Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whirlwind ALA

So back from my whirlwind trip to ALA in Anaheim. Flew out on Friday morning and got home Saturday night.  I am exhausted. But luckily it's Sunday and I can be lazy. Side note- I have ALOT of respect for the ladies at Sourcebooks who are working hard on minimal sleep and making it look easy. Leah Hultenschmidt, the YA editor  at Sourcebooks is an amazingly smart and vivacious woman.  Full of life! As is Derry Wilkens the Publicity Manager and Valarie Pierce and Melissa Wood.  Hats off. Hats off indeed!

So, I expected to get lots of writing done on the plane (can you say book deadline) but mostly laid my head back and chilled instead. Once the plane touched down in Orange County I was wide awake and greeted by beautiful California sunshine. OH. And also, as I rode to my hotel on a shuttle bus, saw a drug bust on the side of the street. It was kind of cool in a weird sort of way. Not something I see on the suburban streets of my Calgary neighbourhood everyday.

Arrived at the hotel and my room wasn't ready so I refreshed my make-up, (yes I did wear MAKE-UP and dress up clothes-well. Non Yoga wear anyhow. And some cute little red shoes with silver buckles. Sort of like Dorthy only not at all.) I digress. So I walked on over to the convention centre where ALA was taking place. So cool! So many people. This is one huge event. I have no idea how many people actually attend but lets say lots. It was the best people watching fun I've had in awhile.

Met up with Stacey Jay who I'd never met in person before. She is a lovely soul and a breath of fresh air, as well as a fiercely talented YA author. Got a sneak peek at her arc to her Juliet Immortal sequel, Romeo Redeemed and it is beautiful. Much like Stacey.

We cruised the floors a little and I managed to snag a few ARC's, mostly for my son but a few for me, including my highlight, the ARC, THE SWEET DEAD LIFE by Joy Preble. I've started reading it and I LOVE IT SO HARD. The voice, the story. The cover! The full meal deal!!

Then I had my book signing for WHO I KISSED, and it was fun and surreal and fun and surreal and fun and surreal. You get the picture? Met lots of librarians and bloggers and generally had a blast feeling like an author. Which in theory I am, but trust me, in the confines of my living room, it often doesn't feel like it! So thanks to all who came by and picked up an ARC of WHO I KISSED!!!

I gave away some jelly bellies swag, and the funniest comment came from a nice woman who looked at the front of the package and looked horrified for a moment and said, "You're Not Giving Away Peanuts are you?"

(In case you don't know the premise of the book is that a girl accidentally kills a boy by causing a fatal allergic reaction to peanuts.)  So. Yes. That would have been um. Weird. She was relieved and we had a good laugh.

The Sourcebooks booth was swamped with people trying to score a coveted AUTHORS ARE OUR ROCKSTAR T-shirts. If you love these shirts you can actually buy them on-line here.

After the signing, the Sourcebooks team took some authors and Jack Bauer (Teen Services Librarian at Berkley Public Library and President of BAYA, The Bay Area Young Adult Librarians) out for dinner on the Disneyland grounds. How cool is That? (very cool and magical) Also, for the first time in my life, I tried Grits. And. I approved.

Met up with Geoff Herbach, author of  the amazing book STUPID FAST, and it's companion, Nothing Special. Geoff is just as funny as he seemes like he would be if you've read his books. Which if you haven't. You should.

Also Miranda Kinneally, author of CATHING JORDAN and new book, which I was lucky to snag a copy of, STEALING PARKER.  Her books are hugely popular for a reason! They're fun, sexy and perfectly paced. Miranda is a cool person too. A mellow groovy vibe, but also really funny and intelligent and interesting.

And the Rocker sisters, authors of The Liar Society and the new sequel, Lies that Bind. Oh my God they are so incredibly cute. Beautiful and vivacious, they are just gorgeous and so nice and funny and smart. I've always loved their blog and they are just as awesome in person. Not only that, they write great mysteries too! Loved the first book, can't wait to read the sequel.

After dinner, the Sourcebooks team zipped us back to the hotel to tape interviews for each other to promote the GET REAL TOUR.  By the way, Lisa and Laura and Miranda and I will be travelling to 8 cities in 10 days November 1-10 and I hope, hope hope, that if we're in your city you'll come out to see us. With the Rocker sisters and Miranda, it will never ever be boring. I can't wait!! We'll be visiting Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C.!

Me, Jack, Lisa, Geoff, Laura and Miranda
Okay, back to ALA, the next morning, after 3 solid hours of sleep(!) we were all on a panel, with Jack Bauer moderating. It was a fun and I hope interesting discussion: Can't Cover it Up: How Social Media and Instant News Inform Contemporary YA.

The best comment of the panel, probably of my year on the panel, came from Geoff.  I can't tell you what it was, because without context and tone, it just won't have the same effect. But trust me, with Geoff around, you will always, always have fun.

Other highlights of ALA:

Jill and me with a weird smirk on my face?
Walked by David Levithan and breathed the same air as him for an LA moment.  I think he's amazing and almost introduced myself, but he looked busy and I didn't want to seem like a stalker.

Had a great meeting with Leah, my editor, about my SPRING 2013 release, HOW I LOST YOU. Which by the way has the MOST AMAZING COVER! I can't wait to share it!!

Got to see and chat with Jill Corcoran, my amazing agent!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Waz up.

I don't know if anyone is actually reading this, but just in case.....

Popping in for a quick update on all things Janet. 

First off I must confess that I have dandelions on my lawn. And brown patches in my grass.  And I'm more concerned because of what my neighbours think than the actual problem itself, but must resolve that soon.

I am frantically writing to finish a new YA book called HOW I LOST YOU for mid July. That scares me saying the date. It will come up soon. Yes. Yes it will. That is consuming most of my time and it will get crazier as the month goes on.

My fridge died. How rude of it. And inconvenient. They do not make appliances like they used they?

Swim season is wrapping up for super son. Confession. Son is trying out for the Summer Games which occurs while I will be in California for the RWA Nationals. So I'm hoping he doesn't make it as it will complicate all my plans. Shhhhh. Don't tell him that.

I am going to California twice this month. How cool is that! Once for ALA. My first time at ALA! And once for RWA Nationals.  And then I get to holiday in WINNIPEG for a few days. Which is actually quite beautiful in the summer, thank  you very much.

Most of August we will be in BC. Finishing up the cabin. Yes. You read it correctly. Finishing. Oh, it's been a long, long haul. Thank GOODNESS it will be done soon. You have NO idea!

Happy June!!! Hope all is well in YOUR world.