15th Anniversary of the Texas Book Festival

This past weekend was the 15th Anniversary of the Texas Book Festival at the state capital and surrounding streets in Austin. Thank you to the staff, volunteers, authors, booksellers, exhibitors, Penguin Young Readers, and everyone who turned out to celebrate books!

Attendance was up this year! I attended sessions where latecomers were turned away due to fire-code restrictions.

Here’s P.J. Hoover with Ann Angel, author of Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing (Amulet, 2010). Ann is one of my former writing students; I worked with her during a post-grad semester in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. P.J. is the Austin-based author of The Necropolis (CBAY, 2010)–new in stores!

This weekend I met Austin debut author James Crowley for the first time. James is the author of Starfish: A Novel (Hyperion, 2010).

Laurie Halse Anderson at her signing. I heard more than one star-struck person say how much they admire Laurie and how really pleased they were to discover that she’s every bit as thoughtful and genuine in person as they imagined her to be.

Austin’s own Brian Yansky with Newbery Honor author Ingrid Law. I loved Brian’s T-shirt tie-in to his novel Alien Invasions (and Other Inconveniences) (Candlewick, 2010) and found myself touched by Ingrid’s devotion to getting her settings just right. Her latest book is Scumble (Dial, 2010).

In the exhibitor tent, author-illustrator Emma J. Virjan shows off Nacho the Party Puppy (Random House, 2009).

I enjoyed chatting with Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier in the “green room” tent.

Author-illustrator Frances Yansky and author Cinda Williams Chima. Cinda’s newest book is The Exiled Queen (A Seven Realms Novel) (Hyperion, 2010).

Author Greg Leitich Smith moderated a panel, “Portals to Imagined Worlds” with Carolyn Cohagan, Ingrid, Brian, and Cinda. Carolyn is the debut author of The Lost Children (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Texas author Tim Tingle talks about Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness Into Light, illustrated by Karen Clarkson (Cinco Puntos, 2010).

Authors M.T. Anderson and Liz Garton Scanlon looking a little spooky with the back lighting.

Other highlights included driving Andrea Cremer and Heather Brewer to the children’s-YA author party at the home of literary director Clay Smith and sharing some guacamole after the Sunday programs at the Roaring Fork with Greg, M.T. Anderson, Varian Johnson, April Lurie, Jennifer Ziegler, Matt de la Pena, and Amy Rose Capetta.

In addition, I heard Deborah Noyes speak on her novel (for grown-ups), Captivity (Unbridled Books, 2010).

I participated in the children’s tent, reading Holler Loudly, illustrated by Barry Gott (Dutton, 2010). Huge thanks to Hildi Nicksic’s third grade class from River Place Elementary for the wonderful introduction!

Thanks also to everyone who attended my signing! I was honored and thrilled that Holler Loudly sold out in the children’s signing tent–more money for Texas libraries! Hooray!