I just flew home from ALA Chicago
A most magnificent experience meeting nation wide librarians (according to ALA roughly 25,000 library leaders and supporters)touring publishing houses with their newest offerings (like wending through a gold mine), meeting the indomitable Egmont USA team: Douglas Pocock, Elizabeth Law, Regina Griffin, Mary Albi, and Ellen Greene. Chatting and checking the exhibits with my beloved Dial editor, Kathy Dawson, Meeting fellow Egmont authors Julia Keller, Walter Dean Myers, Christopher Myers, Mary Amato, and Kay Cassidy and chumming about with author buddy Lorie Ann Grover who was smart enough to bring a camera!Luckily Lorie Ann said I could pop some of her shots into the blog. Phew!
Lorie Ann Grover, Elizabeth Law, Moi
Chicago weather was perfect. On my first evening we gathered at the Art Institute of Chicago for the Egmont Cocktail Reception where we all nibbled dainties, sipped wine and talking Books Books Books. Doug Pocock, Executive V.P of Egmont USA had us all raise our glasses to toast Egmont. He had us all grinning. If you are a writer, this was why your ears were burning on Saturday evening. Somebody out here loves you.
Early Sunday we scrambled to the wild YALSA Coffee klatch where we had four minutes (yes that’s four minutes) per table to speed date YALSA librarians and create “book love” for our upcoming titles. Not easy to breeze through a description of STEALING DEATH in one minute with three left to answer questions. I brought along an “ice breaker” but YALSA librarians were NOT icy in the least and no ice needed breaking. Still we blew our rose petals across the table with drinking straws (a challenging game if there ever was one!)
Christopher Myers and Moi at YALSA coffee klatch. I stood on a chair to reach his 6ft 5? or 7? height!
Jacqueline Woodson, Libba Bray, Moi
After the coffee klatch I raced with Elizabeth Law back to the convention center for my author signing at the Egmont USA booth. A nice long line was waiting with readers clutching STEALING DEATH galleys (yes!)
Two buddies Justina Chen and Kirby Larson signing (I didn’t take a pic of myself signing. Again no camera. Doh!)
Famished from book signing, Regina Griffin and I taxied to a cozy luncheon with friends. After lunch I raced back to the convention to meet with my Dial editor, Kathy Dawson.
The day ended with the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet.
Lorie Ann too this one — Moi dressed for the Banquet!
Thank you Egmont for the cold Heineken I was ready for it by that point). Good food but the speeches were delicious from Beth Krommes Caldecott speech where she quoted a friend saying, “Beth Krommes has finally scratched herself to the top.” to Neil Gaiman’s memorable speech, “the Newbery can actually make you look cool to your children,”, and Ashley Bryan’s closing speech wherein we were “made to sing.”
When words were with us
in our minds and
on our tongues
we sang our way
to a place
where all can meet
In this sparse economy
we still remember
ideas are free