Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh, I So Needed That

What I Did:

Yesterday I attended a New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators event in Massachusetts. It was a three-hour "salon" for published writers and illustrators on the topic of working with booksellers. Three very enthusiastic, professional booksellers discussed making connections with booksellers, bookstore events, and maintaining relationships with booksellers. At the end of the presentation, I was feeling really depressed (a couple of other people I spoke to seemed to be, too) because going up to strange booksellers in their stores for a cold chat, as they all advised, is probably not one of my best skills. But then I ate lunch and felt much better, so maybe it was just low blood sugar.

Who I Saw:

Toni Buzzeo, a children's author and librarian who is active in the NESCBWI. Several years ago, I attended a workshop she conducted on author presentations in schools.

Mary Newell DePalma, who I met nearly a year ago. I had dinner with her, in fact. She was one of the artists for Robert's Snow for Cancer's Cure last year.

Melissa Stewart and I had sort of met at an earlier NESCBWI event. I asked her yesterday if she had been published at that time, and she very modestly just said, "Yes." I'll say she's been published. The books' section of her website has to be divided into categories she's published so many.

Who I Met:

Loree Griffin Burns. I sat right next to her. I said, "Gee, your name sounds so familiar." Here's why.

Terry Golson, a food writer whose first children's book, Tillie Lays an Egg, comes out next year from Scholastic. Terry had an unbound galley with her. I didn't get a chance to read the text, but the illustrations are a hoot. They're photographs of chickens posed in tableaux. Terry collected the retro items in the pictures and trained the chickens to pose among them. She has a hen cam with an international following. She says there are troops in Iraq following her hens.

Alison Morris, the children's buyer at Wellesley Booksmith and the Shelftalker. Yes, people! I met another blogger!

Carol Chittenden from Eight Cousins Bookstore. I often see her name on the Association of Booksellers for Children listserv.

I believe a good time was had by all.


Anonymous said...

Hi- Thanks for mentioning my Tillie book. Yes, it was a great "salon." I know one of the panelists - I've done book signings and programs at her store(s) for the last 18 (!) years and I still learned a lot.

The only downside was that I met really interesting people - like you - and didn't have the time to have conversations of any length. Hope to see you at the next one in November. Maybe some of us can go for coffee afterwards. You might have been down for lack of sugar - but I sure needed caffeine!

Terry (I blog, too, but about chickens - not writing.)

Anonymous said...

I needed that too, Gail. It was great to meet you in person ... and here's to more time for chatting and schmoozing next month!