Lauren Allbright’s debut middle grade novel was published by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster in June. Recently, she embarked on her own DIY book tour called the “Just Show Up” book tour (#justshowupbooktour). Today we’re talking to Lauren about her “tour” and how it’s going.

What is the #exitstrategy #justshowupbooktour?

It is a family trip and a chance to visit independent bookstores around the country to talk about EXIT STRATEGY, my middle grade novel. Traveling the country with an RV is something my husband and I have always wanted to do. (Or, at least I did, and I was somehow able to convince him that he wanted to do it too.) The release of my book gave us a good excuse to do this!

Who is on this trip with you?

My husband, Zach, and my three kids Colton (12), Logan (10), and Rowyn (8). And our dog, Lucy. We left the fish at home.

That’s close quarters. Is everybody getting along?

Some days we do and some days we don’t! I think we are all learning that it is easier to get over stuff than it is to hold a grudge. (There’s just not room for the grudge to fit with us in the tight spaces!) There has a to be a lot of compromise—both with each other and just in general.

How have the author events gone?

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person ever. I get to go to bookstores (my favorite places!) and talk about MY book. Not to sound cheesy, but it is the realization of a pie-in-the-sky dream/goal. I still can’t believe it is happening.

Sometimes I get to an event and nobody shows up—it’s me and a bunch of empty chairs. It is hard to put myself out there and then have that happen.

But no matter what, every signing has been memorable and important to me.

What have you learned on the trip?

It’s been a learning experience for sure. I’ve actually been keeping track of some of the more important lessons.

  • If you find and Oreo missing the middle and the other side, DON’T EAT IT. Someone his licked it and left it. (One of the kids learned that the hard way.)
  • Bring lots of earbuds. At least one per person—maybe more because they break easily.
  • Shower when you can; there will be plenty of times you can’t.
  • Bring 3x the underwear you think you need (and know where you can buy more).
  • Start the trip with a FULL bottle of dry shampoo.
  • Use buy spray under AND on your clothes. If not, you might end up with 48 chiggers bites beneath your unmentionables. (Also learned the hard way)
  • While you are driving, look up from time to time. You can literally miss an entire mountain range while staring at your laptop screen. Note: If you are the driver, you should look up at all times.
  • Download two audiobooks—one for the family and one for you when nobody else wants to listen. (Audiobooks are great if you struggle with carsickness like we do.)
  • Have vomit bags at the ready. Always.
  • Dogs get carsick too.
  • Keep wet wipes in the console, the glove box, and the doors of the car. If you run out, get more.
  • When stuff goes wrong, roll with it. Get through it the best you can, and trust that it will soon be fantastic material for inside jokes and hilarious memories. (Even getting 48 chigger bites is funny given enough time for the itching to stop.)


You’ve got a bunch of stops in California coming up. Where can readers find you if they want to know more about EXIT STRATEGY or the Just Show Up Book Tour? 

July 19, 2017, 5:00 —

Charlie’s Corner4102 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114


July 21, 2017 —

Hicklebee’s1378 Lincoln Ave
San Jose, CA 95125


July 24, 2017, 6:00 —

Once Upon a Storybook
Enderle Center
17300 E 17th St., #C
Tustin, CA 92780

July 25, 2017, 4:00 --

Frugal Frigate
9 N 6th St
Redlands, CA 92373


June 28, 2017, 6:00 —

4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107


For more information visit Lauren’s website, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.