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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nebraska, Teen Lit Conference, Bookies...

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Irena, Emma, Ruta, me, and Krista at my signing at Bookies in Denver

Hey everyone,

I've had an eventful week! I was in Blair, Nebraska for middle and high school visits-- had a great time there. Such nice people... Here I am with Anne and Dianne, librarians extraordinaire from the high school.


Check out this lovely display in the library...


I love feeling welcomed to a school with creative displays-- what a treat...


Here's a close up of the jewels-- cool, huh?


Pretty flowers...


And there's nothing better than being greeted with a six-foot-tall painting of your book cover! Here I am with middle school librarian Kris, who set up this whole wonderful visit...


Here's the artistic, book-lovin' man, Lynn-- a former English teacher-- who created this masterpiece!


Just after I got back from Nebraska, I had the Colorado Teen Lit Conference on Saturday in Denver. I got to hang out with the lovely Ellen Hopkins (of Impulse, Crank, etc fame...) and Matt de la Pena (Mexican White Boy, Ball Don't Lie, We Were Here-- he gave a fantastic, hilarious keynote, and he's a Delacorte author like me.) Here I am with Matt and Ellen...


I was on a panel with my good friend Todd Mitchell and some other fantastic authors who I was happy to finally meet! Here I am with Todd, who is very witty-- always cracks me up-- and he often waxes philosophical about writing-- I love hearing him quote the native American shaman Black Elk as he discusses how writers must enact our visions upon the earth (or something along those lines...) So true!


Todd Mitchell's next book coming in June-- it is SOOOOOO good! I've read an early draft, and I can't wait to read the final version...


Becca Fitzpatrick was another fabulous panelist-- I was so thrilled to meet her-- turns out we both live in Ft Collins and have boys the same age. It was especially exciting to hear that she, like me, watched Romancing the Stone a hundred times as a kid, and that it inspired her, too, to become a writer. And actually, once I thought about it, I realized I have had crazy bus adventures in Latin America, kinda like Kathleen Turner did... minus, of course, the alligators and emeralds and Michael Douglas... but it's funny to see some parallels. I didn't actually make this connection until I heard Becca talking about it on the panel!


Amy Efaw was another super-friendly and smart panelist-- she wrote After, which I'm really looking forward to reading-- I've heard it's an amazingly well-executed book. It's about a teen who throws her baby in a Dumpster... yet Amy manages to make you feel for the main character, despite the horrific act.


Tucker Shaw was the fifth panelist-- also a fascinating and nice person. I can't wait to read his newest book-- check out the pretty cover. I love the golden light. And there's a great story behind his inspiration for this book, involving another book (of poetry) slipping from the shelf into his hand as he was dusting... sweet serendipity!


Okay, that's all for now! Must get ready for the week ahead, which includes two school visits in Boulder... we're in the thick of school visit season now. Lots of fun, but very busy. I love going to Boulder-- I always stock up on exotic teas from the Boulder Teahouse and buy something cool at the second-hand shop downtown...

xoxo,
Laura