Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Boston Globe Article (and more!)

It's been press, press, and more press this past week in Sarah-land...

Boston Globe

Look Ma, I'm in the Boston Globe!!! An article about me and Into the Wild appeared on the front page of the Globe West section of last Thursday's Boston Globe (Globe West edition). Wowza! And it includes a picture of me in front of the Agway Rooster, a landmark in my hometown which get
s transformed into the witch's house in my book. So cool! I've been doing cartwheels about this for the past few days. (Well, not really, since I've never been able to do cartwheels and I'm pretty sure I'd hurt myself if I tried... But you know what I mean.) Click here to check out the online version of the article. And since the online version (sadly) does not include the rooster picture, here it is:

Rooster and Me


Amazingly, Friday brought even more press. John Joseph Adams wrote an article about me and my book which appeared on SCI FI Channel's SCI FI Wire news service. SCI FI Wire is an awesome source of info about all things science fiction and fantasy. I've been reading it for years, so this was a huge rush for me. Check out the article here.

Northborough-Southborough Villager

To top it all off, I just found out that yet another article about Into the Wild graces the front page of the current issue of the Northborough-Southborough Villager. This is the local paper in the town where I grew up and where Into the Wild is set. And there's an online version. Click here to check it out.

After years and years of total obscurity, of never talking about my writing to anyone, this media coverage feels very surreal to me. First the article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette which came out a few weeks ago (and which I blogged about here) and now these three. It's simply too much for my brain to process. I just hope that this helps people find their way to my book and that the book brings them some joy when they find it.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Emma Clark Library

The next stop on my book-a-paloosa tour is a local one, a very local one. My local library! The Emma S. Clark Memorial Library in Setauket, NY. And I'm a very lucky Sarah, because my local library totally rocks. It's a gorgeous place and they have an amazing Children's and Young Adult collection. I've been a regular ever since I moved to the area. And this Thursday night, I get to give a talk there about writing, getting published, and Into the Wild. (See event description on page three of the library's summer newsletter.) Here's the key info:

Emma S. Clark Memorial Library
120 Main Street, Setauket, NY

If you're my neighbor, or will be in the Stony Brook / Setauket area of Long Island this Thursday, please drop by. Should be a fun night. And I'm loving my commute for this event!

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Pandemonium Books Trip Report

Pandemonium Books is a bookstore that specializes in science fiction and fantasy books. It has pretty much every book in the genre that exists (plus a few that were brought in by time-travelers and interdimensional beings). Great place for seeing what's new, old, and in-between in the genre. Also, a great place for getting recommendations, since Tyler Stewart and his staff are all very nice and very knowledgeable.

When I lived near Boston, I used to stop there at least once a week. Even after I moved to Connecticut and then New York, I used to stop there every time I came back to visit -- my brother and I used to meet there before heading out to our usual Sarah-is-in-town-so-let's-eat dinner.

I also used to attend author signings there, and every time I went to one, I'd think, "When I'm published, I'll do a signing at Pandemonium."

And last Friday, I got to do exactly that! Here's photographic proof:

It went GREAT! Despite the ridiculous Massachusetts heat (to quote "Biloxi Blues": it was hot, Africa hot, Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot...), people came, and I had a fabulous time. I did a reading, and signed copies of Into the Wild, and loved every second of it.

And so concluded my fourth trip to Massachusetts this month! And now I'm home, and writing, which is where a Sarah is meant to be.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pandemonium, Podcast, Interviews, and Reviews

Pandemonium Books

The weekend approaches, and you know what that means... Yep, I'm headed back to Massachusetts! Again. Fourth trip this month! This time, I'm going to Boston (or, more accurately, Cambridge) to do a reading/signing at Pandemonium Books in Central Square. Pandemonium is an amazing bookstore that specializes in fantasy and science fiction. I lived in Cambridge for five years after college. And while I did, I spent lots of time perusing the shelves at Pandemonium, and more often than not, buying more books than I could afford. It's such a rush to be able to go back and do a book event there and know that INTO THE WILD will be on those shelves. I know I say this a lot, but I'm really excited. Here's the info:

FRIDAY, JULY 27 at 6pm
Pandemonium Books
4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA (in Central Square)

If you'll be in the Boston area this Friday, stop by and say hi!


