Debates about WINTERGIRLS and camera in my face

My face still hurts… for so many reasons.

School Library Journal sent a photographer to our house yesterday to take a picture of me that will run (July, I think) with an article about the Margaret A. Edwards Award. It’s going to be the cover photo, so there were specific demands of the picture in terms of surrounding space for text, etc. There was also a request to try and get the picture in a natural setting, possibly because of the tree themes in Speak, and the amount of time I spend gardening, etc.

The photographer was a super nice guy from Syracuse. He took pics of me in our Forest, on the stone wall behind the garden, in the house, and by the Magic Window in the cottage. Queen Louise developed a new job skill; she had to hold the whatsit that softened the light. Now she is officially a Grip. And she has a grip on life. Many bad puns were made while the guy shot – I kid you not – hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Here’s hoping that one of them turned out OK.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Me standing on the wall. Do I look like a target for haters? Keep reading.

In other news, a small firestorm about WINTERGIRLS is raging over on the New York Times website, on the Well, a discussion section. The question posed was “In writing about eating disorders, are authors, unwittingly, creating an alluring guidebook to the disease?”

The debate is fascinating; take a peek.

Some of the comments were very painful for me to read, like the one that accused me of writing “anorexic porn.” The debate seems to be boiling down to a question that pertains to many YA novels: Will our children act in a dangerous manner if they read about dangerous behaviors in books?

And then the good people at the Jezebel blog joined the fray, with a blog entry called “Are Teen Girls Really That Fragile?” Plenty of response to that question, too!

What do you think about all of this?

Tour recap!!!

I’m about halfway packed for Peru and halfway caught up on business stuff, so I think I deserve a little break to fill you in on the second half of the WINTERGIRLS tour.

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This sums it up nicely. (One of the lovely things given to me by a reader while I was on the road.)

The last time I posted anything of significance, I was in Salt Lake City. From there, I went to Phoenix, then Houston, then Austin, then Oxford, MS, one of my favorite little towns in the South. Paid homage to Mr. Faulkner by visiting his house and

Image and video hosting by TinyPic his grave.

There was one minor hitch in Oxford. I drank wheatgrass juice. Why? Because everyone said how healthy and wonderful it was. (Can you hear my grandmothers asking me if I’d go over Niagara Falls in a barrel if everyone said how healthy and wonderful it was?)

Wheatgrass is healthy for some. Cows for example. And goats. Maybe pigs.

Not me.

I am deathly allergic to mold. The mold that grows on wheatgrass (not visible, btw) does not hurt cows, goats, pigs or most people. It made me into one very sick author. Combine 48 hours of food poisoning with a severe asthmatic reaction and you’ll get the picture. It wasn’t pretty.

But the worst of it occurred in the airport and hotel room, and I was able to (ahem) gut out all of my events and interviews. Two days later, I was perfectly fine. I bet William Faulkner and my grandmothers had a big old laugh.

After MS came St. Louis, and after St. Louis, several days of speaking at a conference, schools, bookstores

Image and video hosting by TinyPic and going on television. “Good Morning, Atlanta” to be precise. With massive amounts of make-up on. The woman who interviewed me couldn’t remember how to pronounce my name and became so flustered I felt really bad for her, which was good because I totally forgot to be nervous.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic A great tee-shirt spotted at the conference. The phrase originated in a conversation I had with Gail Giles at an ALA cocktail party one year. Librarians are always listening, don’t you know.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic While in Atlanta, I spoke at the Georgia Center of the Book and got to see my friend Terra Elan McVoy whose new awesome book, PURE, was published this week. You should buy it right now.

A bunch of bloggers came out to my Alpharetta signing. Not surprisingly, they blogged about it!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After Atlanta came South Florida, including a memorable stop at Books & Books In Coral Gables, where I got to finally meet the YAthenaeum girls, who all came dressed in the their winter(girls) whites and were patient with me as we tried to do the Time Warp. In addition to our dancing, the store hosted a wonderful poetry slam with area teens!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In Raleigh, North Carolina, I did not get to see David Macinnis Gill, because he is a really good dad and needed to be at one of his kids’ tournaments. His book, Soul Enchilada, came out this week, too. Please go buy that one ASAP and thank me when your ribs are aching from laughing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic However, I did get to meet the Eva Perry Mock Printz Book Club!!!! I LOVE these kids! I want to adopt them all. They won the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, so I’m hoping I’ll get to hang out with them in Chicago at ALA this summer.

The crowd in NC was HUGE – the perfect way to cap off a spectacular tour. And then I got to fly home, where it was snowing sideways, but it didn’t matter because my BH was waiting for me.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who came out to see me!! And everyone who has purchased WINTERGIRLS – I got word today that the book made the New York Times Bestseller List for the third week in a row.

Now I just have to figure out what to wear in Peru…..