Saturday, April 12, 2014

My trip to Texas and the TLA conference

On Monday I woke up very early. As in, 3:00 am early, in order to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Dallas, Texas. I made it to Dallas just fine, it was the trip to San Antonio from there that got totally messed up and caused me to miss the bookseller event that night, with about 100 independent booksellers in attendance. It was SO disappointing. I could have been stuck at the Austin airport for hours and hours, if not for the kindness of a stranger, so thanks Steve from Omaha for at least getting me out of the airport!

After that frustrating snafu, however, things went well.

The weather was beautiful and I spent most of Tuesday morning walking along the Riverwalk.

Tuesday afternoon I did a panel with Ed. Tech Specialist Michelle Leggett and Librarian Seantele Forman. We talked about connecting students and authors via Skype and I think it went really, really well. Here we are before the talk.

Afterwards, we found a lovely spot along the river and had cool drinks and chips with guacamole. Mmmmm.... I even wore my new cowboy hat.

That evening, I signed Advanced Review Copies of The Bridge from Me to You. During our session, I had mentioned that this book was perfect for Texas, since I call it my small town, big sky, football is king book. I told them I had to do something with all of that love for "Friday Night Lights" that's in my heart. While I signed books, I had quite a few tell me once I mentioned "Friday Night Lights," they just had to come and get my book.

Y'all, clearly, these are my people!!!

I signed alongside Jennifer Ziegler who has an adorable-looking middle grade novel coming out next month (5/27) called Revenge of the Flower Girls. We had a line of enthusiastic librarians and they were all so nice and so many of them said really kind things about me and my books.

As a mid-list author, I think it's easy to feel like there aren't a lot of people who know who you are. These kind, excited librarians reminded me that there are people who know who I am, and to some kids, my books *do* matter. Their comments meant so much to me, and this kindness is one of the main reasons I love the Texas Librarian Conference. They are a great, great group of people.

So here I am in the Scholastic booth, talking and signing:

Here's a picture I snagged off twitter. Author Jennifer Ziegler is on the left, and Sandra Carswell, a librarian who has had me Skype with her school, is between us. It was fun to meet Sandra in person.

Tuesday night, the Scholastic group took us out to dinner along with some fantastic librarians we got to meet and chat with. We went to a place called Biga on the Banks, and the food was SO GOOD. I took a picture of my dessert (because, you know me, it's all about the dessert) but alas, instagram is down and I can't get to it.

On Wednesday, I had an uneventful flight home, thank goodness!!

All in all, a great trip. Thank you, Texas librarians, for being so awesome. Let me tell you something - y'all know how to make an author feel special.

Hope to see you again real soon.

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