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Thursday, June 28, 2012

ALA Wrap-Up

Last weekend was the American Library Association Annual Conference.  It was in Anaheim, which is only about an hour away from where I live, so of course, I went.

There is so much to say about it, but I will limit myself to 10:

See the lovely cookie! I shall keep it forever and never eat it!
1.  Macmillan is a lovely company to publish with.  Many librarians told me how fortunate I was to publish with FSG Macmillan--and how well they treat librarians.  And librarians would KNOW if they were being treated well or not, what with being librarians and all. Smart cookies.

2.  It never gets old seeing your book displayed. THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET is my 10th book, (first book pubbed by Houghton Mifflin in 1995--that's 17 years, folks) but the butterflies I get when I realize it will soon be in the hands of children are the same butterflies I felt back then.  Except I think they grew fatter.

3. Nice publishing companies (like FSG Macmillan) don't mind if you make bookmarks and stick them by your book (see above!)

4.  Meeting people face-to-face that I've only corresponded with was not as nerve-wracking as  I feared.  And I actually got to meet one of my editors in person for the first time.  True story:  I have worked with 5 editors over the years, but Wes Adams at FSG is the first one I got to hug in person.  (All of them deserved hugs, believe me!) And Wes is great.  (FYI he was the editor for Jack Gantos' Newberry Winner DEAD END IN NORVELT.)  And yes, I spoke with Jack as well. For about a minute. An awesome minute.

5.  It takes a village to publish a book.  Seriously. So many people are behind your book.  And I want to give a shout out to Emily Waters and the Macmillan team for making me feel a little less awkward as I snapped my Trinket pix and wandered about semi-aimlessly, trying to catch glimpses of Trinket out of the corner of my eye to see how she was doing. Without hovering, of course.

6.  I bought a new dress (back in April) to wear the the Macmillan Dessert Party.  (Dessert Party consists of authors and librarians, eating desserts and talking books.  Cool, no?) It was yellow and I loved it.  Folks, sometimes you just need to buy the new dress.  It will make you feel great.  Forgot to snap a picture:(

Trinket by candlelight at the dessert party.
7. Everything looks cooler by candlelight.  Even your daughter, when she sneaks in (in her sneakers, no less!) and tells you that your ride home is here!  I have to tell you, it was weird looking to the side and seeing Noel standing there, chatting it up with librarians.  Double-take.

8.  Helen Foster James is awesome.  She came to my table at the dessert party and was the first one to talk with me about my book...and she made me feel at ease right away.  Soon other folks came by and it felt like a party--which it was.

9.  Shock of the Day- Editors from different houses came up to me and introduced themselves, having known my name from the GOOD KNIGHT books.  Seriously.  And all wanted to know when there would be another adventure of the Good Knight.  Hmmm.....

10.  It was not all sunshine and roses, though, just so you know.  It was crowded on the exhibit floor and sometimes awkward if you are an introvert like me. (I know--how can a Queen be a hermit?  I am a conundrum.  I embrace it.)  I saw people that I "knew" from being on-line and stuff, but often is was just a glance across a very crowded room.  I imagined Great Meet-Ups, you know?  But there was little time and less space, and always looks different on-line, like those picture-worthy moments that people post on blogs after events like these, lots of smiles and hugs and probably amazing conversations. Sample of my conversations:

Me:  I think I know you.  I read your blog. You wrote _________. (I know, great opening line.  Not.)

(Insert awkwardness.)

11.  I know I said I'd only do 10, but the 11th thing is that I lost my sunglasses somewhere.  boo.  I loved them so.  But if I had to choose sunglasses or Friday Night, I'd choose Friday Night.

Oh, and librarians?  Rock on!



Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I want to kick myself for not being there to see Trinket in her glory. And bookmarks!
Plus, I would've been your fellow introvert on the crowded floor to deflect the awkward moments.
But I'm so happy you got to meet your editor and had fun at the party in your new dress. That's pretty awesome.

Christina Lee said...

AWWWW!! 1. That's a cookie?!? 2. "pets Trinket* 3. Whoa TENTH (amazing) 4. And you are so grounded and lovely and all that squishy stuff *hugs*

Julie Dao said...

Trinket is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! And I am sure you were too in your yellow dress! Sounds like you had a great time despite the moments of awkwardness here and there... I think that is to be expected with such a close community of people that you've talked to online like old friends, only to meet face to face for the first time. What a great experience!

Kelly Polark said...

Tenth book? That is amazing! So proud of you and to know you!

And I so would love to go to that Dessert Party!!

Trinket looks quite lovely by the way.

Stephanie Perkins said...

You know, I can't remember if I've said this yet or not, even though I *think* it every time I see Trinket's cover. It's beautiful. I don't say that lightly. I absolutely positively one hundred percent love it.

I can't wait to buy my copy. :-)

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS on your 10th book! That is an awesome looking cookie. I thought it was an ornament. Sounds like it was a wonderful experience.

Jess said...

What a fun time! I agree with Stephanie~ your book looks gorgeous up on the display table! Sorry about your sunglasses~ I lose/break mine constantly. Maybe I wouldn't do that if I spent more the $5 on them at Walmart (a bigger investment might inspire me to be more careful, but I'm a cheapo when it comes to sunglasses--little ones who like to grab things tend to do that to a gal).

Old Kitty said...

Libraries and library staff are the best! Yay!! Awwww it's so great to see your books championed by these fab libraries! Now that I know Macmillan are treating you and all its authors well, I say YAY!!! to them too!!

I hope you find your glassess!! Take care