A week or so ago, I recorded my first podcast! I was interviewed by Shaun Farrell for Adventures in SciFi Publishing. I was soooo worried that I'd say something stupid or forget my name or cluck like a chicken, but Shaun was really great, and I think it went well.

It's now live, so you can be the judge. Click here to listen. My interview occupies the middle third of the episode.


Also this past week, two more interviews with yours truly graced the pages of the world wide web. Check 'em out:

Interview on YA (& Kids) Books Central by Alyssa Feller

Interview on Projecting A by April Erwin

Lots of great questions from both interviewers.


And lastly, INTO THE WILD got some more nice reviews this week via the blogosphere:

"So, in case I hadn't mentioned it yet, Into the Wild just plain rocks. Like the best books for young readers, it works on many levels. It's fun and the characters are believable and engaging. It's also very original. As much as I love retold fairy tales, this isn't one of them. This is fairy tale land completely re-imagined - but with a great number of familiar characters. On top of all that you get all the nice layers that make for the kinds of "oh. oh! OH!" moments that come only when you re-read at age sixteen the book you loved at age eleven. It's one of those books that's both enjoyable and easy to read, but still makes you want to pick it apart into tiny pieces and then put in back together again." -- The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller (Read full review)

"Once upon a time, fairy tale characters were the prisoners of a being called The Wild... Fans of the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen will enjoy this book, which references tales popular and obscure. It is the most recent of many young adult novels based on fairy tales, and is one of the best and least predictable." -- The Places You Will Go (Read full review)

"The cleverness of both Durst's story telling and her character Julie's actions, is in their breadth of knowledge about fairy tales. They know them all, and use each one to maximum impact." -- Projecting A (Read full review)

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Harry Potter Night at Eight Cousins (Trip Report)

Last Friday night, I talked to dozens of wizards, Death Eaters, and dementors. (Okay, some of the dementors didn't talk much, but you know how they are. Too busy soul-sucking for ordinary pleasa
ntries.) I was the guest author at Harry Potter Night at Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and it was very cool.

This was no ordinary Harry Potter party. The whole street got in on the act as Main Street was transformed into Diagon Alley, with each store assuming the identity of its Potterian equivalent. Tons of kids (and adults) dressed up in costume. There was a parade. And a scavenger hunt. An
d quidditch matches! And I got to park myself right in the middle of it and try to talk people into buying a second (much more purple) book that night. Here's a photo of me at the event:

My secret weapon for drawing in the crowds: a big bowl of candy that I kept filled to the brim! (It's obscured from view in the photo by a girl who's perusing the candy selection.) I refilled that bowl at least five times. Apparently, wizards like candy. A lot.

Eight Cousins is a fabulous bookstore, and I had a wonderful time. I may not have sold as many books as JK that night, but I sold out the bookstore's stock and had a lot of fun doing it. And, of course, I picked up my very own copy of HP7!

(For those of you who are wondering, the safety-pin/bobby-pin method actually worked! The hat stayed on my head the entire night. Whoo-hoo!)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Eight Cousins and Harry Potter

This Friday, I will be reading from and signing copies of INTO THE WILD at Eight Cousins, a children's bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, as part of their Harry Potter Night festivities. Here are the details:

FRIDAY JULY 20 at 9pm
Eight Cousins Bookstore
189 Main Street, Falmouth, MA

The bookstore owner suggested that I come in costume. Ah-ha, I thought, a perfect time to try on my gorilla suit!

Did you know there's a National Gorilla Suit Day? Google told me there was, so it must be true. It's on January 31st. Anyway, I quickly realized that the costume is supposed to be at least loosely connected to either my book or Harry Potter 7, and to the best of my knowledge, there's no gorilla in either. (Or is there??? According to the HP7 spoilers I've read on Maureen Johnson's blog, JK made some surprising choices in writing HP7. Apparently, Rowling lost interest in Harry and elected to leave him out of the final novel altogether!)

So... my costume... To be honest, I kind of panicked about this for a little while. Coming up with costumes is not my forte. (Click here to read my blog post about Halloween, the most stressful of holidays.) But I think I'm almost all set now. I have borrowed a witch's hat from my mother-in-law (no joke intended) and a British academic robe from my husband, and I plan to drape a garland of fake ivy around my neck -- kind of a Harry-Potter-meets-the-Wild sort of theme.

