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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Thursday
May302019

I'M WORRIED book tour postponed :-( (but here's how you can help me celebrate during launch week)

With I’M WORRIED launching next week (June 4th), some of you may be wondering why I haven’t been talking about my upcoming book tour. Some of you may also recall that I posted in social media about breaking my toe. The two are not unrelated.

Sadly, the physical part of my book tour has been postponed. (But not the virtual celebration….please read the bottom of this post about my call for I'M BORED, I'M SAD or I'M WORRIED reader photos and offer to connect with schools during launch week via Flipgrid. Plus if you haven't already seen it, here's Michael Ian Black talking about I'M WORRIED on NBC's Today Show)

Booksellers and schools should all have been notified by this point, and Simon & Schuster is trying to reschedule visits for September. If you are a bookseller or school affected by the rescheduling, please let me know. I would like send you something, and hopefully schedule virtual visits with some of the schools during launch week. I am also happy to sign/doodle bookplates and send them ASAP for any schools that pre-ordered my books.

Stupid, stupid toe. The accident happened at the grocery store while I was wearing opened-toed sandals, trying to maneuver my shopping cart out of the way of other shoppers during a holiday weekend. Amazing how a tiny digit can cause so much pain. An x-ray revealed that I had broken the toe across its base. The bruising was also pretty nasty (this morning, there is STILL some purple).

I tried to find ways to still go on the book tour. I bought a protective walker boot and a cane. Audrey Gibbons, my awesome publicist at S&S, let booksellers and schools know I would need assistance. I talked with my family doctor, who said that a book tour was still doable as long as I stayed off my foot as much as possible. I kept Audrey updated on how my foot was feeling.

In the end, S&S decided to postpone the book tour because they wanted me to focus on my health and recovery.

As soon as the official decision was made, I was overcome with mixed emotions. Major disappointment; I feel like I'm letting down so many people but especially the young readers. But also (I confess) relief - although my foot is gradually improving, walking is slow. Book tours are wonderful and exciting, but they are NEVER slow — I am always on the go, rushing from one place to another. And while some airports would be able to provide assistance, not all would - I imagined hobbling across airports with a cane and walker boot, pulling my carry-on behind me, hoping to make my flights. Book tour itineraries are like standing dominoes lined up; one thing going wrong will inevitably cascade into other problems.

I also usually put a LOT of energy and movement into my presentations for the K-3 crowd, and knew that I simply wouldn't be able to do this -- OR I would let myself be carried away and over-do it, further injuring my toe or slowing the healing process. In the end, I think that Simon & Schuster made the right call. I am also grateful to have a publisher who looks out for its authors and illustrators.

To the booksellers and schools whom I was supposed to visit next week: my deepest apologies. I know there are a lot of moving parts involved in a book tour, with so much time and energy invested by many individuals. If you were a bookseller or educator affected by the change of plans, please do let me know. As I mentioned earlier, I’m hoping to do some virtual visits (Skype, Google Hangout, Zoom) with schools I was supposed to visit in person. I would also love to connect with classes via Flipgrid next week. At the very least, would love to send a hand-doodled letter by snailmail or email, depending on when schools get out.

Although the physical part of my book tour has been postponed, I will still be celebrating the launch of I’M WORRIED next week in other ways. Some I’ll be announcing during the week but meanwhile, I am seeking photos for my “Reading I’M BORED, I’M SAD or I’M WORRIED In The Wild” reader gallery: details here. Michael Ian Black and I will be picking winners later in the summer; there will be prizes!

Meanwhile, huge thanks to everyone who has been supporting me and my work over the years - it has meant a great deal to me, and I so appreciate it.