Event at BookBar in Denver today!

Hello, Colorado friends!

Just a reminder that I’ll be at BookBar–the lovely bookshop/wine bar in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood–today at 2 pm! I’m doing a middle-grade panel along with my fellow 2014 debut authors Jessica Lawson (The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher) and Lauren Magaziner (The Only Thing Worse Than Witches), and we have funny readings planned as well as trivia with prizes.

Hope to see you there!

Eatin’ and Authorin’ All Over Texas!

Hello, friends! As you may know, I spent last weekend traveling around Texas with my husband and with fellow middle-grade author Rebecca Behrens (whose debut novel, When Audrey Met Aliceis one of my absolute favorite reads this year). We did three author events together and ate a whole lot of very healthy food. Here are some pics!

Texas is known for having amazing barbecue, and we made sure to eat as much of it as possible. The first stop was Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrisket, enormous beef rib, and pork belly sausage. A delicious start to the trip.
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Ice cream break! (Texas is HOT.) Austin’s Lick is known for having interesting, locally-sourced flavors.
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My favorite Lick flavor? Caramelized Carrot with Tarragon. Pretty sure it was my first time eating tarragon in ice cream. It was surprisingly fantastic. Hill Country Honey ran a close second.
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On to Dallas, where a big blue eye greeted us.
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Pecan Lodge is Dallas’s top BBQ joint, and probably our favorite of the trip. Gladys would have given the brisket, burnt ends, and collard greens all four stars. (Peach cobbler was just okay–maybe 2.5 stars.)
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Pecan Lodge also lets you doodle on the bathroom door. 🙂 I left a little mark commemorating our books and bbq tour.
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Our first book event was the Author Roundup at the Fort Worth Library. They set us each up with our own little station!
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Here’s Rebecca, looking adorable in her racecar dress (printed with just the type of car that Alice Roosevelt used to drive).
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Our fellow OneFour Kidlit debut author Christine Kohler drove all the way in from West Texas just to see us. Her debut YA novel, No Surrender Soldier, is fantastic.2014-08-16 13.16.45We also got to meet 2015 debut author Jenny Martin, whose YA novel is called Tracked. Here we are making a Jenny sandwich and showing off our All Four Stars temporary tattoos.
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One of the library’s copies of All Four Stars on the display table. This was my first time seeing the book jacketed in library plastic–a very exciting moment!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Jenny’s suggestion, we headed to Roanoke, TX, for dinner: “The Unique Dining Capital of Texas.” It is an extremely cute small town packed with restaurants.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Butterfly interlude!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And now back to food. After a whole lot of meat from Hard Eight BBQ, we stumbled over to the Oak Street Pie Company.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Raspberry-rhubarb pie. Quite possibly the best slice of pie I’ve had in my life. Rebecca said that her cherry pie was also some of the best pie she’d ever had. Looks like Classy Cakes has some competition in North Texas!PieMooooving on (heh heh) to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards…
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Where we got to see some lovely longhorns.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen on to Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere we ate some lovely longhorns. Tasty brisket, plus sausage from the famous Kreuz Market.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFueled up on meat, it was on to Fort Worth’s Barnes & Noble for our next author event, where we teamed up with the wonderful Texas authors Polly Holyoke and K.A. Holt.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPanel time! We talked about writing convincing settings, our long paths to publication, and lots of other good stuff. 
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The next day found us back in Austin, seeking yet more barbecue. We ended up at John Mueller’s, where we had some delicious brisket (noticing a trend?), pork ribs, and cheesy squash. Thanks to Rebecca for snapping this pic of me and the mister.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a very interesting visit to the LBJ presidential library, we headed up to Round Rock for our final author event. But first, there was time to seek out the famous round rock itself!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere we are at The Book Spot with our fellow MG panelists Nikki Loftin, K.A. Holt, and Jennifer Ziegler. It was a fantastic panel, culminating in a fun trivia session with prizes.
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The trend of wonderful people traveling a long way to see us continued! Here I am signing a book for my friend Linda, who came all the way from Houston for the event.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bookstore was awesome and got cakes for the party. They asked for one cake that said “Happy End of Summer” and one that had a unicorn on it. This is what the bakery delivered. #oopsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2015 debut author (and my fellow Emu!) Donna Bowman Bratton joined us for a post-panel Tex-Mex dinner. While it was hard to eat a meal that contained no BBQ, we did our best to power through.
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Texas was a blast–and I’m not just talking about the blast of furnace-like air that hits you every time you step outside in August. (Seriously, it was 100 degree every single day we were there.) Thank you so much to our fabulous co-panelists, the amazing booksellers and librarians who invited us in for events, the hard-working bbq pitmasters and dessert artisans who swelled our waistlines, and the friends who made us feel so very welcome. Can’t wait for next time!

