Last week, I returned to my old home base, New York City, for the annual NYC Teen Author Festival. I had to miss the first few days of panels and readings, but I got in late Wednesday night so Jim Freund could interview me and Eddie Schneider on his weekly radio program, Hour of the Wolf (Thursday mornings from 1:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on WBAI 99.5 FM). As usual, the time passed far too quickly! I read two short selections from Fair Coin on the air and we discussed YA fiction and publishing. You can listen to a recording of the broadcast online for the next week.
Roughly seven hours later, I staggered to a library in Manhattan where I was scheduled to read to a high school class with four other authors. Unfortunately, the chain locking the doors suggested they weren’t expecting us. As my friend Matt London recounted on his blog, we adjourned to a nearby coffee shop to hang out instead, which worked out really well because a) I needed a lot of coffee after only 3 hours of sleep, and b) they are all really fun people and I happen to like talking with other writers.
My agent, Eddie, and I then toured many Barnes & Noble bookstores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I could sign their stock of Fair Coin. It was my first time seeing my book in stores in person, and it was as thrilling as you’d expect. It was even more exciting to see it prominently displayed face out in the new Teen Fantasy & Adventure sections and on several tables. It was also fun to meet and chat with several store employees who clearly love books, including Elizabeth, Donna, Ashley, Taina, Meredith, and Kara. (Hi!) Once I signed the books, the store staff slapped nifty “Autographed” stickers on them, the better to entice people to pick them up. If you’re looking to grab a signed copy of your own from Barnes & Noble, last week they had them at 82nd & Broadway, 86th & Lexington, 46th Street and 5th Ave, Tribeca, Court Street in Brooklyn, and Park Slope.
If you would like to support independent booksellers, and I always think that’s worth doing, you can also snag a signed copy from Books of Wonder on 18 W. 18th Street, the preeminent children’s bookstore in Manhattan. I was there on Sunday with around 65 other YA authors (including a bunch of Apocalypsies!) for the mega signing. It was great to see many friends show up to have their copies of Fair Coin signed, and meet some readers and book bloggers. The swag I made for the book seemed to be a big hit, too. It was definitely a wish come true to see my book in the store, since I’ve been going to readings and signings there for years. My only “problem” with Books of Wonder is I can’t leave without purchasing some books, and indeed I left with a bag of cherished autographed books by other Apocalypsies. (Many thanks to David Levithan for coordinating the signing and working so hard on the rest of the Author Festival, and to Peter Glassman and everyone at Books of Wonder who were so welcoming to a bunch of new authors.)
Getting to meet and hang out with other members of the Apocalypsies was a big highlight of the trip, and we even had a small gathering at one of my favorite restaurants, Chat n’ Chew, before the signing, with Zoraida Córdova (THE VICIOUS DEEP), Gina Damico (CROAK), K.M. Walton (CRACKED), Emily M. Danforth (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST), Elisa Ludwig (PRETTY CROOKED), and Lizzie K. Foley (REMARKABLE), and assorted significant others. Apocalypsies were also well represented on various panels throughout Teen Author Week–already reading and talking about their books like pros.
Last weekend, I also joined many people (including some of my writing group, Altered Fluid), to usher in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s 30th birthday and her fourth novel, WICKED CITY, at a genuine NYC speakeasy, The Back Room. If you see Alaya tonight, be sure to congratulate her on both milestones; she and I will be reading and signing our new books at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street) at 7 p.m. I hope you can make it!