Eating in Greenpoint

Ready to dash off to meetings, but wanted to share some pics from yesterday first.

I flew to NYC and met up with daughter Bookavore so she could show me her new world.

She lives close to this amazing bakery.

When you already have a tattoo that matches the name of your bookstore, it’s a sign you should be working there.

Greenpoint is a largely Polish neighborhood, which was very cool because I had such a good time in Warsaw a couple of years ago. This is where we ate lunch.

This is what lunch looked like. The name of it, loosely translated, is “Polish comfort food, with sauerkraut.” Very yummy.

Also yummy was the sheep’s milk yogurt I had at breakfast.

Off to the meetings. And no, I am not wearing a flannel shirt.

What do you get when you cross a writer with a computer programmer?

What do you get when you cross a writer with a computer programmer?*

You get a book-loving daughter who manages a bookstore in Brooklyn and writes a column about technology. My oldest, Stephanie, aka Bookavore, has started a regular column on Shelf Awareness dealing with developing technology that can connect booksellers to readers and authors.

Her first article explains Twitter and how fast, easy, and useful it is for all of us living in the bookosphere.

BTW, if you do live in the bookosphere, you ought to sign up for Shelf Awareness. It comes out M-F and contains publishing news, bookselling news, library news and great reviews. It’s the only e-newsletter I get.

Other tabs to close. The Christian Science Monitor has a very nice review of CHAINS.

If your Internet habit is interfering with your writing, you should read Cory Doctorow’s advice.

I still have a handful of questions about writing and publishing to answer. I’ll get started on those tomorrow. Right now? Another chapter!


* I would love to claim credit, but it was Stephanie who came up with this line. Her biological dad, Greg Anderson, is the computer programmer. Which would make me the writer, yeah.


As part of the 10th Anniversary of SPEAK, I wrote a poem that shares some of the reader reaction I’ve received in the last decade. Below is the video of me reading the poem at NCTE/ALAN last November.

You can find a higher quality version of the video on the “Speak Up About Speak” page that Penguin has created.

If you want to be a part of this effort, Uncle Penguin would love you to contribute your comments about how the book has affected you on that blog.

On a completely unrelated note, this story of compassion and sportsmanship shown by two basketball teams in the Midwest is guaranteed to make you happy.

I’m off to get ready for my trip to New York and, one hopes, write many more pages.


One Month and Counting!!!!!!! (and more W&PQ)

Let the countdown begin!

WINTERGIRLS goes on sale one month from today!!! In a month, I’ll be on my way to the airport to catch a flight out to California for the beginning of the book tour.

The spring will be almost as much of a travel blur as last fall was.

Laurie’s Totally Excellent Spring & Summer Roadtrips:
1. Book Tour
2. Visit to Lima, Peru
3. Los Angeles Times Book Festival
4. College graduation of Daughter #3 (YAY!!! ::throws confetti and dances::)
5. International Reading Association conference
6. American Library Association conference

The good news is that I won’t be on the road for such long stretches this time. Being able to come home to my husband keeps me sane, even if it’s only for a couple of days.

Oh, and I’m going to New York City in a few days for some interviews and meetings. I have no clue what to wear. I always feel like a hick when I go to the Big Apple. Probably because I am a hick. Hicks are the new geeks, don’t you know.

My wardrobe issues would all be solved if the rest of the world would join me in my version of sartorial splendor: flannel shirt and jeans, pony tail and sunscreen. What more does a girl need?

I can’t believe there is only a month left until the book is out! My stomach is jumpy and nervous and excited and freaking out just a bit.

Gah. That last sentence didn’t make much sense, did it?

You wrote: what’s it like when on tour, for your writing? Do you have much time/energy left for writing, do you make yourself work on a particular project, or is it only if a deadline’s edging close for a contracted project that you would write while on tour? (It sounds like you need to get this one done before the tour – which suggests you don’t have much time for writing at all – is that frustrating or are you kept too busy to notice that much?)

I do not know what book tours are like for other authors, so my answer only pertains to me.

I ADORE going on book tour. It’s fun and rewarding. I also really, really appreciate the fact that my publisher is willing to spend money putting me on the road, and that booksellers are willing to go to all the trouble and preparations required to set up my visits to their stores and the schools they work with. Because I value what these folks are doing for me so highly, my time and energy while on tour is fully at their disposal.

What does this mean? It means there are days when I have to wake up at 3:30 am, catch a flight to the next city, spend all day signing books and visiting schools and stores, grab veggie wraps from Subway for lunch and dinner, do an evening library presentation and fall into another hotel bed at about 10 pm. Even a relaxed day will start at 9 am and not stop until 9 or 10pm.

But like I said: I love this!! It is energizing to meet readers and I am always honored when people take the time to come out to a bookstore to see me.

The down side? Well, I get sick of the veggie wraps. I rarely have enough time to exercise. And it is very challenging to squeeze in writing time. I try. Usually I can steal half an hour or so while waiting for a plane. And flying time is a wonderful place to jot down ideas, or let my mind drift to new projects. The publicists try to schedule in the occasional day that has some down time – that’s always nice – so there are a few extra hours on days like that for the writing. However it’s impossible to get consistent blocks of time from day to day.

But I must admit, it’s a pretty sweet problem to have, so I’m not whining. I am incredibly fortunate and blessed to have the chance to go on book tour.


Thank you, Mark Z!!

Facebook has stepped back from the new language in their Terms of Service, that was of such concern to people posting artistic content to their Facebook pages.

I have gone back to importing this blog to my FaceBook page. They have promised new TOS language. I’ll be watching that closely.

For right now I’m feeling optimistic. I hope this is a sign that the newest generation of business executives see the value of integrity.

I have much, much, much, much writing to do today. I’ll go back to answering writing questions tomorrow, I promise.