I don’t normally get too excited about book signings, but once in a while I have a really good one. Last Wednesday’s Author Fair at the beginning of the Iowa Library Association Convention was one of those. It was good because:

1) people came!
2) the majority of books I signed were for people I didn’t know!

It was held at the Coralville Public Library. The book store was set up around the sculpture on the ground level, so it was the first thing you saw when you went downstairs. And then they had 60+ authors spread out across all the meeting rooms. I was lucky enough to share a table with my friend, Eileen Boggess.

Teen volunteers, including my own teenager, were assigned to all the authors. But my teenager picked my friend sarah_prineas as his author (and so did an adult volunteer, so she ended up with TWO volunteers!) rather than his own mom…can you believe that? When I called him on it, he informed me that Lily (a girl who took my teen writer’s workshop last summer) picked me first. So I said, “well, what if Lily hadn’t picked me? Would you have picked me then?” No, he would not. Because he “knows” sarah_prineas (what? he doesn’t know me???) and she likes the same books he likes (okay, I can’t argue with that). My son is nothing if not honest. But that’s okay because I had a fine time with Lily…and she asked me repeatedly if she could get me anything. I’m not so sure my own teenager would’ve been so attentive. Not to me, anyway. I’m sure he was great with sarah_prineas.

I think the highlight of the evening was the SCBWI members’ dinner at Applebee’s BEFORE the author fair, though. While we were chatting, we watched this guy create the most amazing balloon sculptures for the kids who were seated around us. When he ran out of kids, he came over and asked us whether any of us would like a balloon sculpture. But we were grown-ups…and we were busy talking, so we sent him away. But then several of us got to thinking…we were headed to a book signing…and this guy had already proven himself to be extremely talented…could he create characters from our books?

He made a fabulous Buddy for me:

Anyway…it was a pretty fun time. And then there was a reception upstairs in the library afterward. With live music. Unusual music, but live music nonetheless.

I would definitely do this event again…

Author Fair

8 thoughts on “Author Fair

  • October 19, 2010 at 1:36 am

    It was a terrific event! And my “gophers,” or whatever they were called, were excellent. We had a good natter about the books we like. Ooh, I should have asked Andy if he’s read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss…

    So how did Mouse react to the giant balloon-Buddy?

    • October 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Nope…Andy says he has not read Name of the Wind. It looks like something he’d like, though.

      Mouse thought the giant balloon-Buddy was a great new toy for him! If I had reacted a half a second later, there would be no giant balloon-Buddy anymore! He’s a little smaller than he was Wednesday night, but I’ve got him propped up on top of my book case.

      • October 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

        Oh, and another good result was that somebody from the IC Book Festival asked me to “save the date,” so hopefully they’ll put me on a panel or something this year.

        Did you do a mini talk for those film people? I think it was for Coralville public television…

        • October 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

          Ha! No I didn’t (do a talk for “those film people”)…Andy works for them! Talk about an awesome job for a high school student.

          I did get a possible school visit out of the event, though. Also someone from UI hospital talked to me about coming up there and doing a “story hour” for them. Have you done that? I asked if I could bring Mouse. She seemed a little bit freaked out by that idea, even though he’s a registered therapy dog…AND they have therapy dogs up there (just not in the library). But hopefully she’ll think about it.

          • October 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

            Yeah, I talked to the hospital person, too. She invited me to come, then said, “we have trouble getting older kids to come to the library.” Right, so I should go talk to nobody? Heh.

            The film people were super nice and competent. I did, like, a five minute spot, and they were done and moved on.

  • October 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Ack! That was me…I didn’t realize I wasn’t logged in. I’m ALWAYS logged in. (Except when I’m sitting at Honda waiting for an oil change.)

      • October 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

        There wasn’t when I got here, but there is now. Why do some people just HAVE to turn on the TV????

        The Coral Vision people are awesome! I’m glad you got to do a spot for them.


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