I spent last Saturday morning at the Annapolis Book Festival, which is a fantastic event that I would have stayed at longer, but some of the people in my party were feeling under the weather, so I had to leave early. (Sad face.)
However, I did get to wander around the beautiful grounds of the Key School, check out the book sales, and participate in a marvelous panel on Young Adult Literature with a bunch of other great writers. I did not get to meet Jeffrey Deaver. Maybe next time.
The panel was well attended (standing room only!) and a lot of fun. There is always a danger, when discussing “mature topics in YA fiction” that the conversation is going to veer into the realm of censorship and “think of the children!” but instead we had a very in-depth and interesting discussion on how writers should handle mature topics, why teens might gravitate toward reading about mature topics, and why all of that can be okay. We also talked about a lot of books that don’t have a ton of “mature topics” — some written by our own panelists, like Caroline Hickey and Paula Chase-Hyman. I wish I’d gotten more of a chance to talk to Caroline and Paula but we got separated after the panel and I couldn’t find them again. However, I did have a great conversation with L.M. Preston, who writes YA sci fi– and I can never get enough of that! — at the signing they held after the panel.
The signing was also a lot of fun. I think I sold a bunch of books, and some blog readers showed up (Hi, Virginia! Hi, Celia!) I totally made a fool of myself in front of Virginia, by the way, because we got into this whole discussion about Avatar: The Last Airbender and Postal Service and about whether I could get away with naming a kid Toph, and I accidentally heard her name as REGINA and wrote it that way in her book. Big oops.
Here’s a picture of me with Virginia of the pretty hair:
And see that plastic bag down by the books? That’s a bag of Rose & Grave pins I totally failed to give out to people. I was not at my most organized that morning.
I also got to meet Celia of the Adventures of Cecilia Bedelia, who actually got some copies of Rampant signed for her blog readers, and is giving them away right now! Go enter! She has a picture of us too, but it’s kind of blurry. It’s six of one, half dozen of the other here, though, since in my picture, we’re looking elsewhere. Observe:
I think this is L.M. Preston’s photographic style.
Afterward, I’d hoped to attend a panel on historical romance with Jane Feather and Lauren Willig (who I went to college with, but though we have several good friends in common, I never knew her), but I guess I’ll see them at RWA this summer. That’s right, I’m also going to RWA. I have one major book conference a month planned for this summer, and, um, five book releases before October’s over.
May: BEA con
June: ALA con
July: Kiss Me Deadly anthology releases, RWA con
August: Rampant paperback releases
September: Ascendant releases, Zombies vs. Unicorns releases
October: Secret Project MG releases
And three weddings, and a book due, and — gosh, you’d think that would be enough, wouldn’t you? No wonder I’ve been so busy!
Speaking of, how did I do on my little goal sheet for the week?
- finish and turn in final (fingers crossed!) rounds of revision for Secret Project: MG (which hopefully I’ll be able to announce soon)
- Get a good chunk of PAP drafted
- Clean out winter clothes from bedroom
- Progress with garden
- Walk Rio every day (M/T/W done)
- Various admin stuff related to health
- Various admin stuff related to civic duty (Done Monday!)
- Various admin stuff related to bills
- Pull trigger on e-reader situation (Done Monday!)
- Various admin stuff related to upcoming vacation to Caribbean (!!!)
- Get Rio groomed
- Prepare for house party on Saturday
- begin reorganizing kitchen
I did not walk Rio on Thursday, and we definitely felt the effects of that on Thursday night, as she ran around our street looking like a little, red Tasmanian devil. I also did not arrange to get her groomed, so unless there’s a surprise opening for her tomorrow morning (unlikely) it looks as if it’ll be me in the bathtub with her — and she doesn’t like that one bit. It’s too bad, though, since she REALLY needs the fluff around her ears trimmed (you don’t want me anywhere at the intersection of scissors and hair), and I hate clipping her nails.
I got some work done on PAP, though not as much as I’d like. Plans for Saturday’s party are going swimmingly (if only the weather would coordinate — it’s supposed to be cold and rainy, and we were holding a barbecue!), but are obviously not done, as it’s only Friday morning. Cleaning fell through the cracks, as it’s always on the bottom of my priority list, so that’s what I’m concentrating on today.