Only problem is that I'm not exactly sure how to affix the witch's hat to my head. My hair is a bit, shall we say, fluffy. Hats tend to pop off my head as if my hair were spring-loaded. There isn't a clear place to use bobby pins on the hat either. So I'm thinking some sort of safety-pin-and-bobby-pin arrangement. Anyone have any better ideas? Nothing involving glue or staple-guns, please. Also, when people ask what I'm dressed as, what should I say?

Anyway, if you're in Cape Cod this weekend, I hope you'll swing by Eight Cousins on Friday night and say hi! Should be a fun party. Harry. Me. What more could you ask for?

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Holy flash-floods, Batman! It's pouring like crazy here. I'm off to build an ark...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Worcester Barnes and Noble Trip Report

On Saturday (July 14, 2007), I had a perfect day. Absolutely perfect! It was one of those days that you wish you could bottle up and relive again and again. Right now, when I close my eyes, I see pink and purple balloons, and I smell roses.

I read from and signed copies of Into the Wild at the Barnes & Noble in Worcester, Massachusetts (near where I grew up and where Into the Wild is set). I LOVE this bookstore. Here's why:


Look at that! Do you see that? Pink and purple balloons to match the cover art of Into the Wild! Tons of copies of Into the Wild! Flowers! A giant poster of the cover art of Into the Wild with clippings from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette article about my book! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Snoopy Dance of Joy!

I love, love, love the staff of this bookstore. Lori (the events coordinator) is my new hero. She and the other booksellers did s
uch a spectacular job with this event. They were all so friendly and organized and awesome. And Lori bought me those flowers. How sweet is that?

Okay, must settle down and relate this in a coherent fashion:

2:15pm (Dad-time) - Leave my dad's house to go to the bookstore. Realize in the car that it's actually 2:05 and all the clocks in my dad's house are set ten minutes fast...

2:15pm (actual time) - Arrive at bookstore. Consider sitting in car in parking lot since it's so ridiculously early. Decide that's s
illy and go inside.

2:16pm - Enter bookstore and approach Customer Service desk. A bookseller asks if she can help me. I begin to say my name, and she says, "Oh, you're the author!" I resist the urge to look over my shoulder and see who she's talking about.

2:17pm - She ushers me into the back room at Barnes & Noble. This is cool. I've never been in the back room of a bookstore before. This is where they keep all the good stuff: solid gold bookmarks, reading lights made exclusively of fireflies, early manuscripts of Harry Potter 8 (Hermione's
Story)... Okay, maybe not, but they do have props for the upcoming Harry Potter party, and I do get to meet several wonderful booksellers, including Kristina who has been telling customers about my book and put Into the Wild on their "staff recommendation" shelf. Yay, Kristina!


2:30pm - Lori the Awesome Events Coordinator arrives with flowers for me. She puts them in a vase and then takes me out to the children's section of the bookstore, where I'll be reading and signing. At one end of the children's section, there's a small stage like a dais in a throne room with a table and chair. On the left side, there's a giant poster of my cov
er art. On the right side, there's a tall rack filled (!!!) with copies of Into the Wild. Purple and pink balloons are tied to it. I am momentarily freaked out by the sheer number of copies. But in front of the dais, a young girl already sits in one of the chairs with a copy of Into the Wild on her lap. She's an hour early. And she has Into the Wild on her lap. And she's wearing purple, matching the cover art. I want to skip around the store shouting, "Wheee! Yay! Whoo-pee!" I decide that would be a tad unprofessional.


2:45pm - Lori takes me to meet the TV people. A crew from WCCA TV 13 is there from their "Young Views Real News" show. I've never been filmed for TV before, so I'm totally nervous. Fiji, the interviewer, takes pity on me and lets me take a peek at her questions before we begin. Very nice of her. Alysha, the camerawoman, has the double duty of filming us and letting me know when I'm not speaking loudly enough. Lori and the producer Judy keep away random people who feel the urge to browse at books behind where we're filming. (Um, hello, camera? If you're going to walk into the shot, at least wave and say, "Hi, Mom!" Or hold up a sign: "Marry Me, Mr. Darcy!" Don't just keep talking about your cat's stomach ailments or whatever.) Anyway, they do, like, five takes of my intro, but after that, I relax and actually have fun. (The interview will be online after it airs on TV; I'll post the link here on my blog and on my website.)

