Ah, but firsties, check this out!! I came back from a gorgeous fall walk with my dog this morning (fortunately, no catastrophic injuries this time out!) to find a surprise package on my doorstep, containing THIS:
How magnificent is that?! I am going to have to get myself some silver pens to sign those babies with.
Wow--what a week! I just had to confer with my husband to remember everything. I first spent a few days in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, for the non-US folks) for the Midwest Independent Bookseller's Association tradeshow. I met Scholastic's lovely regional sales reps, bonding over Flintstones-sized portions at Manny's Steakhouse, where I was served a baked potato the size of a daschund.
Wednesday evening, I chatted books and writing with local teens at the Bookcase of Wayzata, where young bookseller Rachel Bongart gave me her top picks in gothic YA right now (I walked out with a copy of The Body Finder). Everyone was incredibly gracious, and it was an amazing venue. I think they still have a few goody bags left over from the event (with candy and Liar's Moon ARCs), so be sure to stop by if you're in the area. I'll be doing an interview on Rachel's blog soon, so stay tuned for that!
Thursday I had breakfast (and met in person for the Very First Time!) my longtime costuming and sewing mentor, kgeorge. We could have spent the whole day talking embellished lace skirts and bodice construction techniques, but alas, we both had work. And, of course, neither of us thought to take photos of this momentous occasion. Gah!
I thereafter headed off to sign books and share an early lunch with the other regional authors (and illustrators) who came for the Movable Feast. In a whirlwind 90 minutes, thirty authors hopped from table to table, introducing ourselves and our work to booksellers and book buyers from all over the midwest. I met three people from my hometown of Ames, Iowa! The booksellers walked away with HUGE stacks of books, ARCs, and swag. Honestly, I was a little envious!
Speaking of daschunds, Friday evening I was back home(ish) in Topeka, kicking off the Kansas Book Festival at a reception at the governor's mansion (the First Family includes miniature daschund Emma). Here's a shot with David Eisenhower (the eponymous president's grandson), who Barbara Stuber and I very nearly convinced to have dinner with us!
Saturday morning, the brand-new Book Festival began in earnest, with Barb and I giving an early-morning talk on great crossover novels for teens and adults to a packed house that included fellow KS author, Newbery winner Clare Vanderpool.
Noon brought the three of us, along with twelve other authors, back together again for the Kansas Notable Books awards ceremony, emceed by Kansas Center for the Book director Roy Bird. The ceremony was lovely, and I'm thrilled to be honored again, for StarCrossed.
We received our medals from First Lady Mary Brownback, who founded the Book Festival:
All in all, a whirlwind and exciting few days!