From Tracie: 5 Reasons The Kingdom Keepers 7 Book Tour With Ridley Pearson Was Amazing

Thursday, March 27, 2014

5 Reasons The Kingdom Keepers 7 Book Tour With Ridley Pearson Was Amazing

One of Katarina's favorite authors is Ridley Pearson. She has been reading his Kingdom Keepers books, and the Peter And The Starcatchers books he co-authored with Dave Barry, for many years. In case you haven't heard of Kingdom Keepers, let me give you a quick rundown:

Five teens have been chosen to act as models for holographic guides at Walt Disney World who will guide tourists through the parks. They use a cutting-edge technology, but there is a glitch; when the kids fall asleep, they are transported to the Parks in their holographic forms. Once there, they learn the true reason they have been chosen: characters come alive at night when the parks close, and the villains are trying to stage a takeover. They have to save Disney, and themselves, from the Overtakers.

When I read on Ridley Pearson's website that he would be signing his new Kindgom Keepers Book, The Insider, at Downtown Disney, I knew we had to go. I kept it a secret for an entire month just in case the scheduling didn't work out, but I wanted to say something every single day. We finally told Katarina about the book signing on Tuesday night, and she was ecstatic.

We arrived at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney at 7:30am to get in line for purchasing the book. Two and a half hours later, we had a book and wristband.

The Insiders Book Cover

The blue bag Katarina is clutching so tightly contains her copy of The Insider, six days before it was officially released.

Ridley hasn't even showed up yet, and it is already the best day ever.

The actual signing didn't start until 4:00. That is how these things work. You buy a book and get a wristband, and then you come back at a later time to sit in line to meet the author.

Once Upon A Toy

We looked around Downtown Disney, but didn't stray too far from Once Upon A Toy, because we planned to get back in line at 12:00. Yes, four hours early. That wasn't a bad choice, because there were already four people in line when we arrived, and it filled up quickly after us.

All these people are less than half of the line that eventually formed.
Standing in line

I've stood in a lot of book signing lines before. I've even organized a few of them when I worked at a bookstore, but this was the first line I've ever been in that was fun. Seriously fun. It was amazing.

First, we had the best person in line behind us. Her name is Tracy, and she is a youth librarian. It is rare to meet a Tracie(y), so that is always a special moment. Plus, this Tracy is awesome.

Tracy and Tracie Kingdom Keepers

Second, there was Daniel. His job was to keep the crowd entertained, and give out prizes for correct answers to trivia questions. This really helped the time to speed by.

Daniel Jordan and Thomas Nall

Katarina answered the first trivia question correctly, knowing the names of all the Kingdom Keepers books, plus the novella, in order. (Thank you to Mary Castanares at Disney for sharing this photo with me.)

First Trivia Winner At Kingdom Keepers Book Signing

You will notice that the book jacket is off, and there is a bookmark inside, because Katarina was already on chapter 4 of the new book by this point.

Kingdom Keepers Trivia Experts Tracie and Katarina
Fancy buttons, because we are Kingdom Keepers Trivia Experts. True story.

Third, kids who love to read. It was a pleasure to overhear great conversations between book-loving kids waiting in line to meet their favorite author. In the "Do you look ahead or read the end of the book first" debate, Katarina staunchly defended her position of reading books in the order the author intended. There were conversations about favorite characters, scenes, and books, as well. (I'm not sharing pictures of these book-loving kids, because I don't put images of other people's kids on the internet, so here's another picture of me and Katarina with our...I mean...HER book.)

Tracie and Katarina with The Insider

Fourth, Ridley Pearson showed up early. There was a rumor going around the line that sometimes he comes out to the line to visit with people before the signing. I wasn't optimistic this would happen, but one hour before his scheduled appearance, he visited the line.

Ridley Pearson Visits Book Signing Line

He talked to people, took pictures, and generally rocked.

Ridley Pearson and Tracie Nall

I love so much that my new friend Tracy is in the background of my picture with Ridley Pearson. Accidental photobombing perfection.

Ridley Pearson and Katarina

After spending about twenty minutes in the line, Ridley went inside and started the signing early. This ensured that he was able to sign as many books as possible before the time was up, which I think really shows how much he cares about his readers.

Fifth, getting books signed, and talking to one of your favorite authors. Katarina was so excited when it was our turn in line. She knew there wouldn't be much time (although I will say that unlike most author signings, they didn't rush people through, and he was taking time to not only sign the new books, but also older books and items), so she planned in advance what she wanted to say and ask.

After she told him she was one of the Insiders, using the app to complete challenges and read and write fan fiction, she had a couple of questions to ask about future book plans.

Getting the inside scoop on upcoming Ridley Pearson books

This was the look on her face when Pearson told her there are no Starcatchers novels in the works right now (sad), but there is a good chance there will be new Kingdom Keepers novels (exciting) with some of the same characters and new story lines.

