Friday, April 26, 2013

Hey Wow! The L.A. Times video interview!

The L.A. Times posted a great interview with me from last weekend. I totally thought this interview went oddly at the time. I was really tired. It was the end of the day. Short skirts and tall chairs are a tough match. But in the end, it turned out to be okay.


Still in Texas.
Be back soon.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An interview and a glog from some PA readers.

Heading to Texas early tomorrow for TLA and ALL THE AWESOME LIBRARIANS. 

Two things before I leave:

One, a GREAT interview is here with the amazing Caroline Leavitt.

Two, I'd never heard of a glog before (grog, yes, glog, no.) I'm thrilled to be part of a multi-couny read in Pennsylvania this summer. Some students have put together this awesome glog for it. Cool, eh?


Monday, April 22, 2013

On winning the LA Times Book Prize

So, yeah.
Last weekend was LA weekend. And yes, I knew I was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize but did I think I'd win it? Hell no.
I'm an optimist. A positive thinker. But when it comes to awards, I just try not to think about it much.
That's just a sane way to approach that kind of stuff, I think. Anyway, I was honored to be a finalist...there was a lot of heavy medal on that list of contenders.

Anyway, I won it. And thank all gods that the young adult literature category was first because I didn't have to wait long for my heart to stop thumping out of my chest as the lovely Robin Benway announced each finalist, described our books, and then said the most unexpected words after the "And the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature is..." part.

I made a speech about love and how I've sent love to random passengers in airplanes my whole life. I asked the audience to send love to random passengers more often. I said, "Send love. It helps."

Then I sat down and enjoyed the rest of the fantastic ceremony with a downright normal heart rate. (And it really was a great ceremony. The LA Times and USC know how to do an award ceremony.)

At the end of the ceremony, I got to chat with Margaret Atwood about how she'd shown me early in my writing career (thanks to my HS English teacher who'd sent me Dancing Girls in a box full of books by women because I'd told her I was reading mostly male writers) that women could be serious literary writers and could be as innovative as they wanted to be. I cried as I talked to her, so it's safe to say that Margaret Atwood would never believe in a million years that I am part Vulcan.

Did I mention that Mr. King was with me for this trip? Oh he was. And how cool is that? I'll tell you how cool. Mr. King stays home to mind the kids every time I go anywhere. So not only did I get to take him to California, where he's wanted to go since he was a kid, but he got to see me win this thing. That's huge.
The man has been watching me write novels for 20 years.
He watched me get rejected for over 12 years.
He watched me get my first book deal.
He saw my face when I came down the steps that day after the Printz committee called...but he didn't get to come to New Orleans to hear me speak.
But he was there this time.
And it was so so great.

The festival was awesome. Every bit as amazing as I'd heard the LA Times Book Festival was.
I got to meet a load of very groovy fans (thank you all for coming out to see me!)
As always, I wish I got more pictures.

But I did get some good ones & Mr. King got some great ones too.
So here's our weekend in pictures...

Probably my favorite picture of us ever.
This is in the stretch limo from the airport to the hotel.
Had no idea there would be a limo.
I mean, come on. We're stinking hippies.
Screenshot form the LA Times Friday night/Sat morning.
This is the only picture of me accepting the award, so thanks to
Lawrence K. Ho for capturing my knack for speaking
with my hands.
Those are your winners and LA Times peeps.

That's me telling Margaret Atwood that she's awesome and telling her
about Rosemary Hauseman, my high school English teacher.
And that's the really cool Florence Williams on the right.
Florence wrote Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History
and won the Science and Technology prize.
Mr. King wanted to get a shot of me in front of the green room with my prize and those rocking
chandeliers behind me. USC campus is really beautiful. Did I mention that?
Our panel on Saturday morning was fantastic.
Left to right, a picture of the attending finalists and
the judges for this year: Martine Leavitt, Elizabeth Wein,
myself, Rollie Welch, Angie Benedetti, Lynn Rutan.
(Missing finalists Paolo Baciagalupi & Matthew Quick.)

This is the only picture I have (or will ever have) of Lemony Snicket. 

I ran into Daniel Handler and we decided to pose for prom-style pictures.
I couldn't keep a straight face.
The man is a comedic genius.

You know I love wing pictures.
Here's one over northern Arizona.

Now...I'm off to Texas.

TEXAS! Are you ready for me? I've been waiting years to get to you. YEARS. True fact: when I was 19, I outlined Texas on my US map in red marker because I was obsessed with getting there.

