Really Great School Visits in Utah!

Taylorsville High School Library Visit


Why, you may wonder, am I showing you a photo in which I look like a charcoal grey monolith with a tiny, goofy head?  Because this is me posing with awesome YA writers Mindy McGinnis, Kate Karyus Quinn and Demetria Lunetta, at Taylorsville High School in the Salt Lake City area.  Mindy and I started off the day at Granger High School, which has the most stunning new library.  (I was a kid who lived at the library.  These libraries, I’d still be camped there.)

My primary school visit experience comes from a decade of writing picture books.  I know that with the six year old crowd, I rock.  And it’s not that I’m not in love with my high school readers (which I am), and especially with high school writers (so many serious writers at these two schools!), but it’s the public speaking thing with people over three feet tall and no hand puppet to save the day…

Gotta say, these students were so kind and attentive and bright and full of stimulating questions, it was a piece of cake, even sans puppet.  And for that piece of cake, I thank you all!

Also, coming from a school district where our middle school librarians have been cut out, and high school libraries don’t have a budget for books, it is so nice to see these vibrant libraries and the lovely relationships librarians Lorraine Wyness and Michelle Asay have with their students.  Congrats, Utah!

P.S.  I haven’t exactly been good about posting events, but if you’re in the vicinity of Salt Lake City tonight at 7:00 I’ll be part of a YA group event at The King’s English, and tomorrow (10/16) from 5-7, a panel of us are talking about “How We Broke Into YA Publishing…And You Can Too!” at the B&N at South Towne Marketplace.


Buying Emma’s Stuff – or – The Afterparty Blog Tour Grand Prize Giveaway

Periodically the line between reality and fictions blurs (only slightly) and I find myself shopping for my characters. I mean, usually I don’t buy the stuff. I just think, man, Emma would love that. But now, I’m here to tell you, I’ve bought the stuff. And giving it away. So if you happen to want Mara’s vintage bakelite bracelets and Felix the Cat ring, my psychotic shopping binge could be your opportunity! Alethea, the wonderful blogger at Read Now, Sleep Later is hosting this new Afterparty blog tour, and if you have a sudden urge to acquire all of the stuff pictured below, go for it!!! (There’s more than in the photo: Felix the Cat and Dylan’s Kurt Cobain tee shirt are coming, too!) I feel especially good about giving away all the make-up Emma isn’t allowed to wear and the Kate Spade makeup bag she doesn’t need to keep it in; this should make her dad so happy!  Win, win, win!!!

Afterparty Characters' Stuff

Afterparty Characters’ Stuff


Girls With Books Afterparty Giveaway

One of the things I love about book festivals is meeting YA bloggers. They are the quintessence of book people. Being bookish isn’t their profession, it’s their avocation. They’re there because they love YA. They read and write about YA because they love YA. They are the perfect people to hang out with if you, too, love YA.

So, one morning during the Vegas Valley Book Festival, Gretchen NcNeil and I had a wonderful breakfast with Lisa and Sarah from Girls With Books. Not the least wonderful part of this event was that I was wearing the hideous day-glo orange outfit described in my last post and neither of them giggled. The conversation went everywhere, and these ladies’ ability to draw out information resulted in some wonderful Q’s (I’m not vouching for the A’s, but I did have fun composing them) in an author spotlight, a lovely review of Afterparty, and a giveaway.

Soooo, if you’d like to win a copy of the book, or to read an interview about writing and Afterparty with really great questions, this is where to go:

Please note that I’m not including a photo of the breakfast in question due to all that orange.