Houston Highlights: Blue Willow & Pasadena Schools

Huge thanks to Cathy, children’s-YA specialist and events coordinator at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, for hosting me this week to visit the store and Pasadena schools. Thanks also to Candlewick Press—especially Tracy—for sponsoring/facilitating my trip. Here’s a peek at my adventures!

First up, Pasadena High School, where I had breakfast with students and then spoke formally to a larger group. Special thanks and cheers to Emily Farmer and Ann Caesar of Pasadena ISD!

It was Superhero Day at the school.
The students had lots of questions about Diabolical (Jan. ’12)
I had a kolache for breakfast.
Students settling in for the presentation.

Then we were off to Pasadena Memorial High School, where I had a spooktacular Sanguini’s style lunch with a small group and, again, spoke more formally to a larger group. Special thanks and cheers to Adrianna Rabile and Jennifer Brabston of Pasadena ISD!

Lunch featured Gothic-themed decorations.
Lasagna, bread, and salad were served.
The small group begins to settle in for lunch.

I really loved the story tie-in decorations. So awesome!
It was such an honor to see Tantalize series images brought to life!
Both events included signings and giveaways.

Having professional librarians—inspiring, ready with reading recs, managing and re-imagining a teen-friendly environment—makes all the difference when it comes to author programming.

I talked to so many teens who’re writers themselves and, because they were so well prepared, I had the opportunity to go deeper in talking about the craft of fiction and the conversation of books over time. I greatly appreciated the enthusiasm, respect, and thoughtful questions/comments of students at both schools. Pasadena teen readers: color me your forever fan!

Later that evening, I spoke and signed books at Blue Willow Book Shop. Here, the crowd is still coming in, but the seats quickly filled. I was so incredibly touched by the support of the local children’s-YA writing and literature community. (Look for kidlit celebrities among the early arrivals.)

Authors, librarians, bloggers, readers and of course booksellers—I appreciate you!

Blue Willow Book Shop is such a fantastic independent bookstore—to work with, to visit, for discovering books and connecting with book lovers. I give it my highest recommendation!

Thanks again and again to Valerie, Cathy and the whole Blue Willow crew!

And finally, big hugs to SCBWI-Houston and Literary Lonestars (Jen Bigheart!) for helping to get the word out about my event!

Cynsational Notes

Blue Willow Book Shop has author-signed stock of books in the Tantalize series! Shop online or call 281.497.8675 to order!

A more personal highlight of the trip was dinner at author pal Varsha Baja‘s home. Above, she models her latest book, T is for Taj Mahal, illustrated by Robert Crawford (Sleeping Bear, 2011). Note: she’s not only a wonderful writer—she’s a terrific cook, too!

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