Notes from the Rebel Angels Tour


I’m back, sitting comfortably in my Curious George jammies in my very own apt. in Brooklyn. Ahhhh. Heaven.

The good:
* Meeting with girls from Dana Hall in Boston, Hockaday in Dallas, Holy Names in Seattle, and The Archer School in L.A.
* Doing writing workshops with girls in Boston and Dallas and getting to hear some absolutely kick-ass, honest, amazing writing from them. Rock on, ladies.
* Getting to meet some great booksellers during my stock signings. You gotta love people who are passionate about books. Or at least, I do.
* Having a lovely dinner with the faculty of Hockaday and discussing writing and literature and our favorite books of all time.
* Laughing till I cried at a book signing at All For Kids in Seattle. Those ladies are INSANE! And they let you write on the walls.
* Bumming around Seattle with my friend Angelina Benedetti and doing some serious shopping. Whoo-hoo on my new cowboy boots.
* The weather in Seattle: sunny, blue skies, crisp but not cold. Who’d a thunk it?
* Those cute boys who throw the fish at the Pike Street Public Market. It may be a cheesy tourist attraction but I’m there.
* Going for a run first thing in the a.m. and getting asked for directions by two guys who turned out to be from NYC, too.
* The lady at Bohemia Massage who gave my aching neck a ten-minute rub and told me about all the communist newspapers she writes for in Europe and about her sons who just got back from fighting in Iraq. At play in the fields of the irony gods.
* The coffee in Seattle.
* The Tex-Mex in Dallas.
* Seeing my best friend Eleanor in Boston, having her spend the night at the hotel and giggling like the 15-year-olds we still are at heart while we threw ourselves on the cushy hotel beds and smelled all the little soaps and shampoos and couldn’t believe that we were dorky music geeks from Denton, Texas, who once choreographed a disco dance for the talent show with a patented move we called “Digging the Dirt.” (Thank god we never finished the dance….Somewhere, a yearbook photo was not taken, and that is a very good thing…)
* Seeing Cecil Castellucci and Cylin Busby and Morgan Bolah and her mom at Vroman’s bookstore in L.A. and gabbing with Cecil on the phone later. Thanks, Cec.
* Meeting Tricia Nelson at for our interview and discovering that she was more fun than shoe shopping at Nordstroms.
* Meeting all the media escorts who were fabulous and fun.
* Showing up for an interview on Evergreen radio and discovering that my interviewer was the wonderful Linda Johns, a fellow Y.A. writer.
* Finishing up my signing at Holy Names as a girl band was cranking up behind me–serious power chords. When we asked for their band name, they got all sheepish, and, after much prodding, finally admitted their rock ‘n’ roll moniker: “Dickless.” Yes, folks, it’s Catholic school. Jesus wept. But I laughed my a– off.
* Having a delicious, much-appreciated home-cooked meal at Angie’s house. Mmmm…butternut squash lasagna…

The bad:
* Getting chased by Hurricane Rita. Had to cancel the Miami portion of the trip. Went on to Dallas only to have to cancel some things there and leave early in order to miss the storm again. I was waiting for Mount St. Helens to erupt in Washington and an earthquake to hit L.A. so we could call it the “Rebel Angels Tour of Natural Disasters.” Fortunately, that didn’t happen. But I feel for all those kids in Houston and East Louisiana who had gotten settled into new schools only to have to evacuate again.
* Not getting to see friends and family in Dallas because I had to leave early.
* Missing my son and husband.
* Showing up in L.A. straight off the plane having eaten only a handful of Skittles washed down with Starbucks and subsequently feeling like a drooling, psychotic woman at the school there. I’m not sure I actually spoke English. I noticed people inching away from me in that I-think-I’d-actually-rather-be-in-study hall kind of way. Sorry. Note to self: inhaled candy does not constitute lunch.
* Running late and not getting to see my dear friend Laurie and her new baby, Raine Felicity when I’d brought presents with me and everything. Major bummer.
* The guy in L.A. who, when hearing about my book tour, asked what I wrote. When I answered that I write Y.A. lit, he said, “Oh,” and walked away. Thank you for caring.
* Finding out that the New Pornographers were playing a show two blocks from my hotel…the morning after the concert.

