YA authors Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary), Katie Cotugno (How to Love), Tessa Gratton (The United States of Asgard series), Bethany Hagen (Landry Park), and Natalie C. Parker (Beware the Wild) ventured on a joint road trip book tour from October 22 – November 5 covering 3,600 miles and nine book events. Authors Murphy and Parker thought up the idea, working the tour around a writer’s retreat they’d organized, and inviting other authors who were already booking readings in the area to join them. Their adventures were documented on social media using the hashtag #RoadsideYA, which invited readers to share their own photos as they met along the tour.

The authors discover King Arthur’s Round Table in Hopkinsville, Ky., on the road from their first stop in Kansas to Parnassus Books in Nashville. Back row, from l.: Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagen, Natalie C. Parker; front, Julie Murphy.

At the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch in Pascagoula, Miss. (l. to r.): Katie Cotugno, Parker, Murphy, Gratton.

(From l.): Gratton, Parker, Reader, Murphy, and Cotugno at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport, Miss.

(From l.): Gratton, Murphy, and Parker with readers at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge.

(From l.): Parker, Murphy, and Gratton signing stock at Octavia Books in New Orleans.

The group spot a pink elephant along the road: (back, from l.) Parker, Gratton, and Hagen; (front) Julie Murphy.

Gratton toasting with readers at the tour’s second-to-last stop at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.

Final stop at Irving Public Library in Irving, Tex. (l. to r.): Gratton, Murphy, and Parker.