So yeah, by the end of the dinner where I met (brace yourself, more sqweeing ahead) KATHERINE PATERSON, I was whooped. There were a couple of other parties to go to, but I had to speak early Friday morning, so I was a good girl and went to bed.
Woke up at an obscenely early hour on Friday and dressed with fear and trepidation. This was the day I had been dreading since December. I put on my magic bracelets and grabbed my speech.
See, I had been invited by the kind people at the Children’s Booksellers and Publishers Committee to be one of the speakers at the opening Children’s Breakfast. This was a huge honor and a big challenge. Would you want to speak to 850 tired, hungry, undercaffinated booksellers at the crack of dawn? Well, yes, if you’re an author, of course you would. But what if they put you in the line-up with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and Marc Brown?
It helped that I was able to meet “the boys” before the event started. They were all very, very kind, and they signed all of the books that I had lugged with me. We trooped backstage and made our way to the breakfast (shades of that scene from Spinal Tap where the band gets lost behind the stage in Cleveland). The next few hours passed in a blur. I remember being on stage. I remember making the decision to skip page 3 of my speech (sure hope that worked out.)
But the best part was being able to share with booksellers the feedback that I get from my readers (some of it filters in here on the LJ). I told them that you guys love great books. I told them that books make a positive difference in your lives…. that is the interesting books; the ones you like and you actually read. Yes, I said that teaching the classics in high school is turning kids off to books. I imagine I will be yelled at for that, but so what? It’s the truth.
And then it was over. I had a meeting with my agent, and not nearly enough time to walk the convention floor before I had to catch a cab to the airport and then the plane home. And who did I wind up sitting next to on the plane? That’s right, the Ambassador to El Salvador. Turns out he knew my mother-in-law in Pulaski. Small world, eh?
Today I am writing with the music cranked loud. I also have to get to the email I just unearthed in my Junk mailbox. Spammers are evil.
Brand new booksellers! Former children’s librarians Kimberly Diehm and Jennifer Graves have just opened The NeverEnding Story Children’s Bookshoppe in Las Vegas. If you are in the area, drop in and say hello.