The Storm Of Dogs Tour: Portland, OR
Yet more unexpected weather conditions in Portland, Oregon – it was gorgeously sunny and warm! The plane there was packed, and I’m not surprised – I loved Portland. I only knew it before from the series Grimm, and I remember reading that the producers chose the city for its fairy tale atmosphere. They were so right! The trees, the hills and so many gorgeous gingerbread-style houses really contribute to its beauty. My hotel, the Heathman, was so full of character, and is, it turns out, extremely popular with authors – they have a whole library full of first editions (to which is now added a copy of Survivors, thanks to lovely Suzy at Barnes & Noble, Bridgeport!)
I loved doing my event at the Bridgeport B&N, Tigard. Suzy and Juliet made me feel right at home, and it was great fun chatting to all the Erin Hunter fans in the long signing queue (and it was wonderfully long – thank you for your patience!). Natalie and Madeline (aka Darkshine) deserve a very special mention – they came all the way from Las Vegas to be there. Natalie gave me a beautiful rose that she’d made herself, and Madeline a fabulous drawing of Alpha. Thank you so much for those, guys, and for making such an effort to come along!
I was given more beautiful pictures by Grace (aka Shortstripe), this time of her own warrior cat Shortstripe and of one of my favourites – Scourge. Grace, these are wonderful – thank you!
At almost the end of the queue (wow, you guys are patient!), Madeleine and her sister Riley (and their Mom!) showed me photos of the most incredible cake, one that had been specially made for Madeleine’s birthday. It was decorated with scenery from the books and lots of little warrior cats (all of which they had later preserved for posterity). What a work of art it was – and the lady who made it hadn’t read the books before she took on the project. But she’d caught up quickly! It was an amazing work of art, guys – no wonder you were proud of the result.
I spent my day off on Monday at the Willamette waterfront and the serenely beautiful Lan Shu Chinese Garden. Wow – what a very special part of Portland. I could have stayed there all day – it was a mesmerising place. But I wanted to get back to the Heathman in time for the five o’clock opening of the library cabinets.
It was fascinating to browse the signed book collection for an hour; there are so many amazing authors represented. It was great to meet Amy the librarian, too, and she pointed me in the direction of Powell’s bookstore, which she assured me would still be open… so I hurried down there and sure enough, the huge store was still bustling. And I really mean huge! It was a stunning place with friendly staff, and they let me sign lots of Erin Hunter books as well as some of my own Rebel Angels. A real bonus was meeting Shengyao and her dad, who had come in looking for Erin books – we met by complete chance. Shengyao only began learning English two years ago, yet she is already well through the Warriors series! Shengyao, you totally rock.
I was excited to set off next morning for my two school events. My media escort Marilyn met me and we set off for Deer Creek Elementary, where I was welcomed by Ben, Erika and the principal, Tiffany. I had a blast – the students were so fun and lively and asked great questions. And later that morning I had an equally wonderful time at Metzger Elementary, where there were amazing posters waiting for me that had been signed by all the students. You guys were terrific, especially Kani and Geovanni who introduced my event so professionally.
I was sad to leave, and to say goodbye to the wonderful Suzy and Juliet from Barnes & Noble. Thank you, guys, for a wonderful time! Marilyn, though, treated me to a fabulous drive around Portland before I left, so I could see more of this beautiful city. The views, especially of Mount Hood and Mount St Helens, were breathtaking. Thank you so much, Marilyn, for this bonus treat.
I was at Union Station in good time for the train that would take me north to Seattle… But that’s for another blog! I’ll let you know how it went on my final stop in a few days. – but for now, thank you you SO much, Portland, and Pack-howls till we (I hope!) meet again.