3:15pm - We return to the children's section to find... people!!! I see my family, former neighbors from Northboro, beloved r
elatives whom I haven't seen in years... and I see strangers. Lots of them. Even better, lots of kids! Most of them came because of the article about me in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (which I found out was not only on the front of the People section with REALLY BIG photos of me reading at the Worcester Public Library, but also included a photo of me plus a blurb on the top of the very front page of the entire newspaper, next to the Telegram & Gazette masthead -- how cool is that?!?) or because they heard about the event through the bookstore and were curious.

3:30pm - Lori introduces me, and I look out at my beau
tiful, wonderful, magnificent crowd. All the chairs are filled. Several rows of people are standing in the back. There are even people standing in the wings behind the bookcases that frame the audience. And I realize that the bulk of the people are not related to me in any way. The vast majority just came because they thought the book sounded interesting. Wheee! Yay! Whoo-pee!


3:35pm - I begin to talk. First, I introduce myself. (You'd think this would be the easy part, but I swear I practiced saying my name for the whole ride up there. I mean, think about it: how bad would it be to mess that up? What if I'd accidentally said, "Hi, I'm Eoin Colfer." Or "Hi, I'm Madonna." Or "Hi, I'm Prince Charles." It would have totally changed the whole tone of the event.) Happily, I get my name right.

3:38pm - I start by reading the first scene from the novel. I love reading. It makes me feel like I'm flying. I love introducing people to Julie and Zel and the Wild...

3:44pm - I talk about how I became a writer. I tell people about the moment (at age ten) that I decided that this is what I want
to do for the rest of my life, about loving books so much that I need strict limit rules on the number of books I can take out of the library at a time, about how incredible it is to be reading from Julie's story only a few miles from where Julie's adventures take place. (The novel is set in my hometown, and I transform it into a fairy-tale kingdom.) I am loving every second of this. Loving, loving, loving! This is what I'm meant to do! This is who I'm meant to be!

3:53pm - Lori has set up a handheld microphone so that all the people in the back can hear me. I am tempted to tap dance on the dais and sing into the microphone, but instead I read chapter ten.

4:03pm - I nearly forget to do the Q&A. Luckily, Lori reminds me. I open the floor to questions. And hands go up. Lots of people from al
l over the audience ask good questions. Miraculously, my brain doesn't desert me (as it is wont to do in such situations -- seriously, if you ask me in front of an audience what my favorite books are, nine times out of time I will completely blank on all titles), and I totally love the whole interacting-with-audience thing.

4:10pm - Lori corrals the crowd into a line (a BIG line
), and I begin to sign with my lovely purple pen (chosen to match the cover art, as is my shirt -- um, a word on my shirt... I realize that I'm wearing this exact outfit in nearly every blog photo. I swear it's been washed! It's just how can I resist wearing it? It matches my cover!).

I have a line!

A loooong line!

In addition to my immediate relatives, the line also includes: former next-door neighbors from Northboro, a teacher from one of the Northboro elementary schools, a girl from Louisiana who happened to be in town, my high school English teacher, a mother and two boys who had heard me read at the Worcester Public Library, two young writers who are working on their own novels, and lots of other kids who love books and want to read mine...


...and more signing...

5:45pm - Someone jokes that my hand must be tired from
signing. It's not. I could sign forever. After the line is gone, I sign the remaining stock for the store. A small stack of remaining stock. The store has sold around 55 copies. Wheee! Yay! Whoo-pee!

6pm - Lori gives me the poster from the signing. I am so planning on framing it.

Me, Lori, and a much-less-full rack of books

6:15pm - Gather my belongings. Leave the microphone. Gather my family. And leave.

I loved every single millisecond of this day!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Upcoming B&N Event and NYPL Trip Report

Worcester Barnes & Noble

On Saturday, I will have my first Massachusetts bookstore event. I will be reading from and signing copies of INTO THE WILD at the Barnes & Noble in Worcester, Massachusetts. Here are the details:

SATURDAY JULY 14 at 3:30pm
Barnes & Noble - Worcester
Lincoln Plaza, 541 D Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA

I am really, really excited about this event because of the following bits of coolness:

Coolness factor #1: It's a solo reading, which means that if I want to sing an aria, no one can stop me (except for the fact that I don't know any arias and can't sing on-pitch anyway and will most likely set all the dogs in Worcester howling if I try... okay, no arias).

Coolness factor #2: It's in my hometown (or rea
lly close to it). I'm from a town called Northboro (just outside of Worcester), which just happens to be the setting for INTO THE WILD, which brings us to coolness factor #3...

