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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bologna updates!!

Stick with me, people. This is going to be a loooong post. Bologna has been amazing so far, and absolutely full of meetings and dinners and, of course, FOOD! (Mission: 5-lb weight gain is well under way, you'll all be happy to know!) It has been fun but utterly frenetic, which is why I've had no time to update more consistently. But with no further ado...


These pictures were snapped from above; I was in the little cafe that adjoined the Agents' Center, where I spent most of my time slurping down cappuccinos and meeting with my foreign publishers (more on that later). The fair looked enormous to me, although I was told that the Frankfurt Book Fair is double or triple the size (!). Ironically, although there were books, books, and more books everywhere, nobody actually had any time to read!

On Tuesday we went to the Egmont party, which was housed in a gorgeous building that used to be a church--perfect for boozing! The food was delicious but we still got dinner afterwards at an amazing wine bar, where I satisfied my ever-present craving for cured meats of all varieties.

The next night, Wednesday, the fabulous Hannah Gordon Brown, my foreign agent, organized a little dinner with some of my equally fabulous foreign publishers (from France, Holland, and Portugal). The restaurant was to-die for (oysters to start, followed by fresh tagliatelle with lobster emulsion, artichokes, and burrata, and then a swordfish and squid skewer with saffron foam-y type thing, followed by CHOCOLATE, of course)...any culture that views pasta as an appetizer is okay by me.

It was an amazing evening, partially because during the meal we received word from NYC that Before I Fall had advanced to the #6 slot on the Times bestseller list!! Champagne and much carousing ensued...

After dinner we strolled (or, um, okay, rolled, given the quantity of food we had consumed) through the gorgeous Bologna streets, and I reveled in how old and beautiful Europe always feels...
Today (Thursday) was the last day of the Fair for me...tonight it's agent bonding time with SB, and hopefully another long and elaborate meal--I'm still fitting my jeans, so obviously my time in Italy has not been sufficiently food-oriented!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



Okay, well, not yet...right now I'm actually in my adorable hotel room, and I haven't actually attended the fair yet...but I'll be there soon! (Very soon, actually...I should probably hop in the shower and get ready before my agent calls to yell at me!)

Yesterday I flew from Paris to Bologna. As soon as I landed, I ran into not one, not two, but THREE people I know: my fabulous foreign agent, Hannah Gordon, her boss, Peter McGuigan, and one of my very bestest friends Pam, who works for the publisher Zest in San Francisco. Okay, okay, so they're all here for the Book Fair, but I still felt extremely popular.

My hotel, the Alloro, is absolutely adorable, and my room comes complete with a GIGANTIC bed, a huge whirlpool tub, and the added European feature of a BIDET (!), just in case I should feel that the places where the sun don't shine need a good scrubbing. (In case you've never seen a bidet before, helpful visual aid below.)
In the evening I met up with Stephen Barbara, my agent, and Hannah again--looking beautiful and much-refreshed from our post-airport-encounter nap--and we headed to the glitzy Random House party, where we sipped delicious red wine (Italian, of course) and prosecco, and circulated chatting with incredibly brilliant foreign scouts and publishers.

Then it was off for my favorite portion of the evening: meeting up with the fabulous Lenore of Presenting Lenore Blogspot (a must-read for everyone interested in books, especially YA), her talented illustrator hubby Daniel, and her friend, the children's book writer Ann Bonwill. It was QUITE the bookish crowd! We met at the cozy SCBWI party at a fabulous little indie bookstore, which was so packed it had extended into the street (block party style!). [Below: Lenore and me; my foreign agent, Hanna, and Ann Bonwill]

We then went to chow down at a local hotspot, where I proceeded to embark very seriously on my mission to gain five pounds in a week. On that front: polenta with truffle cream, potato and artichoke gratin, proscuitto and salumi and at least one meat I could not identify, linguine verde with sausage ragout, chocolate cake with chocolate sauce. Oh, yes, my friends, oh yes. [Below: My agent, Stephen Barbara, in his natural habitat; Lenore and her husband Daniel]

We had dinner until about 11:30...we had so much to talk about I'm sure we could have stayed longer, but by then we were all in somewhat of a food coma, so we all bid each other buona notte (sp???) and said ciao for the evening.

Now I'm off to the Fair! More updates later in the week.

Ciao, mi amores.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Tour: UK remix

Hullo, there, from gray and drizzly London...!

I arrived in London on Tuesday at noon and--because my flight had been delayed on the tarmac for several hours at JFK the night before--had to rush straight to a lunch with my fabulous UK editor, Kate Howard, and publicist, Eleni, as well as several other key members of the Hodder and Stoughton sales and marketing team. Nothing says "classy" like washing your face and changing your clothes in an airport bathroom... Thankfully, I was rejuvenated by the company and the delicious tapas we shared at a cozy little gastropub...where the waiters kindly let me stack my luggage in the corner.

The next two days were a whirlwind of trains, talks, and school visits. I got to eat in a school "canteen" (translation: cafeteria), which I had not done in over a decade. Strangely, the look and smell of high school cafeterias--despite differences in geography--remain unchangingly the same, and unfailingly fairly repugnant.

Despite culinary misadventures, however, I had the BEST time. Pics below are from the Astley Cooper School, where the students were so warm and enthusiastic and also WORE REALLY COOL SOCKS! (My talk was in the drama studio, a shoe-less zone, so I was treated to the site of about seventy pairs of brightly colored socks.)

Later on, I did an evening event at the venerable Beneden school, an absolutely goregous private boarding school that looks as though it was taken directly out of Harry Potter and deposited in the middle of rolling green hills and lawns. I kept expecting Mr. Darcy to ride up on a horse (and yes, I know I am mixing a variety of books, here). The talk was a wild success; over one hundred girls attended, and they were sweet and enthusiastic and super attentive. I ended up signing books for almost everyone!

