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For links to all of my #ImSadBookTour posts, see I'M SAD Book Tour 2018

I'M SAD Book Tour 2018 (DAY 4, evening): An Unlikely Story, Michael Ian Black Joins The Book Tour, Meeting Jeff Kinney

(Last updated: June 24, 2018)


In my previous post, I was grateful to Kate Messner, and enjoyed visits with MacArthur Elementary and Codman Academy in MA with the help of Wellesley Books.

After the second school, Janice Byrd drove me to An Unlikely Story, about an hour's drive away. I had already heard fantastic things about this bookstore, including a rave review from Kate Messner, so I was very eager to check it out.

Some background: An Unlikely Story is an indie bookstore in Plainville, MA owned by Julie and Jeff Kinney. Jeff Kinney, in case you didn't know, is the creator of the bestselling Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series. Wonderful to meet him in person! Jeff is super-friendly and easygoing, and I love his enthusiasm:

An Unlikely Story totally lives up to the hype. All kinds of books and gifts to browse on the main floor as well as a café, friendly and knowledgeable staff. I bought a bunch of cards I hadn't seen elsewhere, plus one of their t-shirts. I had to minimize how much stuff I acquired during my trip because my carry-on was already stuffed full. 

When I first arrived, I was excited to a sign out front that had info about our event:

And LOOK, our books were on diplay:

And so was my friend Kate Messner's new middle grade, BREAKOUT (as I mentioned in an earlier post, Kate had visited An Unlikely Story the night before):

Upstairs (aka the Second Story), I found Jenna Giuffrida setting up the book display at the back of the event space:

And then Michael Ian Black arrived! He and I hadn't seen each other in person since May 2014, when we met for the first time as well as doing an event together at Barnes & Noble in Manhattan. So great to see him again!

In addition to Jeff Kinney and other bookstore staff, we enjoyed meeting Kym Havens, Marketing and Events Manager:


Michael and I signed stock while we chatted with Jeff and Kym and had something to eat from the café:

Jeff Kinney, Kym Havens and Michael Ian Black at An Unlikely Story.

After we finished signing, Jeff Kinney showed Michael and me an upper floor that promises to be AMAZING, holy cow. Not exactly sure when it's going to open (soon?), but here are a couple of photos Jeff said were ok to post. Like this Thinking Room:

In the Thinking Room at An Unlikely Story. Photo: Michael Ian Black.And LOOK, I found an UPSIDE-DOWN DRUM KIT ON THE CEILING:

I reeeeeally want to go back when the upstairs has been finished and is open to the public.

Thanks to Jeff and Kym and the rest of the staff, and everyone who came out to our event! As those of you who attended could tell, I laughed a LOT. Michael is hilarious and really connects with the kids, plus the bookstore staff were great fun.

SOOOO great to see my NerdCamp pals, Lesley Burnap, Melanie Roy and Jason Lewis:



Here are some of your other pics and tweets:




If you are ever near Plainville, MA, you NEED to go visit An Unlikely Story. Check out their website for upcoming events (Kate DiCamillo will be there in October!). In addition to author events, they have storytimes, trivia nights, craft fairs, open mic nights and more. I wished I lived closer!

Even the stuff in their restrooms is fun:

After the event, Janice drove me and Michael to Logan International Airport in Boston for our 9:30 pm flight (which ended up being delayed). I was impressed by how little luggage Michael had with him: just a small tote bag that looked as if it hardly had anything in it. 

The airport was not fun, especially the security line. I had forgotten to take out my Kindle to put in a separate tray. They could tell it was Kindle immediately and but as punishment, I had to wait in another line for a security guard to go through my entire backpack. :-( There were a bunch of people in line ahead of me, including a family with young children; apparently some bottles of formula had to be checked. I don't think the security guard who was checking the bags enjoyed his job. Or maybe he enjoyed it a little too much; he was clearly taking his time going through each of our bags, commenting on some of the items, pause to joke with other security guards in the area. Two of us mentioned (politely but urgently) that we had a flight to catch very soon. He didn't care. In fact, when there was just one person ahead of me (whose flight was before mine), the bored security guard strolled off. 

"Where are you going?" the rest of us asked.

"Time for my break," he said, not looking back. He had no replacement, so we were waiting in line for about half an hour (ok, maybe it was actually only a few minutes, but it seemed way longer) without anyone to help us. Finally one of the other guards came over, seemed surprised that the other guard had already left. I hope the fellow in front of me managed to catch his flight.

What I find confusing, when flying a lot: different airports have different security procedures. Sometimes you take off your shoes, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you can leave your smaller electronics in your bags but just take out your laptop. Sometimes you don't have to take anything out (and you get yelled if you do).

I try to stay zen throughout but sometimes it's hard, especially if I'm tired and had a long day.

Michael is much more zen than me when it comes to travel and I found him to be an Excellent Travel Companion throughout the tour. Something else I've noticed: he's nice to EVERYONE: drivers, hotel clerks, restaurant staff etc. I felt like a curmudgeon in comparison. Now I'm even thinking about whether I should leave that crabby airport security line stuff in this blog post. 

Anyway, the flight went smoothly (yay) and we ended up getting to our hotel in NJ around 11:30 pm. 

With an relatively early pickup scheduled the next day (our first presentation was at 8:30 am), I crashed soon after getting up to the hotel room.

Ok, I just lied.

I bought a yummy-looking cupcake first (I love cake and I love miniature food, so it's no wonder I have a weakness for cupcakes) I saw near the registration desk. Michael bought something healthier, I believe.

As I snarfed my cupcake up in my hotel room, I couldn't help but look forward to the next day. I'd get to see my friends Trish and Mary at Books, Bytes & Beyond and get to talk with young readers with Michael there! Couldn't wait to see how that would go. :-)

NEXT UP THE FOLLOWING DAY: Books Bytes & Beyond, Traphagen Elementary, memorial, T.Baldwin Demarest and WORD Bookstore.

 For links to all of my #ImSadBookTour posts, see I'M SAD Book Tour 2018