I'll be in Orlando again in May for the IRA convention, and at that one I'll be signing copies of "Bless This Mouse" which is to be published in March. At this recent NCTE convention, I was focused on "From the Willow Tree" which was there in galleys, though it won't be out until January. Kirby Larson, who has also done a new Dear America book, and I spoke to a large and enthusiastic group of teachers the other morning. Then she and I, along with several other Scholastic authors, each read a 2-3 minute selection at a large breakfast before I flew home yesterday.
It is very hard to choose such a short selection! If a book is any good at all, each piece of it depends upon previous information...and also leads to something further. Unless it is purposely episodic, there are very few selections that can stand completely and comfortably alone.
One of the best things about such conventions is seeing old friends (as well as meeting new ones) and there were too many there for me to list here—and I'm sorry I didn't have a good camera with me. But Lois Duncan's husband did, and here we are:
Lois and I have known each other for 25 years at least, and we both remember the panel we were on together, each of of wearing a yellow dress, and people asking questions would say, "This question is for Lois"...then we would have to say, "Which one?"...and sometimes they would reply, "The one in the yellow dre—oops"
Lois D. has been re-writing a batch of her own long-published books for new publication—going back and putting in cell phones and computers, etc., to update them. I picture what it would be like to do that with the Anastasia books. Lately so many people have been asking me about those books, I think because they read them as children and now have children of their own who are at the appropriate age for them.
But of course without references to technology they are now "historical fiction," I suppose.
Here I am, as well, with Mitali Perkins, taken wiht her cell phone. She says we look like a Seurat. I say we just look dotty.
Someone replied to my previous post that I didn't seem happy signing autographs. She must have encountered me at Hour 3, when my hand hurt. Actually, I am always thrilled that so many people want their books signed, and that all of them are such nice people! But it does become exhausting, and in recent years, when people have begun to bring cameras and phones with cameras...I must seem like a terrible grouch because I ask them to turn the flash off if they can. The flash really hurts my eyes, and I can't see, afterward. I think this must be a function of aging eyes because it doesn't seem to bother younger people as much. (I also can no longer drive at night; there may be some connection. I think it is because as eyes get old—mine are 73—they can't go back and forth between light and dark comfortably) Not complaining, really, because they have served me well all these years!
So that is your Ophtalmalogy 101 Lecture. There will be a quiz Tuesday.
Anyway, I am back home. The Patriots beat the Colts. I have a new Cambridge resident—a fiction writer with a first novel coming out this year—coming for coffee this morning. And Martin and I head to Maine for Thanksgiving. My assiugnment is desserts and I have COOK (meaning the verb) scribbled on my calendar for Wednesday.
I bought a great shirt at the convention. It says DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MOVIE on it.