Coolness factor #3: It's in Julie's hometown (or really close to it). In INTO THE WILD, real places are transformed into fairy-tale settings: Bancroft Tower, Higgins Armory Museum, the Northboro Public Library, the large rooster sign outside of Agway... I love the idea that I'm going to be reading from Julie's story less than a mile from where Julie rides a griffin.

And an extra special new coolness factor #4 that I j
ust learned about today: I'm going to be on TV!!! WCCA Channel 13, a local cable station, will be coming to Barnes & Noble to interview me at the event. Me, TV, hee-hee! Perhaps they would like me to sing an aria...

If you're in central Massachusetts this Saturday, hope to see you there!

Teen Author Reading Night (NYPL) Trip Report

Last night, I read from INTO THE WILD as part of the Teen Author Reading Night (orchestrated by author/editor-extraordinaire David Levit
han and uber-librarians Ann and Jack) at the Tompkins Square Branch of the New York Public Library. Also reading were P.E. Ryan, Robyn Schneider, Hobsen Brown, and Kieran Scott. Very, very fun. I really enjoyed hearing everyone's readings.

Plus I got to talk into a microphone. I think I'm developing a thing for microphones. They're cool. You feel kind of powerful using one. I'm not very good with them, though. I either forget the mic's there and move away from it, or I'm so intent on talking into it that I donk my teeth against it. And every time I use one, I have to fight the urge to sing. (See above comment
about arias and dogs for why that's a bad idea.)

Anyway, here are some pictures from the reading:

All Eyes on Me and my Microphone

Robyn and Me

Special thanks to Coe, Sean, Alyssa, Julie, Cathie, and everyone else who braved the rain to come!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Newspaper Article, NYPL Reading, and Recent Reviews

Lots of news to report today. Articles, readings, reviews, oh my!

Worcester Telegram & Gazette Article

On the ego-feeding front, there's an article about me and INTO THE WILD in today's issue of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the leading newspaper in the Massachusetts city near where I grew up and where INTO THE WILD is set. It's the cover story for the Entertainment section! And there's a lead-in blurb on the front page of the newspaper!!! I'm so excited about this.

Click here to check out the article.

Teen Author Reading Night

Tomorrow, I will be reading from INTO THE WILD as part of this month's Teen Author Reading Night. If you're interested, here are the details:

WEDNESDAY JULY 11, 2007 from 6-7:30pm
New York Public Library, Tompkins Square Branch
331 East 10th Street (near Avenue B), New York, NY

The line-up of authors is:

- Lauren Barnholdt (Two Way Street)
- Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne, and Caroline Says (The Upper Class)
- Sarah Beth Durst (Into the Wild)
- P.E. Ryan (Saints of Augustine)
- Robyn Schneider (The Social Climber's Guide to High School)
- Kieran Scott (A Non-Blonde Cheerleader in Love)

Hope to see you there!

Recent Reviews

A whole bunch of people have recently written reviews for INTO THE WILD. Here are some excerpts:

"The story of how Julie rescues her mother, and learns a little something extra about herself and her family, is beautifully told. The adventures are fast-paced and enthralling. The support characters are supportive (Julie's best friend, who valiantly blows her trumpet for hours to help Julie, and her "brother," Puss-in-Boots, are among the most memorable of these) and multi-dimensional. I highly recommend this book. My thoughts upon finishing it were, "Wow! I can't wait to read about Julie's next batch of adventures." I hope there will be a next batch of Julie adventures, because I like the characters, and I like Sarah's writing style." -- Faith Stencel, ChaucerianGirl (Read full review)

"I really enjoyed this book... It's modern, it's hip, and it's nostalgic. Who hasn't wanted to be the princess in a fairy tale? Who hasn't wanted their own Prince Charming? Sarah Beth Durst shows us the other side of the fairy tale coin. I look forward to any more works from her!" -- The Reading Zone (Read full review)

"Ever have a strange occurence where you've judged a book by its cover, and it turned out to be a wonderful book? That was what Into the Wild was like for me. I love the cover! I love how creative it is--and I especially like the walking cat. You don't see too many walking cats on book covers now, do you? And the book proved to be as interesting and thought provoking as its cover." -- Over My Head (Read full review)

"The author blends a variety of genres, and fairy tales in a intricate and engaging read... The novel, though entrenched in fantasy, offers up some very real messages and themes, and is so enjoyable, you'll hope the "ever after" never comes." -- Bri Meets Books (Read full review)

"INTO THE WILD is an entertaining read and an intriguing puzzle to crack." -- Alexis Burling, KidsReads (Read full review)

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Readercon Trip Report

Readercon was AWESOME. So awesome that I missed all but a single meal a day and nearly forgot to sleep on Saturday night. (This is unusual. I like sleeping and eating. Especially if it involves chocolate. Eating chocolate, I mean. But I digress.)

