At BEA last week, the BookPage team got to meet a number of notable people. Actor Zach Braff and his brother, author Joshua Braff. Justin Cronin (The Passage), Gail Caldwell (Let’s Take the Long Way Home), Joshilyn Jackson (Backseat Saints) and Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games). I silently swooned as Trisha and I found ourselves in a hotel elevator with Cory Monteith, star of Glee and total dreamboat. But the crowning glory of the celebrity-spotting week—at least for me—came on Thursday afternoon.
Trisha and I were walking around the Javitz Center, making our way back to the BookPage booth, when I saw him: Pat Conroy, my favorite author, deep in conversation with someone I didn't recognize. Trisha can attest that she has never seen such a high-level freak out from me. I literally stopped in my tracks, paced, stared and obsessed over what to do. Would I go say hi? Would I just watch from afar like a crazy person? Would I pass out? Finally Trisha just told me if I had this chance and didn’t say something, I would regret it forever. So I took a deep breath, walked over and opened with, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but you’re my favorite author, and I just had to come say hi.”
Mr. Conroy smiled, took my hand and said, “Well, thank you so much. Now, what’s your name, darling?” We chatted briefly about his novels, Charleston and how he plans to keep writing as long as people keep reading. His southern drawl was everything I hoped it would be, and I was thrilled—and honored—that someone of his literary stature would take time out of his day to talk with a fan. I thought I loved Pat Conroy before. And now I know it’s the real deal.
Have you gotten the chance to meet your favorite author? If you did, what would you say?
I've already posted a couple times about the flood in Nashville (read here and here), but I today I've got an update on how you can contribute to relief efforts—and get some awesome book-related prizes!
Local authors Amanda Morgan, Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire are hosting an online auction called Do the Write Thing for Nashville.
You can bid on anything from a manuscript critique from professional authors, agents and editors, to signed books, to lunch with authors.
A few of the choice auctions that are active right now:
Children's Book Week has been around since 1919, and this year the celebration runs from May 10-16. I love these posters for the week:
The Children's Book Week website is a great resource for parents and young readers themselves. You can. . .
If you've been looking for a fun and easy way to get comprehensive info about books for kids and teens, this is it. Our first issue will come out May 26, but you can sign up now.
As our launch date gets closer, I'll post more about the newsletter, including info on how to enter a stellar kids book giveaway.
What is your family, library, school or bookstore doing to celebrate Children's Book Week? Let us know in the comments section, and share some ideas for other readers. . .
You didn't think we were finished posting about National Poetry Month, did you?! (If you missed earlier posts, click here to read about poem-a-day e-mails, and here to read about the Favorite Poem Project.)
Today we're highlighting Poem in Your Pocket Day, which has been celebrated on April 29 since 2002. Poets.org has some suggestions for how to celebrate:
· Start a "poems for pockets" give-a-way in your school or workplace
· Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
· Post pocket-sized verses in public places
· Handwrite some lines on the back of your business cards
· Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
· Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines
· Add a poem to your email footer
· Post a poem on your blog or social networking page
· Project a poem on a wall, inside or out
· Text a poem to friends
How will you celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day? (I, for one, intend to ask for a discount at my local bookstore for carrying a poem!) Feel free to post a favorite poem in the comments section.
Last Friday night, I went to see David Sedaris at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. I've been a fan of Sedaris' odd sense of humor and way with words since I first read 2000's Me Talk Pretty One Day, and it was exciting to see and hear him in person!
He started off by reading two stories from his upcoming book of fables, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (which we blogged about several weeks ago). The stories were about animals with decidedly human characteristics, including a young stork who wants to know where babies come from and an Irish setter who loves his wife (they were married by their owner's former girlfriend) but has resigned himself to her infidelity. Though the stories were different from Sedaris' usual essays, they were unmistakably stamped with his caustic wit.
He followed the stories with a longer essay about airplane travel, which was my favorite piece of the night, and then he read some selections from his diaries and took questions from the audience -- including a couple who had cut short their honeymoon in order to come to the show! Now that's devotion -- but Sedaris is worth it.
Related in BookPage: Read Sedaris' handwritten answers to a few of our questions about 2008's When You Are Engulfed in Flames.