Books signed by Ridley Pearson

He signed The Insider and her copy of the first Kingdom Keepers book, Disney After Dark. He also signed Thomas' bookmark.

Ridley Pearson and Katarina Nall

Meeting a favorite author, in the place where many of his books are set, and confirming your suspicions that he is awesome, really is the best day ever.

If Ridley Pearson is doing a book signing near you, I recommend attending. It was an amazing experience. If your kids (or you) haven't read any of his books yet, get thee to a bookstore or library immediately. You can follow Ridley Pearson on social media (twitter and facebook) - he is a lot of fun, and is really great about interacting with his followers. Also check out the Insider App. I love that Pearson is encouraging kids to write and share their words.

*This post was in no way sponsored. We purchased our own book, as well as all the other books in the KK and Starcatchers series, and all love of Ridley Pearson is our own.

Are you a Ridley Pearson fan?
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Tell me about it!

40 comments:

  1. It's so exciting to be able to meet an author that you love! What a great experience you guys had.

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    1. I've met him twice sadly not at Disney World, but in his hometown St. Louis.

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  2. This sounds like an awesome book that my daughter would love! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes. I think she will love it. And if she is a Peter Pan fan (or even if she isn't YET), she will love the Peter and the Starcatchers series, too. They are both awesome.

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  3. Great blog post. I love the series and can not wait for The Insider to come out. Keepers forever. P.S no more starcatchers? Small sob.

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    1. Thanks. I hope you really enjoy The Insider (I'm sure you will). My daughter is a few more chapters in since yesterday afternoon, and still loving it!

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  4. I love so much that Katarina got this day! Yay for things coming together and you and Thomas making this happen for her. I know she'll remember it forever. Also, I'm super excited to hear her gush about it when we chat next <3

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    1. It was amazing. I'm so happy it worked out. She is ready and excited to gush!! <3

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  5. I would be gushing too. My daughter has my love of reading- and she's just starting the Kingdom Keepers. I wonder if he'll be in CT?? Off to look!

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    1. No CT dates announced yet, but there is one in NH and one in MA. Maybe those are close enough for a drive?

      I'm so excited she is reading Kingdom Keepers! They are awesome.

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  6. This sounds like it was a great book tour.

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    1. Super awesome. And this was the first stop on the tour, so there is a lot of opportunities for people to experience the awesomeness. :)

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  7. What a fantastic day the two of you had together! It will never be forgotten I'm sure. :)

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    1. Yep. This was a remember forever kind of event.

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    1. Absolutely! I know he will love them.

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  9. What a cool experience! I've never heard of these books but the Author seems like a great guy.

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    1. He really is. I've been following him on social media for a long time (the day he tweeted back to me earned me some major cool-mom points), but it was great to meet him in person.

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  10. What a fantastic experience! So great when kids really get into reading, and events like this definitely inspire that.

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    1. They really do help to inspire kids to read. I was excited to see how many kids were willing to spend the majority of their day, and happily stand in line for hours, to meet an author they love.

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  11. I've never read any of these books, but I'm very curious now. Fantasy is my favorite genre.

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    1. They are fun reads. The Starcatchers books have a great fantasy element to them too, and give you the background on the Peter Pan story (which I love).

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  12. I love those books. So cool you got to meet the author.

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    1. I love that you love them!

      He was super awesome.

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  13. This looks like such a great time! I haven't heard of these books yet, will have to check them out... they look awesome!

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    1. Definitely check them out. You won't be sorry. And your kids will love them, too!

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  14. Aw! Sounds like you guys had so much fun. Book signings are so exciting.

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    1. They are!! I would happily go to one every day if possible.

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  15. Oh My Gosh, what a wonderful experience for your family! Everyone looks so excited and you got to meet new friends too!

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    1. New friends are always a great thing. Especially when they are book-lovers. :)

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  16. What an exciting experience that must've been! That awesome that he met with the crowd before the signing!

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    1. It was awesome. Everyone freaked out. Even though people had been talking about the possibility, I don't think any of us really let ourselves believe it would happen.

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  17. I love the looks of joy on your faces. What a special day that Katarina will remember forever. I hadn't heard about these books, but I'm thinking that my girl might like them too. Will have to check the library.

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  18. Awe, how awesome! How exciting for your daughter!

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  19. Sounds like a great experience! I have a few students who loved the Starcatchers series, so will definitely have to steer them this way. (Seen on Saturday Sharefest.)

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  20. Ah I'm so glad you wrote this and I read it! A friend borrowed me the first book last summer and I loved it but then I moved and was busy and completely forgot about it! And now I can read the rest! So glad you had such an amazing time!!!

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