TLA 2019 Retrospective

Hi Y’all!
Last week was the Texas Library Association annual conference in Austin, TX. I was invited to sit on a panel and do a book signing.
First was lunch with Kate O’Sullivan, my editor at HMH. She’s far more lovely, friendly, and engaging in person than in email. And I already really loved her. And now I have more of an inkling of how cool she is, too.

(It’s a lot)

Then was my panel:

Children’s Authors Tackle Big Emotions in Picture Books
Location: Room 17 AB, Level 4
Learning about big emotions and how to deal with them is one of the most challenging tasks of childhood. Authors delve into the minds of children with humor, grace, and uncanny accuracy. They speak to the importance of picture books helping children deal with their emotions.

Authors: Galia Bernstein, David Goodner, Jorge & Megan Lacera, Todd Parr, and Jonathan Stutzman

That was a lot of fun. Todd Parr looked completely different than I’d imagined him, because I used to know a guy named Tom Parr, and every time I read Todd Parr’s name, I think of Tom even though they’re totally different people.

Once again, I’m sorry I was late to the panel. Fortunately, it was only a few minutes.

My signing was fun, too. I’m going to be sad if I ever get to the point where signing my books for fans isn’t fun. Librarians are particularly awesome fans. I got to sign GINNY GOBLIN IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPEN THIS BOX, and Disney*Hyperion also brought some of the ARCs for KONDO AND KEZUMI VISIT GIANT ISLAND., which comes out in September. That was totally cool.

A few of you guys asked me if I’d do school visits. I didn’t have enough time to give really good answers. So the new thing I learned from this experience is that when I do professional events I need to make sure I’ve got business cards with me, and I probably need to update my business cards.

To answer that question: Yes, I love school visits. I have a day job, so I don’t have unlimited time, but my boss is pretty flexible so unless I get a lot more popular, I can probably accommodate anyone in the D/FW metroplex. Further away might be a little trickier.

For the rest of this school year, I’ll still do them for free or really cheap because I’m just learning. If I have to travel far, I’ll have to ask for gas money and a hotel room/food if necessary.

Starting in the fall, I’m probably going to have to start charging, but I’m still thinking about how much.

Then I left, except it’s actually impossible to leave Austin at 5 PM, so it was almost 7 before I got out of the city. I’ve faced worse traffic, but only in Houston.