Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Deconstructing ALA Chicago

Just got home from ALA Chicago yesterday afternoon. All the bags and books and suitcases are still flopped down by the door we brought them in. It was a wild ride. A lot of fun. Just collecting thoughts and getting back into some routine again today.

Julie and I live only about an hour's drive north of Chicago, but we stayed at the place of some very generous friends over the weekend (thank you GENEROUS friends!). This saved us lots of time and headaches with driving back/forth. This also served as our first trial-run of traveling with Romy and having her sleep and live in a place that's not our home. It went off without a hitch! Thanks to Romy for being such an awesome baby!

Anyhow, as reported in an earlier blog post, I did a signing, Julie did a signing. Julie had a nice dinner with lots of librarians, lots of friends from Feiwel and Friends, and another YA author, Andrew Smith. Julie, Andrew, and myself also partied it up with a boatload of bloggers and various Macmillan personnel the following eve at the "Macmillan Suite", Omni Hotel. Yes.

My signing was mostly to plug good ol' MIGHTY CASEY (where, incidentally, I was given a cryptic James Preller message regarding cupcakes. New friend Travis Jonker-- capt. of the great kidlit blog 100 scope notes--was the deliverer of said message. My ol' pal Preller. His way of keeping me company at the signing.) Anyhow... the signing was awesome, and I unloaded, signed, and sketched in a good number of books. I was also able to unload a nice stack of TROUBLE GUM f+g's to the interested masses. 500 packs of Feiwel-produced TROUBLE GUM bubble gum were brought to the conference, and every last one was snatched up! Thanks to all who stopped by and said hi, or bought books, chatted, etc.

The blogger bash was later that eve. A very nice group of people. Travis turned up there too, along with ol' pal Esme Raji Codell, Esther Hershenhorn, Betsy Bird, Karen Romano Young... many more. These are just some of the people I talked to. Romy was the life of the party. She seemed to warm up to new pal, Andrew Smith the most. I mean, she let him hold her without totally freaking out. Sadly, we forgot to bring the camera to this event and came back with no pics. Dang.

Julie's signing was the next day. Also a very sweet success. Somewhere around all of these happenings, we managed to bounce around the exhibits floor and pick up books from some of our favorite kid book creators. Romy, strapped to Julie's chest, was front and center for the action.

Anyways... yeah. The weekend was a great time. Now, here are 19 pics to illustrate...

My signing is underway. That's Liz Szabla in the background, editor extraordinaire and pal. What a great smile!

Here I am signing a copy of MIGHTY CASEY for a special someone (not pictured).

I also signed a fat stack of F+G's of my forthcoming, TROUBLE GUM. Note the bin in front with the great F+F-created TROUBLE GUM bubble gum boxes. They were nearly gone at this point.

Uri Shulevitz was signing copies of HOW I LEARNED GEOGRAPHY next door at Roaring Brook. Same time as my signing (guess which line was bigger). Afterwards, he stopped by to talk to Jean Feiwel. I nabbed him so I could get a picture of him with Julie and Romy. A genuinely sweet guy.

Here's the great Jean Feiwel talking with Julie and Romy. Romy is reaching for something, no doubt, to try and eat it.

Here I am with good ol' pal, Jeff Newman. Jeff is a talented author/illustrator who lives up in Milwaukee. And he's tall!

Jeff met Julie and Romy for the first time. Later, Romy showed Jeff her famous spit-up-down-Mom's-arm routine.

Here I am changing a diaper on the conference floor. You know how we do.

Julie at her signing. Romy was a great cheerleader.

An old friend we hadn't seen in years, Liz Mason (manager of Chicago's greatest comic shop, Quimby's), turned up at Julie's signing. It was such a great surprise.

A very happy trio.

Lovely Julie. Lovely Romy. Mo Willems.

Our new pal, Feiwel and Friends novelist, Andrew Smith. He gives good, warm, fatherly vibe.

Kicking back at a display of original art being raffled off to conference attendees. One of which is mine, from TROUBLE GUM. I'm actually lumped in with Uri Shulevitz, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Peter McCarty, and Danica Novgorodoff!

One more for posterity.

Julie and Romy pose with talented pic book author/illustrator, Peter Brown.

ALA pal, Nina Hess signs at Wizards of the Coast booth, her Practical Guide to Monsters. You should've seen the line she had! Nice, Nina.

Julie and Feiwel and Friends friend, Ksenia Winnicki. I learned that she actually had a part in production of one of my previous books, RIGHTY AND LEFTY.

In our final hours at the conference, Julie and I did a double-header signing. Well, triple header. Check out that scrumptious Romy smile!

And... That's it for another ALA conference.

Next stop... San Diego Comic-con! Yeah!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Looks like fun was had by all. I can't wait to see the new book.