I had four things to do on Sunday. To begin with, I had the "speed dating" "kaffe klatch" breakfast with the librarians event. There were a whole bunch of writers, and we were herded into the green room (which wasn't green but was a room) and held there for an extensive period of time. This allowed us to socialize with each other. I spoke with Gary Schmidt, Elizabeth Knox, and John Green, all of whom were extremely nice.
John Green said he knew someone I'd gone to high school with, and I replied, "Who, your grandmother?"
Writers are getting younger and younger, let me tell you.
Eventually they released us and we got to talk with (or at) the librarians. I started at Table 3 and ended somewhere around Table 12. Since there were well over 20 tables, that meant a lot of librarians were spared five to seven minutes of my presence. I didn't hear anyone ask for their money back.
I would have taken pictures of all this, but I'd put the wrong memory card in my camera and I needed a new one. My long suffering editor met me after the brunch thing and we raced around Anaheim looking for a memory card. We found one at a 7-11, and Harcourt paid for it (it's things like that that make a writer feel loved).
When we got to the Convention Center, I met Dawn, who posts comments here regularly. I'd been looking forward to meeting her for so long, and I wasn't disappointed. Here she is,, courtesy of the Harcourt memory card.
I also got to meet Jen Robinson, who has a picture of the two of us on her blog. She's the good looking one.
My long suffering editor took me to the Harcourt booth for me to do autographing. There is nothing better for a writer's ego than autographing, unless of course no one wants your autograph in which case there is nothing worse. Fortunately for me, lots of people wanted copies of Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone signed. I was more than happy to oblige.
Note , if you will, my lovely pink fingernails. I had a manicure before I left, and spent much of the weekend obsessed with the pinkness of my nails. My recollection is I spoke of nothing else (yet another reason why my long suffering editor has suffered so long).
Any number of people (without my even telling them to) asked if there was going to be a third book. Every time one did, I told them to ask my editor. Hey, I don't know the answer.
Next on my professional obligation list was the interview for the podcast. The interviewer was a woman named Susan Raab, who I hadn't seen in years but had always liked. I don't remember much about the interview except my discussing why I was looking forward to being retired (books to read, dvds to watch).
Then it was off to the Scholastic booth, to autograph there. More people showed up at the Harcourt signing, but I stayed pretty busy for the hour at Scholastic as well. Several people asked why the Scholastic cover was so pink, and I responded that it was a long story and showed them my equally pink fingernails to distract them.
I finished at Scholastic at 4, give or take, and then walked around the exhibit hall with my friend Christy, who had driven down from LA. Harcourt had gotten her a pass (making me feel loved even more), and we had a fine time collecting as many free things as we could get. We then went back to my hotel room and went through the loot. I guessed I'd picked up 17 pieces of candy and Christy guessed 20, but it turned out to be 23. I also got 18 pens and pencils (my mother likes ballpoints, so it was her lucky day) and four Post-It pads, and four carrying bags, and a couple of books and a deck of cards and a panda and any number of other incredibly useful items. Here's a picture of most of the loot. Those two things that look like my bookplates are my bookplates. I took a hundred with me to hand out and ended up with two. I also got a water bottle and a backpack, but gave them to Christy for her collection. And I got a Smurf pen, but it turned out Susan Raab wanted it, so I gave it to her, but then I went back and got another one for myself.
Here's Christy displaying a tee shirt (we both got one, but I got the better deck of cards).
I got home Monday evening and have been unpacking and dealing with crises ever since. Emily seems to have survived her first time ever being alone (no me, no Alexander), in no small part because the cat sitter and my friends Marci and Bonnie visited with her and petted her and told her how wonderful she was. But then my computer died, so yesterday I bought a new one, which I'm still trying to master.
Yesterday morning, the reporter from Newsweek called. I'd figured she'd ask me why I thought teens like apocalyptic fiction, so I'd worked out an answer, and indeed she asked, so it was a good thing I'd come up with a response. She also asked if there was going to be a third book (without my even telling her to). We were on the phone for fifteen minutes, which was longer than I'd anticipated (I was especially aware of the time because I really had to go to the bathroom). She said Newsweek was doing a double issue this week and there wouldn't be an issue next week, so she might call me next week to check up on facts.
She's more than welcome to do so, but she can't have my Smurf pen!