Writing Life 18

I just got back from the TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL LIVE! held in Fairport NY, and organized by Stephanie Squicciarini et al., and what fun that was. In spite of a layover in Cincinnati for about three hours (what do I have to complain about? at least it wasn't the eight hours Roz Monette spent in Chicago O'Hare), when I arrived the weather was a crisp cool. Loved it! I got to see Terry Trueman that first night when I got into the hotel. He dropped by while I was flipping back and forth between boxing on ESPN (Estrada v. Whitaker; Estrada by unanimous decision) and HBO's John Adams, and eating, even that late at night chicken strips and fries. We chatted some, then he left me to my dinner. Terry's the author of Stuck in Neutral, Cruise Control, No Right Turn, Inside Out, 7 Days on the Hot Corner, and most recently, Hurricane.

So, the following morning we were bus-limoed to Martha Brown Middle where awaiting us was a crowd, no lie, of easily 400 students, teachers, and parents (oh, and we can't forget the very cool Star Wars folks in character from the 501 Legion's Garrison Excelsior and the Rebel Legion's Echo Base). So we step off the bus limo and the kids are calling out Terry's name, or Libba's, or Alex's, right. The authors are asked to stand in front of a group of cheerleaders, who do a cheer, pyramids and flips and flops included, about reading. Then we're whisked down the red carpet, led down a hallway and up the stairs, where all the other kids who we didn't get to see outside were hanging out. I've never seen this many reading-crazy kids in my life. Would that they'd be like this the world-over.

Others at this function included, in alphabetical order: James L. Barry (the illustrator in the bunch), Libba Bray (fellow Texan and whose first book, Great and Terrible Beauty, side by side against all of mine and all of Terry's stacked one atop the other, easily outshadows ours--I'm telling you, she writes huge books, and go figure, kids in Fairport/Rochester (and I'm sure the country, if not the world over) are reading mammoth-sized books), Lola Douglas, Ellen Hopkins (who just returned from Sydney AUS--how I envy her for that), Jeff Kinney (who is proof positive that working on the computer and the internet do lead to more than just carpal tunnel and thick glasses--check out his daytime job at http://www.funbrain.com/), Roz Monette, Sara Ryan, Alex Sanchez, Todd Strasser, Terry Trueman, Timothy Zahn (who was reason enough to bring out the Star Wars folks), and Lara Zeises (note the very close resemblence to Lola if you visit the tbflive.org site). Oh, the one guy I missed seeing, who had to cancel due to bad weather on his route over: David Lubar. I'd even carried copies of his Hidden Talents and Punished! for him to sign. Well, I'll have to hound him for autographs at another festival or conference.

Here are just a few shots of what all went on at TBFLive! Read the Book!!!!!!!

A view of the lovely Fairport from behind the hotel.

Jeff Kinney and Ellen Hopkins

Terry Trueman signing.

Timothy Zahn signing, being guarded by a Stromtrooper.

Terry on the phone, Libba Bray (peace to you), and Timothy, on the bus limo.

Alex Sanchez, always smiling.

1 comment:

Michael White said...

I like the stormtrooper guard. I need one of those for a security system.