Today is Operation Teen Book Drop day! Yay! Last year I participated as a librarian, hiding books around my school. This year I did it again, as a librarian, but also as an author! That was super cool. I did not actually get to hide the books at my school, because I was at Reading Roundup, a conference for Maine librarians about books and reading. My plan had been to hide Secrets at the conference, but then I forgot about it, and then when I remembered, it was almost too late. So then I went home, and was thinking, “Man, I totally messed up my first TBD. Also, I need some spinach and tomatoes.” Which led me to the perfect solution: I would go to the brand new natural food store in my town and drop it there. With all the emphasis on local, organic food in the book, it was actually the perfect spot. So I put it on top of some natural peanut butters. Mmmm. And of course forgot to take a picture.
I also forgot to take pictures at the conference. I did a panel with Ellen Booraem, Deva Fagan, Carrie Jones (who apparently almost died on the way there), and Kelly McClymer. Kevin Hawkes was the keynote speaker. He was funny, charming, and really insightful. I loved seeing his work step by step. He also said something that I wrote down in paraphrase: in illustration, everything needs to add to the emotion of the picture; otherwise it should be cut out. And I kind of want to write it out and frame it as a reminder to myself, because the same could be said of writing, of course. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of it.
One of the cool things about being an author and a librarian is that when ALA has conventions, I get to see my library peeps and my author peeps. And my current peeps introduce me to new peeps. (All this talk of peeps and libraries reminds me of one of my favorite sites.)
On Friday, I did a workshop about standards for school library media programs that was awesome. It was led by Pam Berger, who was just fantastic. Then I went to the author panel with Eric Van Lustbader, Chuck Hogan, Tracy Chevalier, and Julie Powell. Ostensibly it was about books into movies, but they talked about all sorts of things. As a new author, I found it fascinating and reassuring when they talked about reviews. Except for Lustbader, who insisted he didn’t read his I should have taken notes and written down quotes because they were interesting. Chevalier talked about how the reviews balanced her, since most people who write to her or come to her events like the books. Both she and Hogan mentioned that they wished they could learn something from them, which is one of the fallacies of book reviewing, I think, that the author will read it, incorporate it, and somehow improve their work.
First off, for those of you in New Hampshire and environs, I will be reading and signing tomorrow at Time of Wonder in Exeter, NH at 4:00. It’s a great bookstore, so come if you can.
Second, the lovely and talented Carrie Jones is organizing a book festival in Bar Harbor, and I will be there along with many talented and fun authors. Please come! I booked my hotel room this morning. The hotel has an outdoor heated pool that overlooks the ocean. Um, do you think I can do my reading in the pool?