January 16, 2008

So-long Philly; Hello Miami!

My ALA trip to Philadelphia was a wonderful whirlwind!

At the Convention Center, publishers displayed their newest books and encouraged you to take them. A writer’s dream. I tossed out a pair of shoes so I’d have room in my suitcase for nine brand new novels.

Even though I sold my novel to Stephanie Lane at Delacorte Press in April 2006, this was my first opportunity to meet her. She is lovely! As were the other Random House people, who made me feel welcomed and comfortable.

Dinner with Stephanie Lane, E.M. Crane (author of Skin Deep), and her editor, Krista Marino was a blast. I wish I took a picture of the luscious desserts. I wish I took a picture of my editor and all the wonderful things I saw, but I was too busy enjoying everything to pull out my camera.

The highlight of the evening was a cocktail party where I was introduced to librarians from all over the country, who were passionate, dedicated and funny. It was so much fun to talk about my book with them and learn about the libraries where they worked. And my editor did a fantastic job of introducing my novel to the group; she could moonlight as a stand-up comic.

Sunday found me sitting in the back row of a ballroom with authors Liz Gallagher and E.M. Crane as the Newbery winners were announced.

This is what it looked like:

The excitement in the room was palpable as each award was announced, and finally – the Newbery. I kept pinching myself because I couldn’t believe I was sitting in the room where the Newbery Award was being announced. I still can’t.

As if the weekend weren’t exciting enough, the festivities took place in Philadelphia – my home town.

I was thrilled to walk around and see City Hall with William Penn’s statue standing proudly on top, the Franklin Parkway leading to the Museum of Art and the Reading Terminal Market, full of food stalls crowded with people and delicious smells. I treated myself to a vegetarian cheese steak.

And I managed to squeeze in time to enjoy a few meals and a lot of laughs with family and friends.

Barely recovered from my delightful weekend, I’m now preparing to head down to Miami.

It’s time for the Florida SCBWI Conference. I’ve attended it nearly every year since its inception. And this year, I’m giving a short talk about being a first-time author and a longer workshop entitled: Free Money: Finding and Winning Grants to Propel Your Career to the Next Level. And I’ll be doing my first autograph party.

I’m looking forward to it. Drop me a comment if you’re planning to attend.

Until next time,



Mary Hershey said...

Wow, Donna! What a marvelous adventure you've just had!! I'm so happy that you got to do your pending book launch up BIG and FABULOUS. And, to be there while they announced the Newbery and Caldecott. You're like a real rock star now, baby.

Mary Hershey

Anonymous said...

Wow, so cool!

Have a great time at the Florida conference!


(Cynthia Lord)

Wild About Words said...

Thanks, Mary and Cindy!

Hey, maybe we can be writer rock stars together and form a band. Unfortunately, Rock Bottom Remainders is already taken. Maybe we could call ourselves "The Whom?" And our slogan could be: "We're loud, we're literary and we're coming to an independent bookstore near you!"

If we do get a band together, I call the tambourine.


Anonymous said...

I want another vegetarian Philly cheese steak! lol
It was great to meet you and share the wonder that is ALA mid-winter. February is just around the bend - can't wait to see your book on the shelves :)

Paul R. May said...


What a wonderful experience that must have been!

I can't wait to see your book in February.

See you tomorrow in Miami!


Gep Dawg said...

Sounds like it was a great convention Donna. I just wanted you to know it was great seeing you, Dan and the boys during the holidays. Hopefully we see you all again soon.