Austin TLA Recap (just a month late...)

Hey yall,
I've been so crazy-busy I haven't had a chance to tell you about my trip to Austin last month (for the Texas Library Association Conference), so now that I've gotten a chance to catch my breath from all the traveling, here goes!

Author buddies David Levithan, James Dashner, Lauren Myracle, Carrie Ryan, and me after a fun BBQ dinner (there were lots of those in the heart of BBQ land!)...

My new editor-- Francoise Bui! The editor I  had for my first six books- Stephanie Lane Elliott-- had a beautiful baby last fall and made a career change, so Delacorte connected me with my new editor, Francoise, who I like very much and who's editing The Jade Notebook with me. (She's in the middle of this pic-- I wish I'd gotten a good one of the two of us together!)

Cool paper mache guitar centerpieces... I think that Texas teens made them for us! Lots of music, art, and tattoos in Austin, I noticed (and BBQ).

And lots of amazing librarians!! Like my fun dinner companions...

Always exciting to hang out with authors I admire... James Dashner is the author of The Maze Runner series-- incredible speculative fiction-- and he's an exceedingly nice guy, I discovered. And we're both interested in parallel universes and the like...

Here are some more great librarian at the signing I did for Star in Forest-- loved their enthusiasm!  I have to say that Texas librarians just *exude* enthusiasm-- it was a real joy talking with them all.

At the Random House dinner... more friends, new and old, in the publishing industry... and super-yummy food!

So much laughing and great conversation that night... topics covered included Friday Night Lights (which I have yet to see but apparently everyone at Delacorte is obsessed with), Paul Simon (who I've loved for decades), blueberries vs blackberries (I prefer the latter), and so much more!

It's such a treat to stay in high-up rooms in fancy shmancy hotels that I'd never stay in normally... and to get picked up in a sleek black car-- the very car that Justin Bieber rode in not long before me, as a matter of fact. I'm no pop culture aficionada, but I do know that name.... my driver, apparently did not! He told me he found himself amidst squealing girls at the airport to meet Justin, and that's when he asked another driver standing next to him, "So who is this Justin Bieber guy I'm picking up, anyway?"  He said Justin was quite the nice young gentleman, and gave him a $100 tip.  (At which point in the story, I started feeling a little bad that regular old authors like me can't swing close to that kinda tip...) 

I have more pics from the trip-- pics of my wanderings by the river/lake path and of my agent retreat, but now I have to try to get Lil Dude to understand what "quiet time" means... he's abandoned naps, to my chagrin, but I'm determined to have some kind of siesta-type hour in the day.  Wish me luck (today was not successful!)