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about... Readercon is an annual fantasy and science fiction convention held outside of Boston that focuses exclusively on literature (in other words, no Stormtroopers were harmed in the making of this convention). I was a program participant and scheduled to appear on two panels, give a reading, sign autographs, and hold a kaffeeklatch (a "meet the author" hour). It's a small convention but extremely well-run.

OK, in no particular order, here are some of the things that made Readercon awesome:

The Name Badge. I LOVE having a participant badge. For Readercon, participants had an orange stripe at the top (other people had green or maybe it was blue -- I didn't even notice because I was far too enamored with my orange stripe). It's like wearing a sign that says, "Come talk to me!" Except if you actually wore such a sign, no one would really talk to you because you'd look like, well, totally crazy. Anyway, the orange stripe gave me the courage to talk with lots and lots of very awesome people.

Panels. I was on two panels at Readercon. I LOVE being on panels. I am the perky puppy of panels. I stare out into that audience and all I can think is, "People! Looking at me! Listening to me! Yay for people! I love people! You! I love you! I love you all!" I try very, very hard not to bounce up and down in my seat... which reminds me of the other cool thing about Readercon: instead of the normal chairs with a table in front of you, you have these comfy throne-like chairs, a coffee table, and microphones! It totally feels like you're on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton.

Me and Famous People Sitting in Comfy Chairs

Friday night, I was on a panel with Holly Black, Michael J. Daley, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Sharyn November, and Elizabeth Wein called "Young (and Very Young) Adult F&SF," in which I revealed that I began working toward publication at age ten after becoming increasingly concerned that I was double-digits and still lacked a career goal. And Sunday, I was on a panel with Steve Berman, Holly Black, Kelly Link, and Sharyn November called "After Rowling and Pullman," in which I revealed that I like fantasy books because I want to wake up one morning and discover I'm really the Princess of Unicorns.

Don't judge me.

Autographing Session. This was the very first convention where my book was sold in the Dealer's Room (yay!) and the very first convention where I had an autographing session (double-yay!). My autographing session was with Elizabeth Wein, a YA fantasy writer who is extremely nice and such a pleasure to talk with. Here's a photo of me at my signing with purple pen in hand. (You can't see the lovely orange stripe on my name badge because it's turned around, but I swear it's there.)

Me at my Autographing Session (photo courtesy of Ellen Datlow)

In terms of actual book sales in the aforementioned Dealer's Room... my books sold out twice, and the bookseller had to get more. This made me a very, very happy puppy. :)

Kaffeeklatsch. I had steeled myself for no one to show up to my kaffeeklatsch. After all, INTO THE WILD just came out. Who would come? I'd decided that if no one showed, I'd just call my husband on the cell phone so at least someone would talk to me. [sniff, sniff, whimper] But people came! Michael and Nomi Burstein, Ryan Freebern, and other awesome people who I'd just met that weekend... I had a full table! We even needed to pull over an extra chair. And we had a very cool conversation about fairy tales. The hour flew by.

Meet the Pros(e) Party and Mafia. On Friday night, Readercon holds an event called the "Meet the Pros(e) Party" where all the participating authors have a sheet of stickers with a single line from their novel or story written on it, and everyone else has a sheet of wax paper. You're supposed to go around and collect as many sentences as you can. I used the first sentence from INTO THE WILD: "In the darkness, the heart of the fairy tale waited..." Got to meet many awesome people. (Yes, "awesome" is my word of the day. Feel free to substitute in another superlative as you read if the redundancy bothers you.)

On Saturday night, I participated in a game called Mafia, in which a bunch of people are designated... okay, I'm not going to explain the rules here. Google it if you're interested. Anyway, it was entirely Nina Kiriki Hoffman's fault that I played. And Holly Black too. Since I'd never played before, they both felt it necessary to my full-convention experience. Peer pressure was used. But I've forgiven them since it was fun and I met many (yes, the word is coming again) awesome people.

