New York was absolutely excellent, and also full of shoes. It was the first time I’d ever gone by myself, so I felt particularly sophisticated and adventuresome.
I stayed at a Very Art Deco Hotel by Washington Square and successfully kept various appointments, saw two of my cousins, and got myself taxis.
On Tuesday, I went to Penguin, where I met my agent, the inimitable Sarah Davies, before going up to the Razorbill offices and encountering a whole contingent of marketing and publicity people. I simply can’t do justice to their patience or their friendliness (I was pretty discombobulated by the whole situation). They were all warm and articulate, and I think I mostly sounded like, um . . .
Then we had a meeting, where lots of timelines and other practicalities were discussed, and I got approval for Book Two (yay!). However, my hands-down favorite part was when Ben Schrank, the Razorbill publisher, drew cover concepts for THE REPLACEMENT on the whiteboard. I can’t talk about any of the drawings. I mean, there’s not even an official motif to be top-secret about yet. But the experience was extremely exhilarating, and I’m so excited to see how it will turn out!
I had lunch with Sarah and my editor, Lexa, who is fantastic in too many ways to count, but particularly because when I was revising THE REPLACEMENT, she kept encouraging me to add more—more kissing, more angsting, more doom and disaster and redemption, and something on fire. And also because she has promised to send me an ARC of Angela Morrison’s second novel Sing Me to Sleep! (I was quietly enthralled by Taken by Storm.)
The next morning, I breakfasted with Sarah, and met Allison the Foreign Rights Agent, who is both adorable and highly knowledgeable. She lives in New York and told me lots of nice places to shop, which helped later when I went wandering around SoHo. It was like a scavenger hunt—I meandered back and forth, referring to the list of addresses Allison had given me, feeling an excessive degree of triumph each time I located one, and occasionally stopping to wrap my blisters with strips of kleenex, which is an age-old soccer trick.
Then I bought some shoes, hailed a taxi by waving my arm and looking very assertive, caught my plane, and now . . . I’m home.