Monday, March 29, 2010

South Carolina Librarians Rock!

It was great fun to speak at the SCASL 2010 conference March 25 - 26, and to spend a few days in the historic center of Charleston before the conference started. Charleston is a beautiful city, and it also has great food. (I feasted on specialties like shrimp and grits, and had my first taste of coca-cola cake. Yum!)

The conference librarians were very welcoming and kind. I enjoyed talking to many, many people, and signed lots of books. I also got to go out to dinner twice with the lovely Debbie Palmer (my own personal host) and several other librarians and speakers, including fellow author, Alane Ferguson, who writes YA mysteries and thrillers.

The conference was an organized joy, thanks to the efforts of conference officers and staff volunteers. My thanks to President, Amanda LeBlanc and President-Elect, Joe Myers for inviting me to come!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On the Road

I've been on the road for about a week now. Flew into Kansas City last Saturday to sign books at the Children's Lit Festival in Warrensburg, MO on Sunday and to speak to Festival school groups Monday and Tuesday. It was my first time at the Festival, but some of the other 40+ authors have been coming every year for ten, twenty, or even thirty years! They were a very gracious and welcoming group. Naomi Williamson is the Festival's superb organizer, and she and her cast of volunteers kept everything humming along. What fun! (see photo of me with author Vivian Vande Velde)

March 19:Today I spent the day at Thomas Elementary in Gretna, NE (near Omaha). Yesterday I was at Palisades Elementary, also in Gretna. The kids at both schools were delightfully engaged and polite, as were the kids at Christ the King, a Catholic school in Omaha that I spoke at on St. Patrick's Day. Thursday night I had a lovely time yakking it up with Kim Burry (in green tee) and some of her "Walk and Whine" friends: Peg, Sandy and Becky. (I stayed with Kim for two nights.) My first night in the Omaha area I stayed with Holly Sullivan. (See photo of me with Holly's fabulous kids: Sloan, Riley, Bram, and Mena). Holly and Kim are sisters of my sister-in-law!

Tomorrow morning I am off to Charleston, SC!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Favorite Childhood Fiction Series

Goddess Girls (co-written with Joan Holub) pubs on April 6th. This will be my fifth fiction series for children. As the pub date nears, I've been thinking more and more about the joys of series books, and hoping, of course, that readers are going to love Joan's and my new series.

Series have been beloved by children for ages. It's comforting to be able to sink down into the world of your favorite characters time and time again. I devoured series fiction when I was a child. Here is a list of the series I most remember reading:

Mary Poppins
Pippi Longstocking
The Bobbsey Twins
The Moffats
Trixie Belden
Nancy Drew

I suspect that for many readers born after 1980, the Harry Potter books will top their list of favorite childhood fiction series. What series did you read as a child?