The brainchild of Melissa Marr, the tour grew out of separate conversations she had with Holly Black at a joint book signing at BEA in 2009; with Jennifer Lynn Barnes as they strolled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, immediately following that same BEA; and with Kelley Armstrong, who had met Marr during a ComicCon signing in 2009, arranged by their mutual publisher HarperCollins. They all enjoyed group tours more than solo tours and liked the idea of planning their own schedule and pooling their relationships with bookstores. As Marr put it, "What we do, we do at home alone. A lot of us have shy streaks. I do better talking about their books than I do talking about mine."
One of the things that the more popular authors are looking forward to is introducing their loyal fans to new authors whose books they've read and loved.
To help with the cost of the tour, the authors are writing an anthology together. They're also selling some pretty cool tour apparel including t-shirts, tank tops, and an awesome hoodie that I hope someone buys for me! :) You can check it out at
Many of the YA authors also attract adult crossover fans. Clare estimates that roughly 40% of her fans are over 25; and Marr said that about 70% of the people who showed up for her Wicked Lovely series tour were adults. Smith-Ready and Armstrong both started as adult fiction writers, and in Armstrong's case, her Darkest Powers books are also set in the same world. Both Armstrong and Smith-Ready note a difference between the two readerships. "Teens as an audience are very involved," Armstrong said. "It becomes a social thing where they can discuss books, make online sites, create videos and trailers. They're quick to tell you when they like something and very quick to tell you when they don't." Smith-Ready also noticed a difference between her teen and adult readers. "[Teens] think for a living. They're taught to analyze books," she said. "Adults in general are reading for escape; they're not less critical, but they're less analytical." Armstrong also likes seeing mother and daughter, or aunt and niece at a signing, and discovering they're both reading the series. "As a mother of a teenager I know how important that is," said Armstrong, "and how hard it is to talk to your teen."