Tomorrow it's off to Paris for the weekend, then Bologna for the Book Fair...

Monday, March 15, 2010

On The Road, Part II

More tour madness and fun!

So...last week I wrapped up the American part of my tour, with stops at the wonderful Anderson's Bookstore in Naperville (the owner, Becky, is incredible; she even gifted me with a "Reading is Sexy" t-shirt, which I plan on rocking pretty much everywhere I go), followed by a hop, skip, and a five-hour plane ride to Petaluma, California. There, several wonderful things happened:

1. It was SUNNY and WARM.
2. I found out Before I Fall made the New York Times bestseller list in its first week (!), and did a little dance on a sun-drenched portion of pavement.
3. I had an incredible, incredible event at Copperfield's Books (please see pics below).
4. After the event, I ate a ridiculously delicious meal and went to sleep stuffed and happy.

The next morning, I woke up to glorious weather and actually got to go on a short run, which was fabulous. My attempt at artistic and evocative California photographs:


Then I did a few school visits. My time at Petaluma High School was particularly successful. The kids were smart and welcoming and engaged, and one of the librarians, a lovely woman named Connie Williams, had even generated her own trailer for Before I Fall! I was so moved, and she really captured the feel of the book. Watch it here.

Then it was back to NYC for the weekend...and today I'm off to London to launch the European leg of the March Before I Fall Madness! Stay tuned for more...


Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Not Where I Been...But Where I'm 'Bout To Go (okay, actually, it is kind of about where I've been)

Hey all--

Ready for your updates from the road??

Friday I had a wonderful event at the Mt. Kisco Borders, just down the road from where I grew up. Pre-event, I noshed on sweet potato fries with the blogger extraordinaire Sharon, of SharonLovesBooksandCats, at the diner I used to go to with my family.

So many special people showed up to support me, including people who have known me since I was in high school, like my former boss, Mr. P, and his lovely daughter Caitlin, and my fabulous high school math teacher, and lots of old family friends (thanks, Hubers and Smiths!). My best and oldest friend, Jackie, was also there, policing the event area like a protective bulldog and making sure that nobody made any loud noises while I was speaking. Check out some pics:

The next day, after a great event in Kingston, NY, I hopped a plane to Ann Arbor, where I had a fabulous reading/signing at Borders, and met so many wonderful bloggers: Tirzah of The Compulsive Reader, Kristi of The Story Siren, Chelsea of The Page Flipper Blog, and Sara of The Hiding Spot. These lovely ladies were just as pretty and smart and fabulous as I'd imagined they would be, and we had a great time. You want photo evidence? No problemo, senorita. See below.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Yummy event goodness

So...this week I began my five-city tour to celebrate the release of my novel, Before I Fall! (In stores now!!) Here is an, um, interesting picture taken by my lovely publicist, Elyse, after my Tuesday event at the Carle Place B & N.

Look! That's my face on a poster!

Yesterday I had a wonderful event at the beautiful independent bookstore, RJ Julia, in Connecticut. Stephanie, the fabulous reader/blogger/twitterer from With Sprinklez On Top, snapped a few photos and was kind enough to pass them my way.

Tonight I'll be at the Mt. Kisco Borders at 7 pm, so holla holla and stop by if you're in the 'hood!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010



That's right, people, after two years of sweat, tears, and pain, I've finally POPPED OUT A LITTLE BABY BOOK!!

Before I Fall hits the shelves today, so I thought I would repost the Top Ten Reasons you should Run Out And Buy It thisverysecond. (Or, okay, after you finish reading this post). This was originally posted by my friend Lucy at Delightful Reviews.

Top Ten Reasons You Should Buy My Book on March 2:

10. Because it will keep you off the streets!

9. Because everyone wants to be a trendsetter…and you can be one of the first people to own a finished copy—ever!

8. Because books are better than brussel sprouts. Depending on the book. And the brussel sprout.

7. Because if you hate it, you can tell me so at @OliverBooks on twitter.

6. Because at 480 pages, in hardcover, if you hate it, you can also use it to smack somebody upside the head. (Not that I’m recommending violence. I’m a lover, not a fighter, people.)

5. Because it doubles as a coaster, an arm rest, and possibly as a cake stand.

4. Because even though it doesn’t feature vampires, I promise it’s romantic.

3. Because you want to make me happy.

2. Because what else will you do today? School? Homework? Chores? Yawn.

1. Because you just might discover a new favorite book. Or at the very least, a book with a very, very pretty cover.

So what are you waiting for? Please people--go find my book and rescue it from the wilds of your local bookstore shelf...and take it home and give it a nice proper home and a place to sleep!



Monday, March 1, 2010

One More Day...One More Dawn...ONE DAY MORE.......

...Until the release of BEFORE I FALL!!! Can you believe it's finally here?? I can't! Here is a picture of me, shocked and excited and nervous and happy:

(And yes, my hair really does look like that in the mornings. And sometimes all day.)

As part of pre-release day goodness, I'd like to point out a very special contest my friend the Lovely Miss Lucy--who really is the loveliest of all--is hosting on her blog, Delightful Reviews. Lucy has been hosting an amazing countdown week, and to wrap it up she is giving out two signed copies of my book and bookmarks signed by moi!

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out and enter.

And don't forget to pick up a copy of Before I Fall tomorrow!! You won't regret it! And if you do, as always, you can yell at me @OliverBooks.


Content by Lauren Oliver - Copyright 2011. Blog designed by Ella Press Studio - 2011.

Author Photo by Jonathan Alpeyrie - Copyright 2010. Original Font Idea by Erin Fitzsimmons - 2010.