Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Aurora Adventure

I had a little adventure last night.

I schlepped over to a Chicago El train with two boxes on my head and a Peter Pan’s NeverWorld bag over my shoulder… and then trekked through downtown to Union Station. I hopped the next train to Aurora. On the hour or so ride out there, I broke out some paper and began scribbling out more of Betwixt-and-Between. (Yes, the old fashioned way.) And why had I been headed out to Aurora?

It partially answers the question to say Andrea Jones (author of Hook & Jill) met me at the train station and whisked me away in her car. What a thrill to see Andrea in person again! We talk regularly through emails and chat boxes. But there’s nothing like discussing theories of Barrie face to face.

And why did I go out to see Andrea? Because of the boxes on my head, of course! The boxes contained copies of Peter Pan’s NeverWorld. I had to deliver them to her because she’ll be toting them along to the Port Washington Pirate Festival. Naturally she’s there to sell her own novel, and because she’s terrific she’s going to have mine available, too. The Port Washington Pirate Festival is this weekend, June 5 - 6 in Wisconsin. Hook & Jill is certainly more “pirate heavy” than my novel, but mine is not without its share of buccaneers. Thanks, Andrea!

Playing delivery boy had not been the only purpose for my visit. Andrea scooted me over to Old Towne Books & Tea. I finally saw this marvelous bookstore for myself (as I’d heard about it from Andrea many times.) Old Town Books & Tea is not your typical bookstore. It’s much better. What other place can you walk into that feels like an inviting home and sells great books to boot? A simple charm radiates there, from the literal individual rooms to the comfortable plush seating arranged just so - perfect for the frequent Book Club meetings and author appearances. I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners, Joe and Leah Guillemette. I’d talked online with Joe before, but he’s even cooler in person, just the sort of guy you’d want as a friend. Leah, too, is a delight. Oh - Peter Pan’s NeverWorld is now featured on their shelves by the check out desk, right near Hook & Jill. Thanks, Joe and Leah!

If you want to visit the appealing Old Towne Books & Tea for yourself, you’ll find it at 61-63 Madison Street in Oswego, Illinois.

We continued our chatting and visit at the Tap House Grill not so very far at all from Joe and Leah’s store. I had a quite tasty chicken pesto wrap and downed more than my share of bottomless ice tea. (Look at me, I’m a rebel ;] ) Good food, good conversation and new friends… doesn’t get much better than that.

Before long it had been time for Andrea to escort me back to the Metra train station… and yes, we tittered away about Barrie's work. (We just can't help ourselves.) I bounced a few ideas I had for subsequent NeverWorld books off her. She especially loved one location I've created. And I quite enjoyed hearing more about her plans for the further adventures of Hook and Jill. I hugged her goodbye and got into Chicago about twenty minutes before midnight. The walk to the El train proved much easier without heavy boxes on my head. I returned home to Bart well after midnight. And then I typed in (and revised as I typed, as per my usual habit) what I’d written for Betwixt-and-Between on the ride to Aurora. I find a certain satisfaction in having composed some more of the Peter Pan story on my way to see another Peter Pan devotee. (Okay, so she’s more into Hook. But I won’t hold it against her. ;] )

To make a grand end to a great night, I discovered that the new material has put Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between over the “book length” mark of 50,000 words. Voila. It’s officially a book. Hosah! Now I just have to finish the rest of it. I’m still estimating a fifth left to go, but as I always say it’s hard to know for sure since some scenes take less words/time than expected and the characters always have more to say.

And so went my adventure in Aurora.

Old Towne Books & Tea


Alwayssea said...

First, I would like to congratulate you on your continued success! I'm sure that getting boxes of books off your head and onto bookstore shelves is much more helpful in promoting Peter Pan's Neverworld. Word of Old Towne Books & Tea have spread across the land, all the way to my part of Chicago though I have never been there. Someday, I hope to pay a visit and bask in the welcoming warmth of its ambiance. Second, as for Andrea Jones, I only know of her from reading your blog. You two seem to have developed a wonderful friendship. I wanted to ask, in all your discussions with her about Barrie, did the topic of making either Peter Pan's Neverworld or Hook & Jill into a movie come up? And, if so, whose story would best fit the silver screen? Anyway, congratulations again and keep writing. I am looking forward to Betwixt-and-Between!

Peter Von Brown said...

Hello, Alwayssea!
Thanks for the kind words.
So glad you've heard of Old Towne Books & Tea. That makes me smile. Yes, I'm very glad to be friends with Andrea Jones. It's actually funny you only know her through me, since she has had more success. :) Hook & Jill has won a number of awards.

We have indeed toyed with the idea of our books on the silver screen. As for whose would fit best as a movie, I hope it's not too wishy-washy to say both of them would work. Though I'd imagine Peter Pan's NeverWorld lends itself better to motion-capture CGI whereas Hook & Jill is more suited to live-action.

Wow... nice to hear you're looking forward to Betwixt-and-Between! I must reiterate however that its fate has not yet been decided. I'm writing it out of compulsion. I certainly need to bounce it off of Andrea and my reader Anon before it sees the light of day in any form.

Thanks for reading. Keep believing!