What a WondLaful Tour

What a WondLaful Tour
Originally posted on Tony's blog on June 6, 2014

The Battle for WondLa tour is over, and though I am exhausted from travel, I also feel honored, blessed and inspired.


My tour began in Southern California where I visited the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with WondLa’s audiobook reader and award-winning actress, Teri Hatcher.


From LA, I traveled east visiting bookstores in Phoenix, Kansas City, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee and even in my town in Western Massachusetts. I spoke at numerous schools and connected with scores of readers. We chatted mostly about stories and some of our favorite books and characters.



In a couple of stops, authors came to support me–like Adam Gidwitz (below, center) posing with Topher Bradfield (left) after my event at Austin’s premier indie shop, BookPeople.


To be honest, travel wears me down and it is tough being away from home, my wife and daughter. But the families who took the time to come and see me speak validated why I do this and inspired me (especially when my public event fell on a school night). I don’t usually stop to ponder how many lives my books touch, so I was often overwhelmed with emotion by the turnouts at my events. I was moved by the kind words and wonderful gifts given to me after readers had waited in a long line to have their book signed.


So, for today’s “Friday Fan Art”, I thought I’d share some of the amazing drawings, and other goodies, that were given to me while on the road. Check out Aeden (above), who delivered a whole mess of artwork from Spiderwick to WondLa.



Them there was Medelyn who brought me this lovely sketch of Eva Nine at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.



At Little Shop of Stories, near Atlanta, recent art school grad, Katie, gave me this wonderful watercolor of Eva and Rovee.



I love Austin and was blown away by the talent during my visit to BookPeople. This is a Bull Goblin, from The Spiderwick Chronicles, made from felt!


In fact, Tomoko, one of the booksellers at BookPeople created this beautiful image from the climax of A Hero for WondLa.



In Milwaukee, I was given “Christopher the Cupboard Pixie” from Janice who runs an Etsy shop called Sew Sweet Monsters. Christopher now watches over my books in the studio,



Back in Mass, Rob and his son, Ben, are both artist. They gave me drawings of their favorite characters from the WondLa books.



These little tokens of appreciation will all be cherished. It is surreal and inspiring to see others celebrate my characters through their art.




Thank you for coming out and making this tour so memorable for me. I hope to see you again, next time.


Keep dreaming, keep drawing.

Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.