Writing is such a solitary thing. So of course I jumped at the chance last weekend to join my fellow 2k9ers in New York for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators winter conference. Where else could you rub shoulders with (or just plain stalk) the likes of Richard Peck, Jack Gantos, Bruce Hale, and Jay Asher? So far no one has a restraining order against me, so I'm hoping I'm safe.
Here I am with Bruce Hale. (Obviously, Judy Blume hadn't yet told him about the time back in the nineties when I stalked her in Cape Cod...notice he doesn't even look afraid...)
On the other hand, this picture with Jack Gantos is a little blurry--possibly because Judy could have just sent him a text message and he may have been trying to break free....
But the very best part of the conference had to be connecting with my fellow 2k9
friends (www.classof2k9.com). We are the 2nd generation of Greg Fishbone's 2k7 group and are 22 middle grade and young adult authors that all have new fiction coming out this year. Since we started as an online group, we hadn't had a lot of face-to-face contact. We realized we had come to think of each other as the person or image on our book covers! Anyway, we had a lot of catching up to do, so we chose to forgo the sleep and cram in as much together time as possible.
*Clockwise from left, Danielle Joseph (SHRINKING VIOLET), me (ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER), Fran Cannon Slayton (WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS), and New York Public Library children's librarian and Fuse #8's Elizabeth Bird at the SCBWI Kidlit post-party (hosted by Elizabeth Bird)
**From left, me, CWIM editor, Alice Pope, and fellow 2k9er, Sydney Salter (MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS)
Fran and I with our 2k7 cousin, Jay Asher (13 REASONS WHY)
***In back: Ellen Hopkins (CRANK), Sydney, Danielle
Front: Suzanne Morgan Williams (BULL RIDER), Fran, me
Had the nice men with the security badges not appeared, I might still be there...but they were kind enough to show me the way back to the train. Besides, I really needed to get home to do some writing and get a little sleep...