The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour Hits Pasadena!

YA author Melissa de la Cruz delivers a report from the Pasadena, CA stop on the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. Get all the details about the night's activities, check out photos and find out where you can find these authors next!

The Smart Chicks caravan – a rollicking Sea World-like carnival of girl-powered, writer-powered, shoe-powered fun landed in Pasadena last night to a roaring crowd of 300 people at Vroman's bookstore. I knew the tour was going to be amazing from the first email inviting me to be part of it from insanely fabulous, YA lit advocates and enthusiasts/organizers Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong, but I had no idea how much giddy fun it would be. Stick nine paranormal YA authors in front of a crowd and you get—mayhem! Lightning Round! Marry, Shag, Cliff! Prizes! Trivia! It's a true author-as-rockstar experience that puts all other tours to shame. (No more lonely room service dinners alone, that's for sure!)

Here are the chicks. Don't we look smart? 


Left to Right: Rachel Caine, Alyson Noël, Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl,
Kami Garcia
, Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Vincent, Mary Pearson

Highlights? So many! From the enthusiastic fans who participated in the game "Marry, Shag, Cliff" – you have to pick characters from our series that you would either marry, shag (kiss) or throw off a cliff. I mostly recall that a lot of fans wanted to marry Derek, the sensitive wolfboy from Kelley's Darkest Powers series, and that my readers couldn't decide and therefore wanted to shag both Jack and Kingsley at the same time. (Did I mention all the screaming? There was lots of screaming.) 

This was only one quarter of the crowd we had in Pasadena! 

In Lightning Round, Margie Stohl (the taller half of Beautiful Creatures) was our manic host, and the crowd wanted to know who our celebrity crush was. (Mary's and Melissa's was Johnny Depp - major screaming ensued, Alyson and I chose Eric Northman from True Blood - because we are in love with the character, not the actor, Kami (the shorter half of Beautiful Creatures) chose Craig, Daniel Craig.) Those who could not answer fast enough had to say "Carrot" or "Potato" or some other variation of a vegetable. When a reader asked who our favorite character was in a Vampire-Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, it was a veritable vegetable buffet (although "Alice" did get a few votes.) 

Melissa M., Rachel C. and Rachel V. gave out advance copies of their new books with trivia questions. (Hint: On future tours if you know the name of Seth's snake, you are golden!) We learned lots of fun news: Mary's Adoration of Jenna Fox is going to become a movie from 20th Century Fox, Melissa M.'s Wicked Lovely movie is progressing with super-secret awesome news she could not share yet, Alyson's spin-off Radiance has hit multiple best-seller lists, Kelley's YA series will go to nine books, Rachel. C. is in multiple talks about a Morganville Vampire Hollywood adaptation, and Kami and Margie's Beautiful Creatures movie at Warner now has a script. I just reminded everyone that the next Blue Bloods book Misguided Angel comes out October 26th, Bloody Valentine is out December 28th, and my new adult series Witches of East End comes out next summer. We are a bunch of busy chicks!

Then it was off to the signing, where we met all of our cute, enthusiastic fans, many were so excited they could not even speak. (I sat next to Melissa M. so I witnessed a lot of this!) We signed books, posters, bookmarks, and … this seventeen-year-old's abs. Yes. His abs. (Where is Sarah Rees Brennan when you need her?) In our defense, his mom was right there and said it was OK.

Kami Garcia signing the dude's six-pack. Not photographed: seven other 
Smart Chicks giggling and one other Smart Chick (Margie) looking HORRIFIED

No Smart Chicks tour wrap-up is complete without the requisite SHOE PHOTO.

Wonder Chicks power, activate?

It's been fun hanging out with the funny, intelligent and awesome ladies of YA Paranormal Romance. If you get a chance to catch the Chicks in any of the stops, I highly recommend you do. It's worth it for Lightning Round alone!

- Melissa de la Cruz

Want to know more about the tour? Check out the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour website to find out who else will be appearing on tour and where they will be from now until September 25th. Tonight the tour heads to the Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville, IL. You can follow all the tour action over at their website and check back later this week for the next author report from the road.

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