Tag Archive for 'author signing'

Author Signings This Weekend!

Just wanted to let anyone living in Central Pennsylvania know I will be reading and signing my books THE SILENCE OF SIX and AGAINST ALL SILENCE tomorrow, Saturday 9/10 at 2 p.m. at the Lancaster Barnes & Noble! Hope to see some of you there!

https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061809431-0

I’ll also be making an appearance at the Lansdowne Arts on the Avenue Festival on Sunday, Sept. 11, signing my books at 4 p.m. You likely won’t be able to purchase them at the festival, so please bring your copies from home and I’ll happily deface them with my Sharpie!

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Diversity at ALA

Librarians are among my favorite people, so I’m delighted that I will be surrounded by them at the American Library Association’s annual conference this weekend, June 24—26, in Orlando, Florida.

My primary reason for attending ALA this year is to participate in Finding Yourself on the Shelves: Diversity in Ethnicity and Language For Your Teens on Saturday at 1 p.m. (OCCC, W205). Jen Schureman, a YA librarian in Gloucester County, N.J., will moderate the discussion with me and fellow panelists, fab writers Shveta Thakrar, Lamar Giles, Cindy Pon, Ellen Oh, and Meg Medina.

Like many people, Orlando has been in my thoughts and prayers a lot in the last two weeks. I was shocked by Christina Grimmie’s death, and horrified by the alligator attack that took the life of 2-year-old Lane Graves. But most of all, I have been preoccupied by the June 12 massacre at Pulse, and the names and faces of the 49 people who died. I’ve been thinking about what we must do to stop these horrible mass murders from happening over and over again — what I can do. And I realized that this panel is one, small way to help.

Today, it’s more vital than ever that we have diversity in media. Knowing, understanding, accepting, and loving those who live or love or worship or believe differently from, well, white, able-bodied, heterosexual men, will hopefully lead to fewer hate crimes like the Pulse nightclub shooting. This is oversimplifying a huge issue, but until we can prevent any random person from purchasing an assault weapon on a whim, education and empathy are all we have to fight back with.

It’s important for kids to see themselves represented in books, no matter what their backgrounds or circumstances. But kids also should be exposed to stories about those who aren’t exactly like them, so they can learn to see them as people first. Children and young adults who grow up knowing that everyone is a human being, no less worthy of life than they are, don’t typically buy guns with the intent of slaughtering dozens of innocent strangers.

We need more voices writing those books, more publishers printing them, and more libraries and schools making them available to young readers. And we need librarians to continue to help lead that change, because in many ways, they’re the front lines.

In recent years, libraries have served as an anchor for communities during times of social strife. In Ferguson, in Baltimore, libraries stayed open when the rest of the social network shut down — creating a safe space for young people and their communities to gather and discuss race and social justice, as well as comfort and connect with others. And now, in Orlando, the Orange County Library System and other local libraries have opened their doors and offered resources to help their community grieve, share information, and support each other. ALA is also planning a memorial and other activities at the conference.

All I have as a writer to make my mark on the world, to maybe help change it for the better, are my words. And I’m going to do my best to fill the world with positive, hopeful messages and stories that represent everyone who lives in it, and show life both as it is and as it should be.

Thank you, librarians, for sharing those stories and for all you do to help us feel safer and understand the world and make the future a little brighter. I look forward to seeing you and supporting your efforts this weekend.

Support:
Orlando Public Library
Ferguson Municipal Public Library
Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library

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#weneeddiversebooks at naiba

I was honored to be invited to the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Fantastic Fall Conference last weekend. They hosted their first ever #WeNeedDiverseBooks Reception, featuring 15 authors who are PoC and/or have written diverse books of all kinds. They also provided a highly visible table in the vendor room so booksellers and publishers could come find out about the campaign.

Back row (l to r): Robin Talley, Ryan Graudin, Ellen Oh. Front row (l to r): Justina Ireland, L.R. Giles, Kat Yeh, Renee Ahdieh.

Back row (l to r): Robin Talley, Ryan Graudin, Ellen Oh. Front row (l to r): Justina Ireland, L.R. Giles, Kat Yeh, Renée Ahdieh.

This was one of the best events I’ve participated in. The reception was styled in a kind of “Speed Dating” format: Authors sat at small tables with their books and booksellers mingled and stopped to chat. There was a lot of enthusiasm and interest in #WeNeedDiverseBooks and our work, and it was great to meet so many people who own and run the independent bookstores we love and rely on. It’s also always wonderful to hang out with other authors and meet in real life after interacting online. Thanks so much to team members Ellen Oh, Aisha Saeed, Lamar Giles, I.W. Gregorio, Meg Medina, Renée Ahdieh, and Caroline Richmond for making me a part of it.

This was especially exciting for me because that night was the first time I saw advance copies of my new book, The Silence of Six! It looks really wonderful, and the awesome cover drew many people over to ask about it and get signed copies for their stores, kids, or themselves. Physical copies of the book are out in the world now! Thanks to my publisher, Adaptive Books, for getting books there in time.

It's more than 1s and 0s and ideas in my head!

It’s more than 1s and 0s and ideas in my head!

Despite my ongoing efforts to cull our bookshelves, I did come home with a few great books, and I encourage you to look for published and forthcoming work from the other attendees for a great selection of diverse titles and middle grade/young adult authors:

The Wrath and the Dawn — Renée Ahdieh

Fake ID — L.R. Giles

The Walled City — Ryan Graudin

None of the Above — I.W. Gregorio

Vengeance Bound — Justina Ireland

Control and Catalyst — Lydia Kang

Say What You Will — Cammie McGovern

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Best. Title. Ever.) — Meg Medina

Prophecy — Ellen Oh

The Only Thing to Fear — Caroline Tung Richmond

Written in the Stars — Aisha Saeed

Lies We Tell Ourselves — Robin Talley

Saving Baby Doe — Danette Vigilante

The Truth About Twinkie Pie — Kat Yeh

And of course, if you’d like to learn more about We Need Diverse Books and how to support the campaign:

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Some diverse books I nabbed at NAIBA

Some diverse books I nabbed at NAIBA

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