Lots of Awesome People. The person with whom I spent the most time at the convention was Holly Black. She pretty much defines awesome -- fun, smart, sweet. I'm very happy that I got to spend time with her. I also got to chat for a bit with Wen Spencer, author of the very cool TINKER books. I met her at a Boskone a number of years ago, and she's really great. Also talked several times with Victoria McManus, Laura Anne Gilman, Jim Freund -- all super-nice and super-fabulous people. And Steve Berman, who is both sweet and hilarious.

Holly and Me

I am not even going to attempt to mention everyone who I talked to. Emboldened by the orange stripe on my name badge, I pretty much talked with anyone who was foolish enough to meet my eyes, including a few who weren't even connected to the convention but were merely unlucky enough to step into the elevator with me. Except the clown. I did not talk with the man dressed as a clown in the elevator. Clowns in elevators kind of freak me out.

Anyway, if I met you at Readercon... so great to meet you! You're awesome!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007


Happy (day after the) 4th of July! Hope you all had a wonderful day filled with lots of family, hamburgers (or veggie-burgers), and fireworks. I had the first two but missed the third. I got together with relatives, ate a LOT of food, and then came home and did laundry (because that's how cool and exciting I am). Seriously, though, the laundry was VERY necessary. While I can convince myself that socks are okay to wear two days (not in a row, of course -- that would be gross; you need to air those puppies out) at home, I don't feel comfortable sporting twice-or-thrice-worn socks at public events. And tomorrow, I'm off to a public event.

Tomorrow through Sunday (July 6-8), I will be attending Readercon. To quote the Readercon website, "Readercon is, depending on your point of view, either an annual literary conference (except it's infinitely more fun than that) or an annual science fiction convention (except we've stripped away virtually everything except talking about and buying books)." It's held in Burlington, MA, at the Boston Marriott Burlington, and I will be one of the program participants. Yay!

I've been to a bazillion cons over the years, but this will be the very first one where copies of my book will be sold!!!

Here's my schedule:

* Panel - Fri. July 6, 7pm - Holly Black, Michael J. Daley, Sarah Beth Durst, Sharyn November, Elizabeth Wein - "Young (and Very Young) Adult F&SF"

* Reading - Fri. July 6, 9:30pm - Sarah Beth Durst

* Autographing - Sat. July 7, 1pm - Sarah Beth Durst

* Kaffeeklatsch - Sat. July 7, 2pm - Sarah Beth Durst

* Panel - Sun. July 8, 12pm - Steve Berman, Holly Black, Sarah Beth Durst, Kelly Link, Sharyn November - "After Rowling and Pullman"

I will also be attending the Meet the Pros(e) Party on Friday night.

Isn't that a cool schedule? Look at those people on the panels with me! I really, really hope I don't sound like an idiot next to them. Also, this will be my very first autographing session at a convention. Hee-hee! And I get to do a kaffeeklatsch. (A kaffeeklatsch is basically a meet-the-author hour. Up to ten or so con attendees can sign up to hang out with an author and talk about whatever. If you're at Readercon, come hang out with me! I promise not to talk about my laundry.) And I have a 30-minute reading! For my reading, I am planning on doing a never-before-read-outloud-except-to-my-cat scene. My cat didn't bite me while I read it, so I think that's a good sign.

Hope to see you at Readercon!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Into the Wild in the wild


There have been sightings!!!

INTO THE WILD is out in the wild! Here's a photo from North Carolina (thanks, Val!):

Into the Wild in North Carolina

And here's a photo from Texas (thanks, Casie!):

Into the Wild in Dallas

If you spot Into the Wild and have a camera handy, please take a picture and email it to me! I'd love to see more photos of my shiny, purple darling out there in the big, big world.

Book Ninjas Extraordinaire

I have a big box of promotional bookmarks on my desk that I'd like to distribute to bookstores and libraries, so they can offer them to customers. If you would be willing to drop some off at your local bookstore or library and ask if they'd be willing to make them available, please email me your mailing address and I'll be very happy to send you a stack. Doing so will earn my eternal gratitude as well as the honorary title of Book Ninja Extraordinaire!

Ninja Outfit Not Included

Thanks so much to everyone who has already offered to help me out with this. You guys are awesome. I'll start sending out bookmarks next week...

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