Just back from Denton--stayed at a nifty B&B, Italian for dinner, spoke at Texas Woman's University. I-35 travel pretty much mandates going up the day before. Hit several traffic jams, but well worth the trip.
Loved speaking at the U, which is one of my hands-down fave venues. It's all in the preparation. All of the students had either read Greg's NINJAS or any one of my three. The professor had also arranged for a bookseller. For anyone looking for related tips, I strongly recommend:
TERRIFIC CONNECTIONS WITH AUTHORS, ILLUSTRATORS AND STORYTELLERS: REAL SPACE AND VIRTUAL LINKS by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz (Libraries Unlimited, 1999). Unlike other author visit guides, this book goes beyond nuts-and-bolts planning to illustrate how to create the best accessible encounters between students and authors. Choosing the guest, guidelines for successful visits, making curriculum connections, using e-mail to connect with bookpeople, having live chats in virtual space, taking advantage of ITB and satellite technology, and using such props as realia and curriculum guides are covered. Grades K-12. To order call: 1.800.237.6124.
Greg just got TOFU AND T.REX edits from Amy--final edits. Woo woo!
In other news Pooja Makhijani has a new author Web site. I was particularly interested in reading her story behind the inspiration for MAMA'S SARIS (Little Brown, 2006). Awk! 2006 is such a long time to wait. In the meantime, check out South Asian Voices With North American Accents by Uma Krishnaswami at Papertigers.org.
Writing Tip: Avoid eavesdropping to advance the plot. Try something more imaginative instead!