Two’s Company!

Hey cHEwY gum gums

You know what’s better than going on an author tour? Doing it with someone else 🙂

Last week I went on tour with R.A Spratt, travelling to Orange and the Blue Mountains. When Penguin suggested pairing the authors who rocked this year’s Sydney Writers Festival together, it was a masterstroke. Not only was this a cost-effective exercise, it also allowed Rachel and I to share the load. We only had 30 minutes instead of an hour, so it was all killer, no filler.

It was also a lot easier to set and pack up at each school too. Along with our Penguin publicist, Kate, we were a well-oiled machine. We all chipped in to pack away banners and sort out technology. We were also supported by booksellers, including one from Collins Booksellers Orange who actually drove us around too.

However, it’s the little perks that I appreciate the most. You’ll be amazed with how much you take this for granted when you’re on your own. Publisher-led promo tours don’t happen often. Rachel and I took turns making small talk with the school staff, booksellers and teacher-librarians. We took photos of each other, surprisingly that’s the one thing I miss when I’m touring on my own. It’s kinda awkward asking complete strangers to take photos for the social media, but with Rachel, we know how it works. It also means that you have some company for meals too, and we can immediately debrief after a school visit. The good, bad and the ugly all comes out, unfiltered. We also get that after a school visit, you just want to chill, look through our phones to post up all our photos and other stuff…like playing Pokemon GO haha.

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I think having 2 or more authors benefit schools too. You get two authors for one, what could go wrong? It becomes less of an author visit and more of a show. If one author doesn’t appeal to a kid, then they may like the next one. It also helps that I get along with Rachel. She can lift me up…literally because she does cross-fit and weightlifting. I loved her Nanny Piggins series, and we both come from a stand up background. So naturally, we did a few things together on stage too, including a rendition of Old Time Road ha!

I also picked up hints and tips about school presentations, after hearing Rachel speak 10 times. I’m learning how she handles disruptions, rowdy kids and other mishaps. Every author brings a gimmick or a trick up their sleeve to engage their audiences. Rachel is one of the few authors who can out-joke me, so I am always on my toes hehe.

The next RASOP tour will be in October, where we’ll be going to Tasmania. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Rachel is going to bring her guitar so prepare for more double acts, bad singing and plenty of chaos 🙂


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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