Friday, April 22, 2016

Texas Library Association - my first time!

I had a great time yesterday at my first Texas Library Association Annual Conference, which is taking place at Houston's huge convention center this week, and I thought I'd share some of my day with you.

 I visited the Harper Collins booth, which was certainly one of the biggest, and ogled all the wonderful Young Adult covers on the shelves...

... these are books that have already been published ...

...and these are books which will be coming out very soon...

This shelf was full of Advanced Reader Copies, or ARCs, which are the almost final versions sent out to reviewers, bookstores and librarians so that there is already some interest and excitement about the books before the publication date. At conferences like TLA, the publishers give away ARCs, and have their authors there to sign them too, so some ARCs are treated like gold dust within the reading community. I was lucky to get my hands on several - see below! 

Just think, this time next year, WAIT FOR ME, might be up there among the great and the good of the Harper Teen display!

I also walked around the other publishers' booths, and was excited to see Sarah Alexander's THE ART OF NOT BREATHING among the new releases on the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt stand. If you haven't yet entered my GIVEAWAY of this fantastic new YA book, please click here to have five chances to enter!

And I also met other authors - so many other authors! 

I got together with the wonderful Kayla Olson, who like me is a Swanky 17 with her debut YA novel, THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, coming out next summer also with Harper Teen. Excitingly, the movie rights to her book have already been bought by Leonardo di Caprio's production company. This one's going to be HUGE!

Then we met Lindsay Eager, a Sweet 16 debut author, whose middle grade novel HOUR OF THE BEES came out in March, 

And Hannah West, another Sweet 16, whose YA debut KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS comes out this September.

 And I was excited to meet too other authors such as Kwame Alexander, Sean Patrick Flanery, Samantha Mabry and SCBWI friends Sara Joiner, Joy Preble, as well as...

... Newbery Award winner, Kathi Appelt, who mentored me for a year as my prize in the Joan Lowery Nixon Contest 2014. Kathi doesn't live in Houston, so this was the first time I was able to thank her in person, and what a kind and generous person she is. I am so honored that she has been so involved in my writing career. 

Kathi was speaking at at TLA and signing copies of her new book, MAYBE A FOX.
Winning Kathi's mentoring was a prize at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Houston conference in 2014. Being a member of SCBWI has had a huge influence on my writing life so far, and so I was delighted to be able to join the team staffing the SCBWI Texas booth for a couple of hours. So many interesting librarians and writers came to call and to win copies of books by Texas authors, I had a great time.

And here's the treasure trove of new releases, ARCs, and even an audiobook, I came home with. My summer of reading is suddenly looking very bright. 

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