New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Shelley Shepard Gray

Tour Memories

Posted Nov 21 2011, 7:28 am

I woke up in my own bed today, and made a pot of coffee in our coffee maker. I’ve got a load of laundry going, and watched some of the morning news from my usual spot in our living room. My little dachshund Suzy is sitting beside me, happily taking the stuffing out of one of her many toys.

I’m home again!

It feels great to be home. It really does. But I have to admit that there is a part of me that wishes we were still back on the Amish Country Tour. The whole time, there had been a sense that all of us were a part of something pretty special. Hmm…-maybe because we were?

Publishers don’t send authors out on book tours much any more. I’m no financial wizard, but I have to imagine it would be hard to justify the expense. Even avid readers have busy lives-maybe even too busy to make the time to see a favorite author?

But, boy did we get to see so many readers! We met future readers of Amish fiction, too. And visited with a lot of Amish, spending hours talking with them about books and their culture. Amy and Vannetta and Alica must have taken a 1000 photographs of buggies and the countryside. I know we’ll talk about this tour for the rest of our lives. It was a such a gift to all of us.

On Saturday after Lancaster’s book signing, we had one last meal together. And with this blog in mind, I passed around an old sheet of paper I had stuck in my purse. On it, I asked everyone to write down a couple of ‘Amish Tour Memories’.

Of course, one of the biggest highlights were meeting readers! But besides that, I asked everyone to think of the ‘Funniest’ experience, the ‘Most Embarrassing’, and ‘The Best’. Our answers are below.

The rest of the week, I’ll be answering the 500 emails I never got to answering last week, writing Found, and getting ready for Thanksgiving. I hope y’all will have a wonderful week, too!

So..Drum Roll, please! Here is our ‘Amish Tour Wrap-Up’ :

Funniest Experience:

Shelley Shepard Gray: Getting lost and then lost again on the way to Shipshewana. Never again did I attempt to ‘help’ navigate!

Vannetta Chapman: Meeting some of Shipshewana’s Finest.

Amy Clipston: Listening to some of the funny comments at the Parade in Shipshe.

Alicia May (senior marketing director, Zondervan): Vannetta’s Wikipedia/Jay Leno Commentary about, oh, everything. (Vannetta really is a walking encyclopedia!)

Sue Brower (Editor for Zondervan): Amy mailing her clothes back home so she could bring home presents in her suitcases!

The Most Embarrassing Moment:

Shelley: Would have to be either when I forgot my purse in a restaurant or when my suitcase handle injured the woman sitting across from me at the airport. (oh, she was so mad!)

Vannetta: When my bittersweet story made Shelley cry. (from shelley: I think that would be more my embarrassment, yes?)

Amy:  Having the airport attendant tell me that my suitcase was 7lbs overweight. Before I even began the trip!

Alicia: Being ‘walked in on’ at a Subway

Sue:  Getting lost in rural Pennsylvania while following GPS instructions.

Katie Broaddus (our extraordinary publicist!):  My Traffic ‘stops’

The Best Moment:

Shelley: Taking Amy and Vannetta to breakfast with Clara, her daughter, and her granddaughter.

Vannetta: Buying quilts from Mary

Amy: Having ice cream with Sally, and listening to her daughters’ beautiful song

Alicia: The Cheese Factory Tour in Berlin

Sue:  Having ice cream with Sally, and that beautiful song!

Katie: Sitting in each other’s rooms, talking all night.

Happy Monday, everyone!

with blessings,

Shelley

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