I can't wait for the next one to come out. I like getting the history of WWII through the eyes of these characters. The stories seem to move at a leisurely pace for me, but I enjoy the characters so much that it doesn't matter at all!
Hey, everybody... I did a guest blog post for Teens Read Too. If you want to know what I lost during one week in August (and the answers to several other questions) visit here: http://trtbookclub.blogspot.com/
I also just want to say a huge thank you to Jen Wardrip who works like crazy for that blog! Her dedication is amazing!
I guess I never thought about things concerning my book showing up in a foreign language. True, I thought it was pretty awesome when I noticed my book had sold a copy or so in Japan, Germany and France. But I wasn't anticipating having to go to the google translator to figure out what someone in Brazil thought of my book. (Remember all those lessons my U.S. buddies, about how the colonization of South America happened, and which countries ended up speaking Portuguese and which ended up speaking Spanish? Well, here's the real world application of that knowledge for me!)
I've goteen some requests from other bloggers in Brazil for copies of the book to review. Thanks all you Brazilian Bloggers out there for spreading the word about books!
The chance to meet Avi? Awesome. I've even taught students some of his books.
Talking to Maryrose Wood, Tricia Springstub, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Carolyn Mackler? Just as awesome.
Seeing my agents for the first time in a year? Even better yet.
Spending time with my editor? Tons of fun.
Meeting so many librarians? Well, you guys are the absolute greatest. I'm glad I got to meet some of you personally at my signing, and I also enjoyed the YALSA coffee klatch--although I have to admit I didn't know it was possible to talk that fast. At the coffee klatch, 40 YA authors got to sit at 10 different tables of librarians, each for about five minutes. Telling the librarians about my book and answering their questions in that short a time was a real challenge, but one I'll never forget and am thrilled to have had the opportunity to do. I'd love to be there again some day. It was thrilling to meet so many librarians interested in teens and what they're reading. Many of them even took notes on what I was saying. And then at the end, all the authors were asked to line up for a picture. I thought it was going to be one picture. But no, about 200 librarians all started snapping pictures. The flashes just kept going for about five minutes! I'm not used to feeling so important. Or to encountering people who think books are that important. What a boost it all was to my energy level for writing this week. Novel 2...here I come.
Only three more days until my plane takes off for D.C. My second ALA conference. Only this one will be twice as exciting as the first. This time, I'll get to meet more librarians than last! Get to personally mingle with more authors and have a generally great time while working. How did I ever get lucky enough to become an author?
My editor sent a care package of books to read before the conference since I'll have the opportunity to meet their authors. I just finished Avi's fourth book in the Crispin series, The End of Time. I loved it. I'm a fan of historical fiction to start with, but I especially like stories set in the middle ages, and Avi does an excellent job in this book of keeping the suspense high. I met some truly great characters in this book. I also finished book one in the series The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. What a run mid-grade novel. I marveled at the narrator's voice (loving it's very 19th Century British tone) and appreciated the bizarre as I encountered it in this book. I'm working right now on Sarah Week's As Simple as it Seems (so far tremendous!) and still have in the TBR pile What Happened on Fox Street, The Poison Diaries and Black Hole Sun. All look terrific.
I can't wait for Friday's lift off. Even if it does mean doing my least favorite thing in the world--packing!
Congratulations to L.K. Madigan, author of Flash Burnout and winner of the 2010 Morris Award. I highly recommend this book. It is the story of a teenage boy, Blake, who loves one girl, but discovers a strong sense of commitment to a friend in great need. He isn't quite mature enough to handle the difficulties such a situation presents to him, and struggles to make the right choices, then struggles to deal with the fallout from some of his wrong choices. This book has a wonderful message for teenagers, and the content is dealt with honestly and in a true teen voice. Blake's family members (a hospital pastor mother who suddenly throws off her shirt during hotflashes, a medical examiner father, a brother who doesn't quite know when and how to be a mentor to Blake) make an excellent and fun supporting cast. The story is original and the characterization, for the characters who ultimately matter, is excellent.