"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ALA Midwinter—The People

Yes, ALA is all about books, right, and I totally plan to highlight all the awesome books I was able to nab. But first, I'll go for a rundown of the entire weekend, starting with...

The Drive.

One of my favorite things about going to Dallas is driving through Italy, TX. You may know the Italy exit as the one where the giant caterpillar made of geodesic domes is, but what you may not have noticed is the ex-mini-golf course that is the Starship Pegasus. I drove with fellow Texas Sweethearts Jessica Lee Anderson and Jo Whittemore, but we caravan-ed and met up in Italy with Bethany Hegedus, E. Kristin Anderson, and Sweethearts K. A. Holt and Jeanette Larson.

Clockwise from left: Jessica Lee Anderson, Me, Jeanette Larson, K. A. Holt, and Jo Whittemore

Left to right: E. Kristin Anderson, Bethany Hegedus, and K. A. Holt

Me and Bethany being silly

The Blogger Meetup.

Um, yeah. It is hard for me to describe the awesomeness that was the Blogger Meetup organized by fabulous Jen Bigheart. Jen put out a notice for this amazing event, and over 75 people attended! 75! I know. I am honored to be associated with such a great group of supportive people.

Having dinner!

Jessica Lee Anderson, Joy Preble, and Me

Walking the Floor.

There's a little mystery in walking the floor at library and book conferences. Every time you turn the corner you never know who you will run into. There are fellow authors and agents and editors galore. And the more you do it, the more warm fuzzies you get in seeing these people. They are generous and happy and love to talk about books. I do caution to wear comfy shoes. I almost wore my cowboy boots on Saturday, but I figured I may be reduced to tears by the end of the day if I did so, so I opted for VANs instead.

Sonia Gensler and Jo Whittemore

Jo Whittemore, E. Kristin Anderson, and Jenny Ziegler

Nikki Loftin, Jessy Moss, Me, and Jessica Lee Anderson

Signing Books.

Yes, as an author, it is a great experience to be able to sign books. Even better is being able to sign books with fellow authors to help engage people and help give directions to the bathroom (okay, this time, not one person asked where the bathroom was). Our Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels group also had a cookie and candy reception on Saturday and had the chance to meet with a bunch of people. Thank you to everyone who came by!

Signing with Jessica Lee Anderson, Bethany Hegedus, and K. A. Holt

Mr. Garcia (crazy puppet, long story) is always entertaining at Pat Anderson's booth.

Me with Jason Henderson. We're reading his Alex Van Helsing book for our Boys' Book Club this month.

The Networking.

I mentioned the multitudes of agents and editors running around, right? Not only are conferences a great place to see friends, they are a wonderful networking opportunity. And there's not much better way to make a connection with some one than to meet them in person.

Me and Susan Chang, editor at Tor, one of my all-time favorite publishers

Hallie Warshaw from Zest Publishing treated some of the Dear Teen Me contributors to lunch on Saturday.

Hallie Warshaw (of Zest) and E. Kristin Anderson

Nikki Loftin and Joy Preble at the Dear Teen Me lunch

Jessica and Me hanging at the Dear Teen Me lunch

Tomorrow, The Books...


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds so awesome. I wish it had been during the holidays when I was in Dallas visiting my husband's family so I could have gone and gotten some books. Can't wait to hear about them.

PJ Hoover said...

It was a great time, Natalie! hey, are you in Houston? Will you be at TLA?

roro said...

glad you had a gr8 time
hope i can go 2 ala meet soon

I Read Banned Books said...

Super fun conference! Loved having you all there!


PJ Hoover said...

I hope you can, too, roro! Shows like that are so much fun!

I loved having you there, Jen. Except Sunday when I'm glad you weren't there so as not to contaminate me :) Hope you feel better!

Raine said...

Wow, just by checking out the pics, it sure was a full fun day. :D I wish I can experience a book con someday by local authors too. Erm, I wish they schedule a tour in a city that nearest to my province. :)Have a great midweek!

PJ Hoover said...

Raine, it's definitely one of the best things about the book world! I hope you can, too :)
And happy midweek to you, too!

Kiki Hamilton said...

It looks like SO much fun! Thanks for sharing all the pictures! That's a great shot of you and Susan! :-)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Kiki! She is so very sweet!
See you soon!

LisaILJ said...

This was my first trip to ALA midwinter, and you are so right about how awesome it was to interact with the different editors. Twice I struck up a conversation only to look at the name tag and realize that I was talking books with Jean Feiwel, and the other time with Katherine Tegen. Until I met them I didn't even know they were real people. It was so cool.

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Lisa, it did have a very approachable feel, didn't it? The booths were less crowded than normal ALA, and people just loved to talk about books. Thanks for visiting!