ALA 2010 Highlights

Wow! Was that fun. ALA was a whirlwind weekend of authors, librarians, and great HarperCollins and Greenwillow folk. It's a story best told in pictures:

First off, Holly Cupala. We met at the Teen Author Carnival at BEA and later offered to host interviews for each other. She's a readergirlz diva too.  Next thing I knew, she was staying at my house for the ALA long weekend. (I did invite her!) We had nearly matching schedules, and it was so fun to hang out together. Her novel, Tell Me A Secret, just released on 6/22.  I highly recommend it, as do Deb Caletti and Ellen Hopkins! Holly is sweet, thoughtful, and always beautifully accessorized. Here we are (above) at the terrace of the W hotel after meeting lots of cool librarians at the HarperCollins breakfast and getting to wear Author, Author! buttons. The wonderful Jackie Dolamore, author of Magic Under Glass and a forthcoming mermaid novel, also stayed at my house, but I didn't get a shot of us. I know lots were taken, so if you have one, please send it my way.Holly and Jackie got lost on the way to the DC Kidlit night, which isn't fun when it's about 110 degrees out, and you have luggage. I rescued them from the horse and rider statue they had ended up at, and we had a fabulous time at the DC Kidlit drink night on Friday night. Huge thanks to Tami Lewis Brown and Sara Lewis Holmes for organizing it!! It was great fun to see Sara, Tami, Erin Murphy, Anne Marie Pace, Moira Donahue, Susan Kusel, and lots of other Kidlit locals.

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After wandering through the booths on Saturday morning and picking up some great ARC's, a bunch of Tenners met up for lunch at a tapas restaurant. Starting from the left and going clockwise, it's me, Karen Kincy, Christina Gonzalez, Lindsey Leavitt, Holly Hoxter, Margie Gelbwasser, and Jackie. It was so fun to meet everyone in person and exchange writing adventures and misadventures. We ordered the unlimited tapas and had TONS of yummy food, but I didn't want to eat anytime soon.Except I did. Next up was a fantastic party at the home of Tami Lewis Brown to celebrate Katherine Patterson and the Vermont College writing program. Wow, was that party star-studded!! My highlight was getting to meet Carrie Jones and actually having a conversation with Nancy Werlin. I picked up her latest ARC, Extraordinary, and can't wait to read it. I really enjoyed Impossible.I'm thinking about having a very fun ALA ARC giveaway soon, so stay tuned. (I also got both Elizabeth Scott's latest releases, although I had to do a double-take at one booth, as in ... why is the Elizabeth Scott, whom I'd just met earlier that day at another booth, signing books for someone named Ivy Devlin. Duh, paranormal pseudonym.)A subplot of my ALA weekend was that my husband was out of town, so I had to keep changing from author hat to mommy and back again. Holly and I had to detour back to Arlington (giving Pam, aka MotherReader, a ride to the metro) to pick up my son and his date and take them to Toy Story 3. (He doesn't drive yet.) Holly was such a great sport! Then Holly and I met up with an amazing bunch of writers, librarians, and bloggers who had waited patiently for us at Austin Grill. Here's the gang:

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(from left: author Jeri Smith-Ready, Holly, teen librarian Tiffany, James (Book Chic), and author Stephanie Kuehnert)

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And here I am with two of my favorite teen librarians, Drea, aka Book Blather, and Sarah, aka GreenBeanTeenQueen.I also saw Harmony, a force behind Bring YA to PA, all over, including at the dinner. Here we are at the Harper booth in front of a poster for the amazing Lynn Rae Perkins' new novel.  She's a Greenwillowian too:

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I spent Sunday morning giving our golden doodle, Jessie, a long walk and making blueberry pancakes before I deserted my kids to play author again. My signing was at 2:30, and the books were gone - poof - by 2:50. I was thrilled to see FHN so prominently displayed on the shelf in the HarperCollins booth. I got to hang out with my editor, Virginia Duncan, too. Here's me on my signing high:  (notice book directly overhead)

Amy Brecount White signs FHN-1

Amy Brecount White signs FHN-1

Holly had her first-ever signing right after mine, so I hung out with some eager bloggers and HarperCollins folk for awhile. Then Holly and I jumped into my car to head to the Newbery Ball -- I mean, banquet. We so elegantly changed in the restroom and then had a quiet glass of wine in the hotel bar and discovered that we had even more in common. :-)  Holly and I were both interviewed on the SCBWI red carpet, which was great fun. I forgot to take pictures.I'm a huge fan of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, so I was thrilled that she was charming, witty, and warm in her speech. As a special treat, I got to sit next to Mary Quattlebaum, an author buddy from my Washington Post days.We headed back down to the booths on Monday morning, but we were all feeling a bit glazed. I'm still a bit glazed, but excited to share a couple more shots:

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Mitali (Perkins) and Mitali (MitaliandMe on twitter). I picked up a signed copy of Bamboo People and have heard it's powerful. And another highlight was meeting the REAL John Green while he was standing in line and waiting to sign Heidi Kling's Sea. (She's in the background with her editor.) Pretty darn cool, and he was very nice and even congratulated me on publishing my book.

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Right now, I'm exhausted after a very fun event last night at Stifel and Capra, a cool and ecletic store in Falls Church, VA. Next time I'll have to leave my daughter at home, though. She found a few too many irresistables.I feel like a chapter in my life has just ended, because I don't have any more events until late July (in Ann Arbor and Leland, MI). I'm taking a much-needed break from the public life, although you can still find me here when I come out of my author/ researcher cave. And I'll leave you with this lovely shot taken at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. (I visited their exhibit on Emily Dickinson and the language of flowers during my BEA excursion. Food for thought.)

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