18 May 2015

My TLA Author Experience

In April I attended the Texas Library Association's annual conference as I have for the past sixteen years.

As the conference was in Austin this year, I went up early to visit a friend. I planned to leave directly from work, so my bags were packed and in the car.

Before I left work, I got a phone call from Terry, the marketing director at Holiday House. Would I be available to attend a dinner Wednesday night? I told her I would, and she said she would send me the guest list.

At a pit stop on the way to Austin, I checked my email and saw the guest list. I recognized a few of the librarians listed, but what surprised me even more was being listed as an author along with Roxie Munro and Michelle Lord.

Wait. I was coming to this dinner as an author?

Shaken and more than a little terrified at this prospect, I continued on my way. That's when it hit me.

I didn't have anything to wear to this dinner!

I'm a light packer and generally take only what I need. I had pop culture T-shirts for my weekend with my friend and library system polo shirts for TLA. I had sturdy walking shoes. Somehow, I didn't think it would be appropriate to show up at a dinner with Holiday House wearing a Big Lebowski shirt or a Brazoria County Library System polo.

Only one solution - shopping!

My friend and I popped over to Target where I bought a dressier shirt and Frozen flip-flops. I am a children's writer and a children's librarian, after all!

Once the conference exhibits opened, I stopped by the Holiday House booth and got another shock - a flier advertising After the Ashes. I picked it up and snagged the first librarian who walked by and said, "This is me!" Then I took a photo with a different librarian (I think she was from Lubbock).

I took that flier and showed it to everyone I knew.

Then came the dinner. Terry asked me to read a small excerpt from After the Ashes. Thankfully, I had the manuscript in my email. I chose a selection that would hopefully leave those in attendance wanting more.

Unfortunately, Michelle Lord was taken ill and could not attend the dinner, but Roxie Munro is amazing. She talked about how she developed her new book Market Maze.

Then it was my turn. It was at this point that I thanked my lucky stars I'm a children's librarian. Reading in front of a crowd is not a problem. I was also grateful for all the one-act play and prose training I got in high school for UIL.

I took a breath and read from my iPad.

Those in attendance seemed to enjoy it. They 'oohed' at the forbidding nature of the end of my selection.

The rest of the evening was spent in discussion about books, libraries and education. All in all, a terrific way to introduce myself as an author.

4 comments:

Roxie said...

It was lovely connecting with you, Sara, at TLA. Your talk and reading was great, and Terry and the Holiday House crew were just wonderful.

SKJoiner said...

Thanks, Roxie. I had such a terrific time! I'm so glad I got to meet you.

Marianne Kearns said...

To help U.S. find our Way...

"This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty sed to me in my coma. "Beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, 3stooges, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away at 17.

Find-out where we went on our journey far, far away like the symbiotically, synonyMOUSEs which creep across thy brain bringing U.S. together done in FOUR, sardonic satires.

"Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Go git'm, girl. You're incredible.
See you Upstairs...
I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
eklektikmantra.blogspot.com

-YOUTHwitheTRUTH
-------------------------------
PS Need some uncommon, unique, uncivilized names? Lemme gonna gitcha started:

Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, China Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Woolsy, Sauer Wolf, Yankee Cooky...

God blessa youse
-Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

Marianne Kearns said...

To help U.S. find our Way...

"This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty sed to me in my coma. "Beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, 3stooges, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away at 17.

Find-out where we went on our journey far, far away like the symbiotically, synonyMOUSEs which creep across thy brain bringing U.S. together done in FOUR, sardonic satires.

"Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Go git'm, girl. You're incredible.
See you Upstairs...
I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
eklektikmantra.blogspot.com

-YOUTHwitheTRUTH
-------------------------------
PS Need some uncommon, unique, uncivilized names? Lemme gonna gitcha started:

Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, China Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Woolsy, Sauer Wolf, Yankee Cooky...

God blessa youse
-Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL