While I did not make it to the Javits itself this year to participate in the heady event that is BookExpo (nor will I get there today for the associated Book Con), I did make it to some related events. (Warning: lots of name dropping and gushing follows.)
On Tuesday I went to Candlewick’s preview and got very excited with their enthusiastic presentation of their fall books. One faux pas on my part: when some Toon Books books were passed out for us to look at while Françoise Mouly spoke about them, I tweeted the following before I understood I couldn’t KEEP the one I had and then felt a little silly when I got a particular response to it. Ah well, I’ll get the book soon enough!
Wednesday was SLJ’s Day of Dialog. The programming, as always, was fabulous. Kudos to SLJ for keeping the numbers down. While this may frustrate those who are shut-out of going it makes for a relatively intimate event unlike BEA. More about this year’s event here, here, and here. And here are a few of my tweets and photos:
On Thursday I went to the Random House party where I had an interesting celebrity moment. Now there were some awesomely famous writers at the event. It was fun, for instance, to catch up with Raquel (R. J. Palacio) and chat about the incredibly fun project she is doing with Tom Angleberger and Adam Gidwitz — the retelling the first three Star Wars movies. But first I made a bee line for the latest actress-turned-children’s-book-author, Jane Lynch. Just because I watched the first few seasons of Glee mainly because of her wonderful portrayal of Sue Sylvester. And so when I saw her iconic face I couldn’t resist talking to her and getting a photo (with my friend Roxanne Feldman). She was, not unexpectedly, lovely. I hope her book is too!
After that I went to a very special dinner with Peachtree Publishers where I met Carmen Agra Deedy who, along with Randall Wright, wrote one of my absolute favorite books of 2011, The Cheshire Cheese Cat and the book’s illustrator, the incredible illustrator, Barry Moser. Being able to talk at length with these two and Peachtree’s fabulous publisher, Margaret Quinlin, (an Alice-phile, I discovered) was a complete thrill.
And last night, Friday, I went to a party for Candlewick staff, authors, and illustrators of which I’m now one (which I still can’t always believe!) at the very-appropriately-chosen Library Hotel. Had a great time chatting with various wonderful Candlewick folk. I have to admit being especially touched when Kate DiCamillo asked me how school was as she remembered our conversation at the same party last year when I was very glum about some tough social stuff that had been happening with my class. She has a remarkable memory in addition to being just incredibly empathetic in person as well as in her books.
So that is BEA for me this year. (It was unfortunately the same set of days as my 40th college reunion so I had to miss a cocktail party with Anna Quinlan — one of my classmates — on Thursday and a gala dinner last night. So today I’m catching up with an old friend in town for it.)