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.

Next I went to the YALSA happy hour in which I met many hip librarians whose fashion I very much want to emulate, and with whom I had great conversations. I met people on various award committees who would not spill at all, even with my clever attempts at tricking them like, “Oh, I so want to know who wins!”

Saturday was exhibits and authors for me. It met up with Deva Fagan and Erin Dionne and they each knew so many people, and it was like every time I turned around I was being introduced to another magnificent author. It was crazy, and I was star-struck. Then I met my lovely agent Sara Crowe who took me to lunch along with Varian Johnson and Mary Atkinson. Can I tell you how amazing it is to have a business-lunch that’s all about literature? It is totally amazing.

So then I was going to crash the Tweet Up, but sometimes I need a little break from interaction, so I found a quiet place and started reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, one of the many arcs I scored.

Finally I met some librarian friends for dinner at Tapeo, a tapas restaurant right in the neighborhood where I used to work when I lived in Boston. Good food and nostalgia — nothing better than that! Then I took the train back to the exact stop where I used to live, and my husband picked me up, and it was like when we first started dating. Sigh. And we all lived happily ever after. The end.

Oh wait! I forgot an essential part! So I mentioned the committees above, and I finally did get my answer. First off, congratulations to all the winners of the ALA Youth Media awards! I think it is a wonderful collection of books that won the awards and were put on the lists. My dear Deb L.K. Madigan won the Morris for Flash Burnout. Ash by Malinda Lo was one of the finalists. Ash was also one of the top books of the Rainbow List, a list which, I am very proud to say, also included Secrets of Truth & Beauty. Kekla Magoon, who I met at the Bar Harbor Book Festival, earned the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award for The Rock and The River.

There’s some more good news for some of my writing buddies. Saundra Mitchell is nominated for an Edgar for Shadowed Summer. And Carrie Jones, who has my heart and a duct tape rose, is a New York Times Bestseller with Captivate!

ALA Midwinter in Boston
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