So, if you're a Texas librarian and you're heading to TLA, you can see me on Friday from 12-1 at the LBYR booth. We'll have copies of my books as well as ADVANCE COPIES of REALITY BOY.

Rock it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Panel at L.A. Festival of Books 4-20

This week is LOS ANGELES WEEK.

Wow. That came fast.
Friday night I will be at the Los Angeles Festival of Books Award Ceremony with Mr. King and I may or may not be wearing my lucky boots.

Then on Saturday, I will be part of a fantastic panel at 11am called:

Young Adult Fiction: Danger & Determination
Location: Taper Hall (THH 201)
Moderator: Angelina Benedetti
Panelists: A.S. King, Martine Leavitt, Elizabeth Wein

You already know me, but in case you don't know my fellow panelists...

Martine Leavitt was born in 1953 in Alberta, Canada. She received a Bachelors of Arts degree, first class honours, from University of Calgary and a Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College. She has seven children and twelve grandchildren and lives with her husband in Alberta, Canada. Leavitt writes contemporary and fantasy novels, and short stories for young adults. Her books have been translated into German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. Her first three novels, the Marmawell Trilogy, are published under the name of Martine Bates. Keturah and Lord Death was a finalist for the National Book Award. Leavitt currently teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Elizabeth Wein's first five books recount a version of the King Arthur stories which moves the narrative to the kingdom of Aksum in 6th century Ethiopia. The stories focus on her interpretation of Medraut (Mordred) and his half-Aksumite, half-British son Telemakos. Her 2012 novel, Code Name Verity, is a World War II thriller focusing on the friendship between two young British women, a transport pilot and a spy. It was designated a Michael L. Printz Award Honor book in 2013. Wein's short stories have been published in collections edited by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, and Sharyn November.

After this panel, there is a signing and THEN at 1:30, I will be signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth #368. Come see me chilling with one of my favorite indie bookstores!

I will try to take some pictures so I can update you when I get home...but I turn around and leave for Texas the following week, so I may be late because I have these books to write and all sorts of real estate jargon floating around my life right now.

Rock it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

NYC Author Carnival in Pictures, Kinda

I know I'm on a blog break, but I hit 23,000 words on the new book last night, so I am giving myself a half hour to post a few pictures from NYC Author Carnival before they become completely irrelevant.

It was a fantastic time and I have to thank David Levithan, the world's most fantastic human, for making sure I got there this year. Coaxing a hermit is not the easiest task. David, you can now add 'hermit coaxer' to your long list of talents.

Random Pictures from NYC:

This is the amazing Deirdre Jones from
Little, Brown and her cool shirt at the NYPL on Saturday.
You know, you can buy one of these shirts.
Just look over to the right at the first link that says
buy cool SHIrTs.
The panel at NYPL was fantastic and someone has a picture of it...
oh look. It's here.

We call this: I'm looking at you, NYPL.

While this may seem like a typical snapshot of a subway sign,
what it really is, is: a scene from the book I'm writing right now. 

I would like to thank whoever wrote this on the trashcan in the
bathroom at McNally Jackson Bookstore.
I was struggling with a name for a character and I now have one.

The reading at McNally Jackson on Saturday was awesome. I got to hang out with
and read with Sharon Cameron, Michael Northrop, Diana Peterfreund,
Victoria Schwab, Nova Ren Suma and David, too, of course.
Then we went out to dinner and I ate eggplant and
I didn't call it aubergine even though I really wanted to.
My apologies to those awesome participants in this photograph who look like demons.
I tried so hard to get rid of that red eye, but even my
fancy photography degree didn't work.
I figure it's more badass to say I went out to dinner
with people who are partial demons.
I am not afraid of you.  
I want this sign.
I want it 12 feet from my head at all times.

This picture brought to you by The Joys of House Hunting:

I thought it was spooky, so I shared.

That's me. Thank you to all of you who came out to see us in NYC and to those who came to Books of Wonder for the awesome Sunday signing, wow! You all rock. Thanks for making that trip.

I'll be back before I go to LA to say some more stuff if I have stuff to say.
But mostly, I'll be writing.

I do have a soup recipe to share. I also want to talk to you about business suits and if authors ever wear them.
Also, I want to talk about racism and I will have to talk about V-Day, rape, and the Vagina Monologues because ours are happening the first weekend of May and it's been a while and I have a lot to say about that these days. For now, here's a great article I read about it.