Okay, a very quick post because I am on deadline!
I spent three glorious days with my friends Kristen Swenson and A. B. Westrick in the mountains of Virginia at the 20th anniversary of the Festival of the Book.
Some highlights in pictures:
- My school visit at Jackson-Via Elementary. Best question from a second grader: Do you make more than $30 a day?
- Great panel about author platforms with Jane Friedman, author Gigi Amateau, and “The Book Maven” Bethanne Patrick who is behind #Friday Reads. They gave lots of definitions and practical advice on creating your overall reputation. Favorite take-away from Jane: Building your platform takes patience and consistency. It should outlast any single book or project that you do.
- Talking YA books for adults with old friend K.P. Madonia (Fingerprints of You) and new friend Andrew Auseon (Freak Magnet and others) at the Village School. Great reads. Put them on your list.
- Practicing the use of hashtags with children’s lit legend Louis Lowry, Kathy Erskine and Jennifer Elvgren. I didn’t see that one coming, but you know, we’re all racing to understand this stuff! #YA, #kidlit, #canyoubelievethis?
Jennifer, Ms. Lowry, and me
- Top pick of all: The joyous “homecoming panel” at the Paramount Theater on Saturday night. We were treated to an evening of conversation with (thank you God) a culturally diverse panel of writing giants – who talked about their lives as writers: Rita Mae Brown, Lee Smith, Kwame Alexander, Sonia Manzano, E. Ethelbert Miller and moderator Dr. Joanne Gabbin. They were at turns hilarious, thoughtful, and tender. Overall wisdom: Say yes to your wildest literary ideas and offers.
The Homecoming Author Event
It’s that time of the year again! Hispanic Heritage Month is around the corner (Sept 15 – Oct 15). Here are the picks for my nightstand.
YA/historical fiction set during the Spanish Civil War. You may remember Christina from her lovely debut novel, The Red Umbrella. This one releases early October.
Remember Maria from Sesame Street? This is her new YA set in Spanish Harlem in the late 1960s. She had me at the scene with the plastic slipcovers in the living room.
Twelve short stories by Latina authors celebrating the power of friendship. I adore short fiction as much as I love mis amigas so I’m really excited about this one. Edited by Adriana V López.