Meeting Readers Near and Far

Cammie McGovern, Caragh M. O’Brien, Clifford, Carol Weston, and Eric Morse at the CT Children’s Book Fair, November 4, 2017.

Meeting readers is such a pleasure! I’ve had ample opportunities to do so lately, and I keep smiling about it. The CT Children’s Book Fair last Saturday, November 4th, was jolly and fun. I enjoyed showing drafts of the map for The Keep of Ages when little readers pointed out the changes they saw. It was also great to catch up with my friend Cammie McGovern, and meet fellow writers Carol Weston and Eric Morse. The legends Rosemary Wells and Marc Brown were awe-inspiring.

Sunday, I participated in the Anderson Bookshop’s YA Fandom Frenzy with 40 other writers and 500+ readers at Granger Middle School in Aurora, IL. We filled the bleachers for intros of each writer and trivia challenges, and we also had break-out panels around core concepts.

Ya Fandom Frenzy panelists Ryan Graudin, Carrie Jones, G. S Prendergast, Caragh M. O’Brien, and Katie Kennedy, November 5, 2017.

I was on the Out of this World Sci-Fi and Beyond panel with Ryan Graudin, G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast, Katie Kennedy, and very funny Carrie Jones who, with self-deprecating humor, told of the time her 7th grade teacher predicted she’d never be taken seriously because she spoke like a Muppet.

It was lovely to meet Shannon, a friend I’ve known only via email until now. I came home with a long list of books I want to read, including new novels by M.C. Atwood, Michelle Hodkin, Jared Reck, Sasha Dawn, and Peternelle van Arsdale.

Nora Carr, Caragh O’Brien, Heather Howard, and Juliana Alley in the Batavia High School Library, November 6, 2017.

I had school visits on Monday when I had the chance to run a couple of impromptu writing workshops at Elgin High School and read a favorite excerpt from The Keep of Ages at Batavia High School. I am so grateful for the warm welcomes I received, and it was especially nice to talk to a few young writers at Batavia.

All the conversations and laughter made for good times, and they reminded me that books are a force for imagination and bonding. It’s great to be part of this community.

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