“Crimespree Around Town,” or “Welcome To Page 5”

The young adult genre has been getting a lot of attention due to worldwide successes of everything from Harry Potter to Twilight. And that attention continues to grow with the debut of Hollow Earth by the brother and sister team of Carole E. Barrowman and John Barrowman.

Minnesota fans were fortunate that independent children’s store The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul was one of five stops on the book tour. The bookshop was brimming with fans of the BBC TV shows Doctor Who and Torchwood anxious to meet Captain Jack Harkness himself. People were also excited to meet Ms. Barrowman, English professor at Alverno College and writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

After hearing about the massive success of the authors’ signing the night before in Milwaukee, with shelves laid bare of books and standing room only halls, we were very thankful for the Red Balloon’s signing policy of prepaying your copy of the book. This gave you a guaranteed spot in line for the signing. The store staff told us that there were at least 277 prepaid books. This of course didn’t include copies sold off the shelf.

With an evening event on St Paul’s bustling Grand Ave, the event had an almost carnival vibe to it. From the bonfire warming the waiting fans outside the store, to the more exuberant fans dressed in period costumes, the event drew readers of all backgrounds. We even chatted with a couple that drove in from Rapid City, South Dakota. They spent 10 hours in their car because, “We don’t get cool stuff like this back home.” They arrived yesterday and are heading home tomorrow.

When we got to the head of the line, the Barrowmans were gracious and engaging. They both showed genuine interest in the fans that waited in line to see them. And as anyone who has spent time at a convention or signing event can tell you, that is the greatest feeling ever.

So thank you Barrowmans, for coming to St Paul. And thank you Red Balloon, for hosting a fun event.

P.S. Kate is sorry for knocking over the Star Wars display. (Really. It was an accident.)

John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, Kate, and Dan