Amtrak Sponsors the APW Book Tour!

Since the APW book tour officially kicks off today at San Francisco’s Green Apple Books, it is the perfect day to announce the Huge Enormous Good News that has been consuming the whole team for two weeks:

Amtrak is sponsoring the APW book tour.

Actually, it gets better than that, if that’s even possible. Amtrak is sponsoring the APW book tour, and generously allowing us to add a Southern leg to the tour, doubling it in length (details at the end of the post).

I KNOW. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.

But let’s back up because this calls for a bit of a story. As I’ve mentioned, this fall I traveled non-stop. And finally, right before Thanksgiving, when I had my second panic attack at 30,000 feet, I decided I needed a break from flying. Since I still had some travel to do, I decided to go by train.

Initially, traveling from San Francisco to LA was a purely logical decision: I needed to get there, and I wasn’t going to fly. But it turned out I loved taking the train. Loved. To clarify, I’ve always liked taking the train over short distances: It was low stress, I got to daydream as I stared at the passing countryside, I got to read, and I always got in a nap. But long distance trains? All that goodness, and better. When you add in the dining car, where you sit down with people you’ve never met and enjoy a long leisurely meal? I was hooked. You see, it turns out Amtrak people are a different kind of people… my kind of people. Train people. I met editors. I met people traveling all over the country by train. I met a super-smart eight-year-old who wanted to be a Lego architect. (I told him that was a real job. He was over the moon.)

Turns out I loved Amtrak .

Plus, sleeper cars! I was eight when I took Amtrak for the first time, and I vividly remember being obsessed with the sleeper car. It seemed magical. I wanted to have my own. Well, somethings never change. Turns out I’m still obsessed with the sleeper car (and yes, I totally snuck into the sleeper car section on my last trip and sleuthed around).

So I made plans to do the book tour to New York by Amtrak. Sleeper cars for Meg! So much staring out the window! Getting to quietly get my work done! Meeting new people at meals! Watching movies in the cinema (yes, they totally have that)! Sleeper cars! I was excited.

And then, last week, thanks to some major help from the APW Staff, something awesome happened. Amtrak stepped in and offered to sponsor the whole book tour. That means this self-funded book tour just got a lot easier and a whole lot more exciting (not to mention a lot longer).

In our house, Amtrak is now used as a term of endearment. “Think she’ll Amtrak it?” (Translation: Will she help save the day?) “He is so Amtrak-y!” (Translation: What a nice guy!) I love Amtrak. And by the end of this tour, I think you’ll adore them as much as I do.

In short, I couldn’t be happier to be working with the Amtrak team on this tour. I will be making a loop of the whole United States over the course of a month, stopping in lots of your cities, meeting you, signing books, and writing little afternoon posts on the adventure so you guys can travel along. (You guys get to hear about the sleeper car! And the people I meet! And get details on Maddie joining me on a trip to New Orleans! Yes! I totally just said that!) Welcome to APW, 2012.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a ticket to ride. And I could not be more grateful to Amtrak for it.

And now, let’s get down to business.

Confirmed APW Book Tour dates:

Thursday 1/12 (TONIGHT!): The San Francisco Book Launch Party
Starting at 6pm, speaking at 7pm, Green Apple Books
Appetizers by Trumpetvine Catering, Wine by Monogamy Wine
Please RSVP to San Francisco here!

Thursday & Friday 1/19 & 1/20: Altitude Design Summit
Speaker, Building Relationships With Ad Networks and Sponsors

Sunday 1/22: Denver Books & Brunch
11am, Japoix Restaurant, ~$20 brunch buffet with bottomless mimosas
Please RSVP to Denver here!

Wednesday 1/25: Cambridge Book Talk, Q&A, and Informal Drinks
7pm, Porter Square Books
Please RSVP to Boston here!

Saturday 1/28: Brooklyn Book Talk And Full Scale After Party Madness
2pm, Park Slope Barnes & Noble
After party 3:30pm-5:00pm, within walking distance, details given out Speakeasy Style at the bookstore. NOTE: This party is getting more and more absurdly awesome. It’s a cash bar, but the word on the street is that there will be free tacos! And gluten free cake! And amazing decorations!
Please RSVP to New York here!

Brand New Dates (Thanks to Amtrak)

(Note: Jury is out on DC, but we’re still trying for Monday 1/30)

Thursday 2/2: Atlanta book talk, co-hosted by Leah and Mark and Wedding Day Hooray
7pm-9pm, Young Blood Gallery
APW has the best friends. Seriously. We’ve had just one week to pull together the second half of this tour. When I emailed Mark to see if Leah and Mark could help me out, within an hour he had a plan (and he has a new baby). This is not a joke. So, we’ve teamed up with Wedding Day Hooray, an indie craft fair in Atlanta (taking place on February 18!) thrown by the women behind Indie Craft Experience. The Wedding Day Hooray team, plus Leah and Mark, is throwing the APW Book Tour bash at the excellent Young Blood Gallery. Plus! There will be food and drinks! Plus! There will be prizes (Wedding Day Hooray tickets, a wedding day idea sheet and clipboard, a handmade notebook, and portrait sessions by Raven of Leah and Mark). I know, right? It’s going to be awesome. ALSO: I’ve never been to Atlanta, so I’m super excited.
Please RSVP to Atlanta Here!

Tuesday 2/7: Austin book talk, Feminism and Weddings (with tacos and beer afterwards? eh?)
7pm, BookWoman
I’m pretty phenomenally excited about this stop on the tour. First off, I’ve never been to Austin, which I hear is beyond excellent. Second off, the event is in a feminist bookstore (!) which means the whole talk gets to be about feminism and weddings. I know, right? Plus, Elissa R Photography is going to round us up and take us out to tacos afterwards! Tacos!
Please RSVP to Austin Here!

Saturday or Sunday 2/11 or 2/12, Los Angeles
Save the date. We’re working on projects….

So, please RSVP to Atlanta and Austin! Get excited! And more planing is going full steam ahead around here. We (because now Maddie is coming to NYC and Atlanta, thanks to Amtrak) can’t wait to see you. And finally, a huge bottom of my heart thank you to Amtrak for making this possible. Now, let the adventure begin!

And a final note: If you want to join me in traveling the rails this winter, Amtrak is currently running a 20% off promotion for pretty unbeatable rates. If you book from now to January 23, you can get up to 20% off of one-way fares on every long-distance train route for travel between January 17 and March 29, 2012. My suggestions: New Orleans to Memphis starting at $42, or Chicago to Seattle starting at $125.

Photos: First by Slideshow Bruce on Flickr, used under Creative Commons. Second personal for A Practical Wedding.

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