSIVE thank you to the team at HarperCollins who made this tour just as much of a triumph as all of the others they have set up for me over the years -- take one final bow, please, Geraldine, Mary, Sam and Rosi!!! And finally, of course, as I've already said, MONUMENTAL thanks to everyone who came along and waited patiently -- without you guys, none of it would matter a damn! I know we live in a world full of tempting distractions, so I really do appreciate it when you choose to spend an hour or two in my company when you could be off doing something else. You have made, and continue to make, my days on the road a thrilling adventure rather than a cumbersome bore!!! Three cheers for the Shansters -- hip! hip! hooray!!!!!