Monday, November 23, 2009

HuffPo Rides Again

And for post two of the Dreaming Anastasia Road Trip, I present the more humorous version, which is up now on the Books Vertical on Huffington Post. Enjoy!

Til next time...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dreaming Anastasia Road Show

Me and the Chicago part of the Preble family at my Borders' signing. Do you see the HOT sign on the display of Dreaming Anastasia's?

Lou Malnati's pizza - just like Anne and Tess eat in an early chapter of DA

University Hall at Northwestern - the real building for the fictional setting of Professor Olensky's office in DA.

Award winning illustrator Larry Day, who was signing with me at the St. Mary's book fair in Riverside.

My little table at St. Mary's Book Fair.

Me at the John Cooper School Signature Series Event

Just back from Chicago events and before that the John Cooper School Signature Series here in The Woodlands, TX. Three days off from school, two book fairs, a teacher round table and a Friday the 13th book signing at Borders north of Chicago in Wilmette. In quick summation, I present the Dreaming Anastasia Road Show Highlights:

  • Getting to listen to John Grogan talk about his dog Marley and book talking Dreaming Anastasia with anyone who stopped by my table.

  • Flying to Chicago on a half empty plane and having row 19 all to myself. And what did I do with all this bounty? Spread out so I could grade Antigone tests. Oh the life a famous author!

  • Visiting with the 7th and 8th graders at St. Mary's School in Riverside. What a great group you are! Plus Jessica and her team, including her husband who graciously brought back Diet Coke and warm oatmeal raisin cookies from McDonald's during the dinner lull.
  • Getting to meet picture book illustrator Larry Day, who was great company during the above mentioned dinner lull at St. Mary's.

  • Getting to visit my alma mater Northwestern and donating a copy of Dreaming Anastasia to the YA collection at the library.

  • Driving along Sheridan road from Wilmette to Evanston and later along Lake Shore Drive to Hyde Park. Chicago cooperated with 60 degree weather. In November.

  • Staying with my cousin Sara who is an amazing baker and has a freezer full of cookies and brownies and other crazy good stuff and seeing a bunch of other family, too.

  • Getting to hang with college friends - for lunches, coffee, after one of my signings. Something about being with the people that knew you when that's sweet and humbling and just oh so right! Hard to be a diva when you're with people who have held your hair back so you could vomit...

  • Reconnecting with the Chicago Preble's! You guys rock!

  • Dinner with author @PattyJMurphy!

  • Lunch with 2k9er's Fran Slayton and Susan Fine, and the ever fabulous best publicist ever @psamuelson01 - otherwise known as Publicist Paul. And did I mentiont that it was 60 degrees out that day? In November? In Chicago?

  • The great Look What's HOT display of Dreaming Anastasia's at Border's in Wilmette for my signing - at which I read some, signed some, answered a bunch of questions, and even learned more about the story of the Dreaming Anastasia cover from Sourcebooks' own Kay Mitchell, who drove with Paul Samuelson and the intrepid Teddy Roosevelt all the way from Naperville in Friday night traffic to be with me.

  • Hanging with teachers and the fab Angela at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park.

In short - Thank You! to readers, friends, family and to the Sourcebooks team that made the Dreaming Anastasia Chicago tour a reality!

Til next time...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SHSU Children's Lit Festival & YA Conference

Looking author-y in between Kelly Bennett and Janet Fox
SHSU grad student Katie Poland poses with me.
Kellly Bennett and Janet Fox with Janet's Faithful cover

Janet Fox and her SHSU grad student helper

Absolutely delightful time yesterday presenting at the Sam Houston State Children's and YA lit conference with Janet Fox (Faithful, Puffin, May 2010) Thanks to Dr. Holly Weimar for choosing us to be part of the program and to my cheery grad student helper Kathryn Poland for sheperding me around! And of course I'm always thrilled when I get to be a fan girl and Newbery authors! Specifically, the phenomenal Christopher Paul Curtis and Jacqueline Woodson, who were the keynote speakers and with whom I had the honor of eating lunch. (Let me say that when you are a newbie debut author, it is still shocking that someone lets you eat barbeque and cobbler with really famous people. In your own little guest author/presenter room. With all the other wonderful presenters such as author Kelly Bennett and some really cool librarians! While everyone else gets a boxed lunch in the cafeteria. I mean seriously - I had to pinch myself. Plus the cobbler was warm. And there was vanilla ice cream to put on top.
Purchased Woodson's If You Come Softly, which I had not read. It is a re-telling of R&J, black teen Jeremiah falls in love with white teen Ellie. It is so beautifully written that I don't have words for it yet. I have so much to learn about this craft! And Bud not Buddy, by Curtis is next on my list. Christopher Paul Curtis is another master of the written word, of storytelling, and just listening to him was an honor.
Onward this week to Chicago! I am very excited to get to see Publicist Paul and authors Susan Fine and Fran Cannon Slayton when I'm in town and very much looking forward to my events!

Thursday - St. Mary's Book Fair in Riverside
Friday - Signing at Borders in Wilmette, 7 PM
Saturday- Educator's Round Table at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park

Itching to tell you all more updates. But not quite yet.

Til next time...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

HuffPo, Sharpies, and other News

Quick post this morning. So much work to do and then husband's birthday dinner later on. (Don't you love it when birthdays fall on weekends and you can have more leisurely fun rather than the "here's your cake, let's go do homework" kind of fun?)

If I haven't mentioned it, I'm an official Huffington Post blogger now, on their new books vertical. I am thrilled! Posted my latest- on paying your dues as a debut author - on Friday. You can read it here: Hopefully you will be amused. :)

Beyond that, if you're in Houston area, come join me up in Huntsville at SHSU's YA Lit Conference on 11/7. Janet Fox (Faithful, Puffin 2010) and I will be talking about on line writing communities, among other things, and also signing Dreaming Anastasia. Come say hi.

I'll also be a "local author" at John Cooper School Signature Series Event on 11/11 at the Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands. John Grogan (Marley and Me) is speaking! Plus it's a fund raiser for literacy causes. All worth the price of admission.

Chicago folks: SBooks is bringing me to town right after that. My bigger public signing is at Borders in Wilmette 11/13 7 PM. Hoping to rock the house on that one. Help me show them what this Chicago native now Texas girl can do! And if you're an educator, I'll be talking to teachers and then signing at the fabulous 57th Street Books (thank you Angela!) on 11/14 around 2 PM.

Beyond that, all sorts of other things going on, but this is not the post for them. Soon, though.

Happy November!

Til next time...