Hello from the road! Whew, it's been uber-busy, but of course really great. I started off at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. There was an author reception in the Jefferson Building. My first time in DC, and I was breath-taken. That building! Gorgeous! Amazing! And filled with 70 writers I love all eating highly intriguing finger food. I got to meet up with old favs like Holly Black, Toni DiTerrlizzi, Mo Willem and family. David Shannon pointed out that if we got married, I could be Shannon Shannon. I thanked him for his offer but told him I was happily married. His wife on the other side of the table waved pleasantly.
Saturday was the festival. Huge. Awesome. 130,000 people came. It was so well organized and everyone seemed ecstatic to be there. First I did a panel with some members of the Exquisite Corpse Adventure team. Jon Scieska and Kate DiCamillo sat on either side of me, and I could not stop laughing. I want to go back to school and sit in the back of the class with those two. It's so wonderful to love someone's books, then meet her and be able to report that she's just as fabulous, funny, clever, and subversive as you could hope. I'm speaking, of course, of Kate, because Jon is nothing but trouble and I resoundingly warn you all away. Far away. Okay, maybe not that far.
Nikki Grimes, Megan MacDonald, and Steven Kellogg rounded out our crew, and I
adore them all. The first episode of the Adventure is up now on read.gov, with a new episode going up every two weeks. We were asked to give hints about our episodes, and I told about writing a certain villain. When I was drafting my episode, I was writing with my five-year-old next to me, and I knew he was reading along as I typed, so I was trying to amuse him and described a villain as "his face was where his rear end should be and his rear end...spoke." or something like that. Max asked me what that meant, and I said, "Basically, he has a bum head." Max laughed and went off to draw that picture himself. He did a pretty good job. I'd planned to cut that obviously disgusting and highly morally objectionable detail later, but after Max got such a kick out of it, I just couldn't. Steven Kellogg drew some pictures from the Adventure for our audience, and he chose to do that one as well. So awesome.
Next I spent some time in the Utah tent and then on to do my own presentation,
followed by a signing. I was astounded when my one hour time slot spilled over into two so they didn't have to turn people away. It was raining! Pouring! And people still waited in line. Amazing, humbling, and so exciting too that there are thousands of people so passionate about books. Here's my awesome escort Amy, and Bloomsbury publicist Deb and I model our plastic bag wraps.
I was delighted to have my photo featured in the SLJ's write up of the festival, and even more delighted when I read the photo credits beneath my photo and the one of Jon Scieska and Nikki Grimes. I like to imagine the article was written by someone in love with a woman named Sharon, and he just can't get her out of his mind. Soon, every woman looks like her, sounds like her, his imagination filled with Sharon, Sharon, Sharon! [EDIT: looks like someone discovered the error and corrected it. Originally I was listed as Sharon Hale and Nikki Grimes was Sharon Grimes. I kinda miss that Sharon.]
The next morning we were supposed to fly from DC to Albany then drive to Vermont, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we missed our flight. So we had to rent a car and drive to Vermont. Did I mention I'm traveling with my two-year-old? We were in the car for 10 hours that day. She was so, so, SO good...for a two-year-old. I was only, oh, three and a half hours late to my event at Northshire Books. UGH! I'm so sorry, anyone who came by! By an amazing serendipity, a family that had driven over from Conneticut happened to come by the store again when I was there, so at least I could talk to those girls and sign their books. Northshire is an awesome book store.
Monday was the Flying Pig book shop. I love you, Josie and Elizabeth! I had two school event with the most awesome kids ever. One of them put together a video presentation on Rapunzel that I told them they must enter into the Rapunzel's Revenge Book Trailer Contest (notice how I put that all in caps to make it look official and title-y?). I'll link to their submission when I get it. Hooray for valiant librarians who find ways to connect the kids to books! Vermont is so beautiful, even in the constant rain. I swear, we had a cloud over our heads and couldn't escape the rain for two days straight.
On to Massachusetts the next day. I was looking forward to my first full night of sleep. I was getting pretty loopy at this point--late nights, early mornings, constant high energy. But at last, a chance to be in bed for eight hours straight! Then in the middle of the night, alarm goes off. I turn it off. Fall back asleep. It goes off again. I unplug it. Fall back asleep. It goes off again. I kid you not. There's no display, no power, and the alarm is going off! I discover a battery inside and dig it out. If it goes off again, there will be a reckoning.
In the Boston area, I do a wonderful event with Porter Square Books, and another at the Brookline Public Library with the Children's Book Shop. Such great readers everywhere! One six-year-old had a Rapunzel's Revenge for me to sign. I sign my name, and she asked, "Why did you just scribble in my book?"
Last night was a the flagship store for Barnes & Noble in Burlington. A brother and sister came from Montana. Hi Shiloh and sister! (sorry, forgot your name, Sister) Dee the event manager reminded me again of all the passionate, caring people in the book world. I love being part of this team.
I'll report more later. My little one is waking up and we're going to go walk out on the harbor. Boston rocks.