Monday, October 14, 2013

New York Recap of Awesome

Last week I went to New York on writerly business.  Seeing editors and publicists and meeting other authors.  You know.


(Yeah.  Right.)

My companion-in-arms was the fabulous Joanne Levy, author of SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE, one of the funniest middle grade books I've read in a long time (and definitely one of the best titles I've ever heard).

On Monday, I met with the amazing Aimee Friedman, my editor at Scholastic for MANOR OF SECRETS, and we discussed history, Downton Abbey, travel and good books.

That night, with Joanne, Betsy Bird (GIANT DANCE PARTY), Ame Dyckman (BOY + BOT, TEA PARTY RULES), Lynda Mullaly Hunt (ONE FOR THE MURPHYS), Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED, PRETTY SLY) and Sarvenaz Tash (THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST), we told the Children's Media Association (and their compatriots) about our Journey to Publishing--all the inside scoop on getting an agent, publishing a book and the surprises and adventures that happen along the way.  We also had a Giant Dance Party.

On Tuesday, I visited the Penguin offices where I finally got to meet my publicist, some of the fantastic marketing and publicity team, and one of my literary idols, Ken Wright, who is now head of Viking by way of being a kick-ass agent.  I also fangirled all over the incredible Leila Sales, author of PAST PERFECT and THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE (and also, from what I've heard, a damn fine editor).  But the highlight was getting the chance to have a good, long chat with my own awesome editor, Kendra Levin, about what happens next.

I managed to squeeze in all kinds of touristy things--the double-decker tourist bus, the Empire State Building, a Broadway show, Times Square at night--I even rode the subway.  But for me, the tourist highlight was visiting the New York Public Library to see the ABC of It exhibition on children's literature and traveling through Good Night Moon, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things Are and one of my favorite books of all time, The Phantom Tollbooth.
This is Milo's car. Judy Blume sat here. Awesome.
I can honestly say now that I love New York.  It's busy and crazy and overwhelming and magical.  Special thanks to the bus driver who got me to the airport on time, the friendly postal worker, the smooth-talking stranger at the street corner pizza place, the chef at Home whose secret ingredient was "a clean heart" and the countless New York City drivers who managed not to run me over as I stared up through the canyon of buildings to try to catch a glimpse of the sky.