I’m not sure if I should tell this story. One Tough Cookie will read it and she will weep and then she will express mail a midget to slap me.
I’m gonna do it.
So. Because I love my foreign publishers dearly, I wanted to bring them cookies. Not just any cookies, but fancy cookies like I had brought Scholastic U.S. all those years ago. I found out that they wouldn’t survive long enough to bring them to the Netherlands or Lithuania on my tour, but I could at least bring them to the UK and Germany. And so I had beautiful cookies made by One Tough Cookie. The UK ones looked like the UK cover of Lament. And the German ones, like the German cover of SHIVER.
The German cookies were things of wonder. One sort had the wolf from the cover on it. Another sort had the branches. Another looked like the girl from the cover. They were gorgeous.
I repacked them all carefully in a box with foam and hand carried them to the UK on the plane with me. In the UK, I kept them safe for 8 days of rain and children sharing the flat with me. I carried them down to Lewes with me on the train. I brought them under my arm to London Heathrow.
At the airport, security was not happy with me carrying around a box. I got stopped:
SECURITY: What’s in the box?
SECURITY: Will you open it?
ME: See? Cookies.
SECURITY: Can I have one?
ME: Not on your life.
This happened five times. Security really, really wanted those cookies. I don’t think they feed those people. They all looked after me with haunted, hungry eyes, like zombies or high school students. I hurried onto the plane and got into my seat. I put the cookies under the seat in front of me. The steward, however, informed me that I was in an exit row and so the cookies would have to go overhead. A-yup, says I, and think nothing more about it.
Fast forward several hours. We are in Frankfurt. Everyone is jumping off the plane. People are speaking German to me and I am saying “ein bisschen! ein bisschen!” back to them lest they think I have true comprehension. I grab my bag, jump from the plane, and meet my German publicity team (the amazing Jeannette and Judith). Hugs! Happiness! We need to hoof it back to the hotel before it gets too late. Frankfurt airport is huge -- it takes thirty-five minutes to walk through customs and to parking and out to the car.
Which would be when I realized that I had left the cookies in the overhead compartment on the plane. This was not a happy moment in my life.
And the security people got them anyway.