The ugly:
* Discovering that when I’m nervous, I break out in a flop sweat like Albert Brooks in “Broadcast News.” I’m thinking of handing out complimentary towels at all bookstore signings.

Most interesting questions I was asked on this tour:
Q: “Do you know you look like Martha Stewart?” (Um, with or without the ankle bracelet?)
Q: “Can you take your eye out for us?” (Yes, I can. No, I won’t.)
Q: “What three people would you invite to a dinner party?” (Stephen Sondheim. Edward Albee. And Jesus–because I have a few questions for him.)
Q: “We know it’s been a really, really long time since you were in high school, but…” (Okay, truthfully? I don’t remember the question. I was too busy wondering if I should run out immediately and apply for Medicaid. Jeez, isn’t my moisturizer doing anything for me these days???)
Q: “Can you speak with a British accent for us?” (Some backstory here: one of the stories I told on this trip was about one of the stupidest things I’d ever done which was to go to a party when I was seventeen, I think, and, for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON I CAN THINK OF, pretend to be British. I just invented a new, totally random me, and she had a veddy posh accent. So it was all good until I started dancing with this really cute guy who asked me where I was from. “London,” I answered. “No kidding! My parents are from London. Where in London are you from?” Oh….crapola. I squeaked out something like, “Um, a suburb” and excused myself. What could I say? Dude, I made everything up but really, I’m not psychotic–would you like to go out? Of course, I had to leave the party and my friend was pissed. Friends should not let friends pretend to be British. That’s my bumper sticker and I’m sticking with it.)

I’m sure there’s much more to tell but it’s late and I’m still adjusting to different time zones so I’ll sign off for now. But here’s some info for anybody in the NYC area. Tomorrow (Sunday, October 2nd) is A Great Read in the Park in Bryant Park. It’s a whole day of literary festivities starting at 10am. I’ll be there for a panel on teen lit with the fabulously talentled E.R. Frank, Francine Pascal, Rachel Vail, and Maureen Johnson, with a signing afterward. Here’s the scoopage:

SUNDAY, 10/2
2-3PM panel discussion
3-4PM book signing

And next week there is this:
SUNDAY, 10/9
Book signing
1-3 pm
There will be other authors there and for some reason I think Alice Hoffman is going to be there. I’ll double-check.

So show up if you can. It would be great to see you there.

382 thoughts on “Notes from the Rebel Angels Tour

  1. Re: I’m dying here!!

    Hi Katie. I love Atlanta. My grandparents lived there, and I used to go during the summers. I still have lots of family there. I’m glad you liked my books. Book #3 should be out in fall 2007. I just have to write it first. 🙂

  2. Re: a question about “Rebel Angels”

    Hi. I’m not sure if I’m understanding you correctly, but I think you mean at the end. Gemma asks Kartik to basically be on her team, and he asks if she only wants him to be a friend and nothing more, and she pretty much says, yeah, that’s it–for now. Hope that clears it up.


    Hi Cortney. Kartik definitely did not die. He’s writing about the past 60 days in the prologue–what he’s been up to for the past two months. Does that help?

  4. Re: hello there!

    well, i want to go to a jc for 2 years, then tranfer to U of N. texas to beccome a play Therapist(they have a great program for that!!)and, as for the blogging… dont worry, i didnt check my myspace comments for about a month one time… hehe you’re not alone!! :->

  5. Re: While browsing Target…

    Wow, Ms. Bray, thank you for replying to my comment. It was a shock (no offense, of course) to check my email and find that I had a real live reply from a real live author. Feel honored, you’re the first I’ve ever come into contact with, unless you count Pat and Dave Sargent, who came to my elementary school while I was in kindergarten. I’m surprised I even remember that, actually, that was so long ago.
    But, I’m rambling. Sorry.
    Thank you, for replying. It meant much. Target is indeed a special, special place and I’m glad someone else gets “good book withdrawal” too. The reason I asked about the movie is I misread one of the interview questions on your website and thought it was talking about a DVD deleted scenes when really the interviewer was talking about parts you’d cut from the book. Leave something like that to me. Hmm… *shakes head at self* They are making every novel into a movie these days so expect a call once anyone in power, with any sense whatsoever reads “A Great and Terrible Beauty.” Hopefully, it’ll be a big blockbuster movie and not a Lifetime one like they did with “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson. It didn’t live up to the book at all. My sincerest apologies if you enjoy Lifetime films, I didn’t mean to offend you.

