I just spent a few days in Texas where I spoke at the San Antonio Book Festival, which is now in its seventh year. Bright
and early on the first session, I spoke with librarian Viki Ash about Merci Suárez Changes Gears.
This time around, my husband came along, and we had a chance to do some sightseeing – a luxury that almost never occurs when I do author travel on a tight schedule.
750 foot Tower of the Americas with a revolving restaurant!
We visited the Riverwalk and the Tower of the Americas, which was just too tall for me, I’m sorry to say. We did catch an amazing storytelling event at The Moth as well as a cool laser light show that’s shown nightly for free at San Fernando Cathedral, a sort of 20-minute mini-history of the city. All in all, we ate too much good food and got well-earned blisters.
Javier and I at the Alamo
But the thing that I wasn’t prepared for was a chance to wrestle with in-your-face historical erasure. Javier and I visited the San Alamo Mission because, well it was down the block, and “Remember the Alamo”, and all that. But in walking the beautiful grounds and reading the placards describing the “heroic last stand” against 1,800 Mexican troops during the Texas Revolution in 1836, I wondered about all of the history that seemed missing, a bloody history that eventually led to the lynching of people of Mexican descent at the hands of the Texas Rangers and other authorities.
I’m heading up to DC this week for three reasons: to see the cherry blossoms a week ahead of their peak bloom time; to have dinner with my son; and to be part of the Walter Awards, along with other book fun. (more…)
I had the hair-raising experience of being on BuzzFeed live for their #AM2DM program. I followed Corey Booker, who had smart ideas but somehow couldn’t name the ingredients in a Margarita. (Really, hermano? All that political know-how aside, how is that possible?) Anyway, they were merciful and kept my comments to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Here’s the link of the whole segment. It’s about five or six minutes, I think. (more…)
This week, I’m heading back to St. Paul, Minnesota (average temperature in February is 23.7 degrees F). This time I’ll be there for a community visit that has some unexpected ties right here to Virginia, where I live.
Last year, St. Paul reached out to me with the big news that my 2016 YA novel, Burn Baby Burn, had been adopted as part of its community-wide read through a program called Read Brave. (more…)
I’m rushing to type this and then head to the airport for the SCBWI winter conference, where I’ll have the privilege of introducing some winners of this year’s Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards.
I’m thinking back on my own career as I get ready to take this trip. I’m considering all the ways that I learned the ropes of the publishing business and how this organization was part of that journey. No organization can provide you with everything, but my membership with SCBWI was a first important step for me. It was my declaration, I think, that I was a writer. (more…)
I’ve been away from social media since November so that I could make some headway on my next novel. Every now and then I’d peek, but I have to admit that it was restful to go quiet for a while and focus on work and home.
With Eliot Schrefer and the students we met in workshop during residency at Hamline
So, what’s 2019 been so far? (more…)
It’s here! NCTE!
We’re in Houston, where the hispanic or Latinx population is around 43%. So I’m thrilled that most of the panels and round tables where I’ll be speaking are centered squarely on the Latinx experience. From nerds to bad-ass girls – here they are: (more…)