Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For Dept.

I could probably have continued to manage both a day job and writing for quite a while. It’s the promotion and marketing that take up so much time and conflict with teaching (my hefty volunteer position at SCBWI is part of it too).

Luckily, when you write books for young readers, the promotion is fun. Exhausting, but fun. I’m hoping it will be less exhausting when I don’t have to cram so much into the short time between the end of my academic year and the end of most school systems’ terms. Here’s a roundup of a ten-day period that just ended:

Eleven authors in Missouri
April 19: left Nashville for Missouri

April 20: Children’s Festival of Books in Kirksville, MO. Four presentations (1400 kids attended—I didn’t see all of them!) and a dinner with attendees

April 21: returned to Nashville

April 23: last day of classes

April 24: left for Hoover, AL

April 25: visited two schools in Hoover; five presentations

April 26: left Hoover for Palm Beach County, FL

April 27: visited two schools, four presentations
They had 24 authors!

April 28: “April is for Authors” book festival, attended by parents, teachers, librarians, and some kids. A solo presentation, a duo, and a panel

April 29: brunch and a tour of Palm Beach with my former student RaeAnn. I love that we’ve kept in touch! Left for Chicago

April 30: participated in a panel I organized at the International Reading Association, then a signing with Rebecca Barnhouse and Ruta Sepetys, at the wonderful Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville

May 1: returned to Nashville to a stack of papers and projects to grade

So I had vastly different audiences of vastly different interests and sizes. Which was the best? I don’t know. They were all wonderful. It’s always great to spend time with writers (BEST people in the world!). My to-read list has expanded just from hearing them talk about their books.

I love meeting my readers (my favorite question of this go-round: “Do you know any famous authors?” I started naming some and she shyly asked, “Do you know Charles Dickens?”); I love talking to aspiring writers; I love reaching the parents, teachers, and librarians who will help kids find the books that will change their lives.

I’m exhausted (and I still have those papers to grade), but I can’t wait to have the time to get out on the road and do more!


  1. Dang! And just think - now that school is over, you'll have all this free time. HA!!! :)

  2. I notice you didn't answer the question about Dickens...

    Kidding! But next time, you might have fun referencing the other Chuck D. Actually, the fabulous Ruta has gotten some strange questions while promoting Shades of Gray. Maybe there's a collaborative project there--The Strangest Question I Was Asked Today.

  3. Impressive, indeed! I'm still trying to figure out how to get gigs like that!

    Have you been doing the Snoopy-Dance-of-Freedom? ;-)