    So nice hearing from you,


    Sure that count. It is just unfotunate he isn’t a wildcat instead. So couls you possibly come to Topeka, the capitol, or even Kansas City? I would love to meet you! I am actually in the process of trying to write a book myself. I don’t know if it is any good but I am trying. Thanks for responding to my question, it really means a lot to me! Thanks! Ashley

  7. Hi!

    I’m sorry, I know this probably doesn’t relate at all, but I had to say HI! I was lounging around, trying to avoid going to bed, and reviewing the last few chapters of Rebel Angels and my other favorite parts in my head. I was dissapointed to hear that you won’t be writing a third book, I really wanted to see the sparks fly even more between Gemma and Kartik, finally.It itched at me those few months after I read A Great and Terible Beauty.I’m going to ramble slightly while I write this, sorry, so if I randomly switch to another subject,uh..ya.Well, I must say I love your website! It’s probably the most interestingly designed website I’ve ever been to for an author, and I like how you write about your life. You make the whole world seem funny at times when you write, and I’ve used your examples (I am not trying to flatter you, it’s true) when I was writing my novel, um…that doesnot have a title yet.I also like how you tell us your mood and what music your into at the moment. It makes me smile, just like your about the author in your books. They aren’t the usual, I live blah blah, with my blah kids in Blahtown. Ugh, those are really boring and give very little insight, really, into their head and life.Well I know things are crazy for you, and if this is out of the question oh well, better could you maybe reply? You don’t have to, but it would be cool to actually talk to you.I’ve gotto go inless I want to feel like a zombie tomorrow at skool. That is the last thing I need;run into every single person in the hall way, superb. Goodbye Libba. Sincerely, Jenessa B. age 13 Illinios Oh, no. I just realized I’ve been writing in the wrong thing! Shoot! Oh, well, world meet me and my mistakes! Ha Ha!!!

  8. Re: Hi!

    Ok, its Hi girl again. Ya the stupid one. I just realized, I sound reeaallyyy annoying. That was a waste of someones time in the world.Ya you know what never mind. I’m going to go to bed and uh…sleep I guess

  9. Re: Sarah sais

    its très awesome in the winter..totally…what with the alternating wind, and cold, and sudden sunshine…what could be better?! =)…but really, you so should..then I could get my book signed…wo0t! =D

  10. A friend of mine decided to pretend to be British while she was in VA Beach for a week. She, too ran into a bona fide Brit and had an ohcraprunaway moment. She left her friend, who was also pretending to be British, to deal with the curious British saleslady.

  11. live in longmont!!!

    we are stress free!!! come down here and relax!!!(but first tell me where you are staying;)!!!)

    beautiful pippa lover

  12. Re: LOVE the book

    please I don’t ever want to stop reading about felicity pip gemma and ann. pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!

    a beautiful pippa lover

  13. ooo, i love maureen johnson! 13 little blue envelopes is the best europe travel guide ever. not good for touristy tourists though.

  14. Question

    Hello Ms. Bray. This comment might be completely off subject but I just HAD to say something. I just recently about….an hour ago finished your book ‘Rebel Angels’. And I enjoyed it. But…I did not like the ending. It was like…being left hanging…just hanging. I know this is a terrible description of how I felt after I finished reading it. And I didn’t like how Kartik never got a chance to tell Gemma whatever it is he wanted to tell her. But want I really want to know, is are Gemma and Kartik EVER going to be together? And are you going to write another book dealing with Gemma, Kartik, Felicity, Ann and the rest of the gang? PLEASE respond! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

  15. Re: Question

    Hi! No worries–I’m writing the third book about Gemma, Kartik, Felicity, Ann, and the rest of the gang right now. It comes out next fall, and hopefully your questions will be answered then. 🙂


    This is one of the most amazing, captivating, and intriguing books out there. There’s a little bit of everything which makes it even more irristable. Fantastic job.

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