Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi at Joseph-Beth (or How Long a 5-year-old Can Last at a Bookstore Event)...

Last night Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's book tour for The Wyrm King, the 3rd book in their Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series, took them to the Joseph-Beth Booksellers here in the Nati. I thought Holly was terrific when I saw her speak at the SCBWI conference in LA in August so I didn't want to miss the Joe-Beth appearance despite the fact that I didn't have a babysitter for the boy. But he's seen the Spiderwick movie previews and knows the bookstore has macaroni and cheese in the cafe, so he was in. (Note: The last bookstore event I brought him to was Holly Hobbie when he was 3 months old. See From the Editor in the 2006 CWIM.)

As I suspected, the event was crowded. Check out all the people as they wait for Holly and Tony to come in. (You can't see those who are standing in the aisle and between the bookcases in the back. There were lots of people.)

Holly and Tony were really charming, engaging and funny. This was truly one of the most enjoyable book signings I've attended. Their event included talk of cool mythical creatures (with visual aids and instructions to not Google "rat king"), live dragon drawing, impromptu diaper jokes, and prizes (including Tony's drawings). Here's Holly and Tony addressing the crowd of readers.

Here's Holly reading a little from The Wyrm King (enough to get us really interested by not give too much away).

Tony takes it in from the sidelines (and rests his drawing/signing hand).

And here's me with Tony and Holly, interupting them mid-autographing for a picture. (I knew the boy wouldn't have the patience for standing in line and it was getting close to his bed time, so I didn't get a book autographed myself, but they offered to pose with me anyway. Note the cool blown up Wyrm King cover in the background.)

And here's the boy, who fidgeted on my lap for 45 minutes and kept saying "This is not hilarious for me. I'm tired of being here. Is that a dragon?" And he picked his nose like it was his job.

Finally, the boy got to do what he loves to do at the bookstore: play with trains.

He also made it home with a copy of The Spiderwick Chronicles movie and one of Jon Scieszka's Truck Town books.

(And next week when I go see Sara Zarr when her tour stops in the Nati, I'm going by myself. She's in the Nati October 6th and 7th.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Read Banned Books! It's Banned Books Week September 26-October 3...

The American Library Association Banned Books Week is going on now. Here's a bit from their blog about this week dedicated to "celebrating the freedom to read":

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

Click here for an Amazon list of banned books for young readers. (And if you stop by my house this evening you can enjoy a read-aloud of Captain Underpants which will never be banned in my house. Then maybe you can explain to me why people have a problem with a little poo humor.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Official Call for Debut Authors for the 2011 CWIM...

Did you all miss me? I sure missed you (and my blog). But now I'm back from my little vacation and a fab WD conference in New York, my deadline-o-rama is almost over, and it's time for me to start thinking about the 2011 CWIM.

And do you know what that means? FIRST BOOKS! I'm looking for debut author and illustrators who'd like to be interviewed for my "First Books" feature in 2011 CWIM.

If you are interested in being featured in First Books, here are the rules and guidelines:

  1. Email me at, subject line "First Books."
  2. Tell me about your debut book including the title, publisher, genre and approximate publication date.
  3. The book must be available in some form by November (so it can be read before you're interviewed).
  4. A cover image must be available by January 2010 (because I don't want to feature a book without showing the cover).
  5. Please include links to your website or blog if you have one.
  6. No self-published books please.
  7. Tell me something fun/interesting/exciting/unusual/inspiring about you/your book/your path to publication.
  8. E-mails must be received by October 8th.
  9. I'll be in touch with those I've chosen by the October 30th; otherwise you likely will not hear from me--I simply don't have time to contact everyone, although I wish I could. (I may acknowledge receipt of emails, however, depending on how busy I am and/or how much I do or do not feel like doing other work.)
  10. Debut authors not chosen to be featured in First Books could be chosen as Debut Authors of the Month which will be resurrected on this blog starting January 2010!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Have I Been? Where Am I Going?...

My posts have been light recently (in case you hadn't noticed). I've been busy busy busy getting the last set of market books ready for the printer. (Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market, Songwriter's Market, Photographer's Market and Screenwriter's & Playwright's Market will all be in stores in October and November.)

And tomorrow, I'm going on vacation. It's my annual jaunt to Garden City, SC with my in-laws. Which is always interesting. (There will be tweeting.)

I'm cutting out of vacation a day early, however, to head to New York for the Writer's Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published, which takes place at the Times Square Marriott September 18-20. (There will be tweeting from there as well, of course. Look for #WDC09 tweets.)

If you can't make the event, be sure to visit our Official Writer's Digest Conference Blog. Members of Team WD (including me) will be live-blogging the 3-day event starting Friday night, September 18, offering posts from sessions as they are happening. (I had a blast as part of SCBWI TEAM BLOG during the SCBWI LA Summer Conference. If you haven't visited The Official SCBWI Conference Blog, be sure to check out our terrific conference coverage.)

After all this excitement, I'll be back in the office Tuesday, September 22, and back to my old tricks--blogging daily, tweeting often, and starting work on the 2011 CWIM. (Note to all you debut authors out there: watch my blog for a call for First Books authors and illustrators in early October!)