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Friday, January 22, 2010

So what happened at ALA, you ask?

Ok, other than the books (which I will get to in a moment)...

Besides stalking the HarperCollins booth for a glimpse of TELL ME A SECRET advance copies (!!!), I teamed up with Loriene Roy of If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything, an organization devoted to the literacy of Native teens and children, to talk about readergirlz/GuysLitWire/YALSA and publisher's third annual Operation Teen Book Drop!

We chatted with several groups of librarians who were working tirelessly in both urban and rural settings, community libraries and school libraries, to bring books into the hands of many teens. These people are passionate and dedicated, and we're really excited to have a chance to work with them. Many thanks, especially to Susan Hanks and Liana Juliano for everything!

And as a side note, LIBRARIANS ARE AWESOME! I knew when I met a bunch of Seattle/King County area librarians in the airport - including Judy Nelson, Angela Nolet, Dave Sonnen, Cecilia McGowan, and lots of others - that the trip was going to be fab (and it was really cool that they wanted my TELL ME A SECRET bookmarks - the first to receive them besides my mom!). Then I sat by Nancy Pearl on the way home! (Nancy: the answer to the secret question is..."takeoff decision speed.")

Highlights included meeting YALSA folks and being deemed an honorary YALSA rock star (thanks to Beth Yoke!), hanging out with my peeps at the HarperCollins meeting school/library/account divas Laura and Camilla and editors Tara, Rosemary, Molly, and Sarah - who are all rock stars in my book , seeing copies of TELL ME A SECRET fly off the table (and even signing some - surreal!), catching some of the Best Books for Young Adults panel discussion, especially hearing my editor's work with Jenny Valentine honored for Broken Soup (yay, Catherine!), and being present for the 2010 Youth Media Awards!!!! (Hooray for all of the very deserving winners, especially Libba Bray, Tanita Davis, L.K. Maddigan, Grace Lin, Jerry Pinkney, Tanya Lee Stone, and others!)

At the Kidlit/YA Tweetup organized by Mitali Perkins and Deborah Sloan, I ran into Kate Messner, Dawn Metcalf, Edith Cohn, Mitali Dave, Marissa Doyle, Ann Haywood Leal, Jennifer Rummel, EgmontGal, HipWriterMama, and so many others! Here are a few pics (my camera takes terrible inside shots, so I include credits...):

Here's one I stole from Edith Cohn (taken by Mitali Perkins - my first book-signing!) with Anindita, Edith, me, and Mitali of Alley of Books in the background:

And with EgmontGal Elizabeth Law and Mitali of Alley of Books (photo from Elizabeth's tweet, taken by Ann Haywood Leal!):

Plus a couple from the album of Judith Jango-Cohen with Harper friends Tara Weikum and Sara Shumway:

And here's one the inimitable Mitali Perkins and Vivian Mahoney (HipWriterMama!) after meeting Vivian in person for the first time, after working together on readergirlz for years!

I stayed with friends Kasson and Kathryn in Boston, who not only fed me, housed me, and even turned up their heat for me, but they carted me to and from the T-station so that I wouldn't get lost in the big (well, bigger) city. Then there was new music from Kasson and knitting wonders from Kathryn. Thanks, K&K! Here's my favorite thing I spotted in their house:

Plus some envy-worthy art from Etsy:

Now...on to the book stack. Here, let's look at them one more time and drool:

The publishers at ALA were exceedingly generous to us YA book groupies, and I picked up copies of (in order of the stack, release month in parentheses):

The Heart is Not a Size, by Beth Kephart (4/10)
Stranded, by J.T. Dutton (6/10)
Borderline, by Allan Stratton (3/10)
Very LeFreak, by Rachel Cohn (1/10)
The Timekeeper's Moon, by Joni Sensel (3/10)
Captivate, by Carrie Jones (1/10 - see her Story Secrets!)
Life As We Knew It/The Dead & The Gone/This World We Live In, by Susan Beth Pfeffer (3rd book in 4/10)
Tangled, by Carolyn Mackler (1/10)
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver (3/10)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan (4/10)
Illyria, by Elizabeth Hand (5/10)
Happyface, by Stephen Emond (3/10)

And a couple of copies of Tell Me a Secret for upcoming blog giveaways! What a weekend!


  1. Ooh! What an exciting & successful trip, Holly. Congrats on your big debut!

  2. I loved meeting you Holly! So glad you had a great time at ALA! And one day, you must share your secrets on how to be a good photo subject. Beautiful!

  3. Yep, I'm with HipWriterMama - you take fabulous pictures, Holly. Even the phone kind, the crappy lighting kind, the indoors kind: you look great, lovely, and full of light.

    That's a secret worth sharing. Pretty please?

    (Also, I am crippled with book envy at that stack of as-yet-unavailable books. *whines a little*)

  4. Thanks for posting! Congrats on your first book signing ... and I know how awesome librarians are. My daughters librarian always gives great books for her to read. This time I'll be recommending yours to her after i've get my hands on a copy.

  5. What a trip. Thanks for sharing. Like the rest I'm drooling over that pile and can't wait for the TMAS give-away!

  6. Hi Holly! So jealous of you there - and is that FAITHFUL I see in your stack?? Eek!! And I can't wait to read TELL ME A SECRET.

    xo - Janet

  7. I missed all of you there! Except Vivian of course - I was squee-ing with happiness to get to meet you in person!

    Janet, YES!! Faithful! And...your publisher was kind enough to give me TWO copies - so I will have one to give away when you come visit for Story Secrets!

  8. What a wrap-up! I'm so, so jealous! :)

    Wearing my Guys Lit Wire hat, I'm looking forward to working with you guys on Operation TBD this year. Should be great!

  9. With all those smiles it must have been a good time.

  10. I am jealous, too! And you met Elizabeth Law! Doubly triply jealous! And you hung out with hipwriter—jealous again! And you were there! Jea... (okay, I'll stop)