P.S. If you are looking for a signed copy of All Four Stars, The Book Spot in Round Rock and the Barnes & Noble in Fort Worth each have a stash of them now. Happy reading!

Upcoming events in Texas, Denver, and NY!

Hi, friends!

I’ve been so busy since the launch of All Four Stars that I haven’t been doing a great job of keeping this blog updated. I’ve been doing a slightly better job on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so do feel free to follow me in those places if you’re wanting up-to-the-minute news and pictures from my exciting authorly existence. 🙂

Or, better yet, come out and meet me in person. I have several events coming up, and you can find all of the info on my events page!

In brief, color-coded fashion: I’ll be in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas doing panels with other awesome middle-grade authors (Rebecca Behrens, Polly Holyoke, K.A. Holt, Jennifer Ziegler, and Nikki Loftin!) from August 16-18; in Denver at BookBar with Jessica Lawson and Lauren Magaziner on August 24; and at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY (that’s in Westchester) with Rebecca Behrens, Lauren Magaziner, Laura Marx Fitzgerald, and Michelle Schusterman on October 20. I would love to see you at one of these events!

Speaking of events, I had two fantastic launch parties in July for All Four Stars: One at Books of Wonder in NYC, and one at Boulder Book Store in Boulder, CO. What a joy it was to share my book’s publication with so many family members and friends!

I’ll leave you now with a shot of All Four Stars, sitting pretty in the #3 bestseller spot at Boulder Book Store this week. Long may you reign, Gladys! 🙂

Boulder Books bestseller

My very first author event

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the great good fortune this past weekend of participating in the first-ever Longmont Public Library Teen Author Night, which culminated the weeklong Longmont Library Festival.

It also happened to be my first-ever official author event, and the organizers were kind enough to include me even though my first book won’t be published until July. Luckily, the panel also included the fabulous local MG & YA authors Jeannie MobleyMelanie CrowderJenny Goebel, and Todd Mitchell, so the panel’s attendees were not starved for wisdom and advice from actual published authors.

And oh, those attendees! The library did an absolutely incredible job bringing in teens and tweens, and there were more than 60 kids in the audience. Check out how deep that room goes!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We took questions from the audience for an hour, and it was amazing how quickly the time passed. (Left to right: Melanie, me, Todd, Jenny, Jeannie)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s my turn at the mike! What am I saying? Possibly telling the kids that I was working on my first book before some of them were born. That line got some gasps and a few laughs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Even better than the formal panel was the Q&A time after, when the teens were able to just come over and chat with us. They asked such fantastic questions, ranging from “What do you do when you have writers’ block?” to “Should I study creative writing in college if I want to be an author?” Longmont Library Teen NightOverall, it was an incredible event, and a very useful testing of the waters for me as a presenter. Special thanks to Jeannie Mobley (whose gorgeous first novel, Katerina’s Wish, you’ve heard me kvell about repeatedly on this blog) for roping me in. I hope to return to Longmont for more events in the future!

 

 

Author panel tomorrow!

Colorado is for writersHello, folks! If you’re in Colorado and are free tomorrow night (4/12), I’ll be on a teen author panel at the Longmont Public Library at 7pm along with fellow fabulous local authors Jeannie Mobley, Melanie Crowder, Jenny Goebel, and Todd Mitchell. There will be pizza, too!

Hoping to meet lots of teens and tweens and talk about writing and books in my very first official event as an author. 🙂

Here’s the flyer–click for larger version. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Longmont Library flyer