First, at TLA, I had the pleasure of meeting Bettina Restrepo, author of our upcoming Illegal (Harper, March 2011). When Bettina stopped by the booth, I had already partially read the manuscript weeks before so I knew how special the story was (it very much reminded me of Esperanza Rising, which is just so stunning). It was a pleasure meeting Bettina and look for Illegal in the months to come.
While at IRA, I was thrilled to meet Danette Haworth. It was an odd moment meeting her because I recognized her name...but couldn't place it. Which is an occupational hazard, I can tell you! Then it came to me when Danette told me that she wrote Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning (Walker, 2008) - which was edited by my friend Stacy over at Walker Books. Aha! The connections were becoming clear! I had visited the Walker offices back in 2008 and Stacy gave me a galley of Violet Raines...and now I was finally meeting the author. Danette also has an upcoming book, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets. Here's the pretty cover:
I was lucky to score a galley...but when I asked Danette if the secret was that the girl was a mermaid, she wouldn't give up the info. So I'll look forward to reading it to find out.
And that's one of those things I love about what I do - accidental and unexpected meetings that happen at conferences, especially since most of what I do at conferences is so scheduled and planned out. As I'm planning ALA Annual (check out the HarperCollins' Teachers and Librarians website for some details that are already set, like our signings), I'm already getting excited to see who I'll meet this time around. Authors truly are some of the nicest and most welcoming people I've met, whether I meet them in the office, in a hotel lobby, or in a conference booth.
Eat, drink, and hang out with authors
NOTE: No disrespect to the illustrators out there, of course. Just put in "illustrators" where I wrote "authors" above...