Portland teen Author Lecture

My run along the Willamette River yesterday was gorgeous. I didn’t look at the clock when I left so I don’t know how fast I ran. This allows me to fantasize that I was churning out 8-minute miles; a total fabrication, of course, but one I am sticking to.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic On my lunch break I walked a couple of blocks to the one of the greatest bookstores in the world: Powell’s. I was a good girl. I did not drool on any of the books. I did pet a couple of the shelves, but it was a restrained display of affection, nothing vulgar. If this store held sleepovers, it would become a serious place of pilgrimage for book lovers from all over. Be sure to check out their online author interviews.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Meet Adam who was manning the kids & teens section when I visited. Adam helped me find all of the copies of my books they had in stock so I could sign them. He was wicked sweet. He’s holding his favorite book of mine, CATALYST. He said he really liked all of the science and math references. He also liked all the math in John Green’s ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES. Has anyone put together a list of YA fiction with strong math and science elements?

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI spent the afternoon revising and talking to my editor Kevin about potential directions for the cover design of my historical. Super-librarian and author Sara Ryan, author of EMPRESS OF THE WORLD and THE RULES FOR HEARTS, picked me up at the hotel. We got silly in the lobby before we left.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My presentation was held in the Old Church in Portland. (These picture show only part of the audience.) I was stoked about the number of teens in the audience. A couple of teachers brought groups of students and lots more kids came with a parent or two. I was very excited and honored to see a group of teachers from a Washington state high school that successfuly fought a challenge to remove SPEAK from their curriculum. They are my heroes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicPeople had to buy tickets to hear me speak which had me convinced no one would come, but I was delightfully wrong. More than 250 people came out on a blustery night. Thank you very, very much for a great time.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After the speech I signed books, programs, journals, scraps of paper and I wrote a half dozen notes to English teachers begging them to give extra credit to the students who came to hear me speak. Best item signed was this shoe, which belonged to a lovely future author named Fatema.

Today is a visit to Parkrose High School. Today is more revision. Today might be another run on the river if I am a very, very good girl.

9 Replies to “Portland teen Author Lecture”

  1. Powell’s has got to be one of my favorite places in the entire universe, but I can only go there every two years or so or we probably wouldn’t be able to pay our mortgage. (We’re in Washington, so a couple of hours away.)

    There are these weird little pockets up here in WA that love to ban books — which makes my job as an English teacher a challenge, but also a deep blessing, because I always love to see kids defend their right to read. They’ll gripe about everything we assign them, but when someone tells them they can’t read something, boy, do they rally — and they’re incredibly mature and articulate. (One of the best books I’ve ever taught was Reading Lolita in Tehran, because they get it!)

  2. Isn’t Powell’s the most amazing place?? I can and have, on several occasions, spent the better part of a whole day there. It’s always the first place I take people who visit me!!

    What Washington high school was it that fought for your book?

  3. It’s a good thing I don’t live in the same state as Powell’s because otherwise I would owe my first-born child to a Pacific Northwestern loan shark.

    Yay for teachers standing up for the First Amendment! Boooo to book challenges!

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