Above are Sebastian (l) and Blizzard (r) as they try to hide our suitcase...and thereby prevent us from leaving again...(or maybe they're trying to hide in our suitcase, and are thwarted by the zipper and the lack of opposable thumbs)
We just returned from the annual conference of the Texas Library Association. Cyn spoke Thursday on a panel with Tim Wynne-Jones and Margaret Peterson Haddix on a panel called "Magic in the Middle," sponsored by the Young Adult Round Table (YART) (Gary Schmidt was also scheduled to come, but was snowed in in Grand Rapids). In a lively discussion, the three handled questions from the moderator and then a Q&A with the audience. Topics ranged from covers to sources of inspiration to reader interaction.
After the session, Cynthia signed Tantalize (now in its fifth printing!) at the Candlewick booth. Sharon and Rona were, as ever, supremely gracious and unflappable.
Writer sightings Thursday included Debbie Leland, Jerry Wermund, Gene Brenek, Joy Hein, Anne Bustard, Brian Anderson, Chris Barton, Patricia McMahon, Grace Lin, and Kathleen Duey. That evening, Cyn had dinner with the YART people, and I had dinner at the Westin Riverwalk with Anne Bustard, Gene Brenek, Chris Barton, Brian Anderson, Helen Hemphill, and Joy, and editor from Front Street Books. After dinner, we had a drink in the Westin bar and ran into a great bunch of Austin librarians, as well as John Green, E. Lockhart, Scott Westerfield, and Justine Larbalestier. Alas, Cecil Castelluci couldn't make it, as she came down with something on the plane. We also got a chance to talk with Jill, formerly of Book People, and now a rep for Penguin.
Friday morning was my signing at the Little Brown booth. It went terrifically, thanks to the energetic and lovely Victoria!
Friday writer sightings on the floor included the Houston SCBWI gang and the Texas SCBWI booth people, including Julie Lake, Marianne Dyson, Carmen Bredeson, Mary Wade, Don Tate, and Lila Guzman. That evening was the publishers' joint party on the 22d floor of the Hilton Palacio. Authors there (whom I actually spoke to) included Avi, Sarah Weeks, Eileen Spinelli, Esme Codell, Dianna Aston, Mark Mitchell, Brian Anderson, Anne Bustard, Peni Griffin, Kathleen Duey, Tim Wynne-Jones, Mitali Perkins, and a host of others.
Thanks to all the librarians for a great conference and enthusiasm about books and reading! Thanks also to Candlewick for sponsoring Cyn and to all the publishers at the joint party!