Sunday, April 18, 2010

Texas Librarians Rock: My trip to TLA

If you read this blog, you know that the good and bad of my world have quite collided lately ( ie - book 2 contract/thyroid cancer and surgery) So I really wasn't sure if I'd make TLA this year. (for the uninitiated - Texas Library Association conference) A number of weeks ago, my wonderful little team at Sourcebooks had arranged for me to sign Dreaming Anastasia at the Follett booth. The Follett folks have a huge booth, know all you wonderful librarians intimately and just put on a great show at conventions. I was thrilled! As I also comment regularly, when you're still lower on the author food chain, having someone tell you that they'll pop for your hotel room AND set up a signing where, it turns out, you get free dark chocolate bars when you're done, is a grand enticement. Of course, like everything else in my world lately, it pretty much arrived in tandem with the cancer diagnosis.

But here's the good news. I was able to go. Over 100 people lined up to snag numbers so they could get a book and say hi and have me sign. I ran out of bookmarks. I met people from all over Texas. Got to hang some with some of the other Texas authors I've come to know and love - my bestest pal Janet Fox - whose debut, Faithful, is coming out from Puffin very very soon!!; the always sweet and brilliant Varian Johnson; the indomitable Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith; Kathy Whitehead (who makes great analogies about cows, just ask her) Bettina Restrepo and Dottie Enderle. Got to meet some new folks like Jay Asher (okay, I think we'd bumped elbows at some previous time but not really met) - who really has this crazy rock star following I can only dream about; and Jandy Nelson and Bethany Hegedus and many others. I watched a crazy herd of folks thunder in at 9 AM so they could get the coveted tickets to Suzanne Collins' signing later in the morning. Seriously - it was like the running of the bulls. But for good cause. If I hadn't already been seated at the Follett booth preparing to sign, I'd have joined them!

Got to bond some with dear husband who rearranged a lot to drive with me to San Antonio and even ran out to McDonald's Friday morning and brought back an Egg McMuffin and coffee because I was running late since I honestly move a little slower these days!

And I got to hang with the truly fabulous and kind Kay Mitchell from Sourcebooks who among other things, helps pick up my slack now that Publicist Paul has more YA authors than just yours truly. (that's what happens when you do such a great job Paul - they give you more to do!)

Mostly, I got to talk books with people who love them. Librarians put my book and all books into readers' hands and without them, I don't know where we'd be. No one seemed to notice that I still couldn't turn to the left without wincing. I wore one of my growing collection of trendy scarves to cover Mr. Scary Scar until it fades a bit. And before I left, I managed to snag an ARC of Maggie Stiefvater's Linger - which let me tell you is absolutely everything I hoped it would be! Werewolf nookie; werewolf angst... you're gonna love it.

Okay, so I forgot to take out my camera and have someone take pictures. But trust me on this - I was having a blast. And if I met you, I was delighted to talk Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted with you.

Upcoming on this blog - an interview with Class of 2k10 co-president, Judith Graves, whose debut paranormal, Under My Skin, is out NOW!!

Til next time...


Vonna said...

I;m so glad you got to go, Joy. It sounds like you had an amazing time.

ps. I'll bet you have your own crazy rock star following soon!

criticalcrass said...

i'm glad you got to go, too! sounds like a LOT of fun.

Janet Fox said...

Aw, I love that bestest pal part!! Hugs and more hugs. And, by the way gang, Joy looks great.