ALA Chicago – Day Two

My ALA signing is tomorrow morning from 10-11 at the Bloomsbury/Walker booth (#1711).  That meant today was a free day for me to enjoy the exhibit hall and merrily gather books.  (I am guessing that Heaven is a lot like the ALA floor only with a better food court.)

Random House was one of my first stops of the day, where I was delighted to find this.

I’ve been dying to read Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME, so one of these signed copies is now on the nightstand next to me – yay! 

It felt like every time I turned around today, there were familiar faces.  At the Scholastic booth, I ran into  , who will be accepting the Morris Award tomorrow morning.  Congratulations, Elizabeth!

And I almost literally ran into John Green on the way to his signing. He was gracious enough to forgive me for the near-miss and stop for a photo.

I didn’t see   at ALA today…but I saw a friend of hers!

Actually, I met another friend of Linda’s, too – the talented Marla Frazee, who illustrates the CLEMENTINE series and won a Caldecott Honor for  A COUPLE OF BOYS HAVE THE BEST WEEK EVER. 

We saw Neil Gaiman signing at Harper Collins, and I picked up my ticket to hear him speak at the Newbery Banquet tomorrow night. I hadn’t planned on going, but my husband convinced me that things like this don’t just come along every weekend.  So true.

Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen signed my daughter’s copy of MERCY WATSON…and we also watched them cheerfully sign a stuffed pig.

Candlewick, by the way, won some major points with us for producing boxes of Mercy Watson popcorn just when we were about to collapse of hunger.

Laurie Halse Anderson was signing after her Edwards Award luncheon…

…and Blue Balliett, which was extra-amazing since E and I just read CHASING VERMEER and THE WRIGHT THREE in preparation for our trip to Chicago. 

We didn’t know ahead of time that Blue Balliett would be here, so we were thrilled. As an amazing added bonus, we ran into her waiting for the train after her signing.  She gave us some insider tips for a walking tour of the Hyde Park setting of her books, including some spots we never would have found (or known that we could go) on our own. More on that later….

I’ll wrap up today with more photos under the cut.  I so appreciated it when folks at TLA and BEA beamed back pictures of GIANNA Z so I could see her out in the world, all grown up. So I spent a good part of today stalking friends’ books (so much so, in fact, that the guy at the WestSide Books booth glared at my Bloomsbury/Walker badge and asked why I was taking pictures. He seemed certain I was some sort of publishing spy, but I finally convinced him that I was just a harmless, if slightly giddy, author.)


I I’ll keep an eye out for more LJ friend books when we go back to the exhibit hall. For now, I’m feeling very full of words and pictures and story…and also that Chicago dark chocolate ice cream I had for dessert.

 Tomorrow’s agenda: Trying to catch Judy Blume’s signing right before my own.  More book-stalking.  Then a museum or two with the family before the Newbery dinner.  More photos…if I have any steam left…tomorrow night!

59 Replies on “ALA Chicago – Day Two

  1. SUCH great photos! I’m so glad you’re going to hear Neil Gaiman tomorrow. I hope it’s marvelous. And that you get the real Neil and not his prerecorded speech.

    The meeting with Blue Balliette sounds completely serendipitous. Can’t wait to hear about your tour, etc. I hope you’re having a blast!

  2. Oooh, enjoy your Sunday signing, and the rest of your day at ALA. My kids still remember meeting Kate DiCamillo at ALA in S.F. – glad yours are there with you.

  3. Wow, I hope one day to go to an author event like this! You’ve very much inspired me to attempt to chase down author events. I was in my first official one the other day. It was our Local Author’s day event. It was small, but I met a lot of cool people and authors. Lot’s of people came to hear me read my work and discuss it, as well as answer questions. I invited lots of people who came and even saw a few friends who wandered in by accident.

    My dedicated best friend came and sat with me for all 4 hours and even snuck away for a few minutes to find me a Cherry Coke. I think I ended up buying more books than I sold. (Which wasn’t bad considering I sold all the ones I brought.) I found a new love in Chris Enss’ writing. She writes about strong women on the frontier. Everything from mail-order brides, to saloon girls, to female soldiers. (And as a young girl with strong feminist morals it was really cool to meet her.)

    I caused a lot of stir with my age as well. The coordinators loved meeting me and were very impressed that I was, as I had stated in my interest form, only 14. I had serious deja vu with this same scene:

    “What college are you going to?”
    Me: “Oh, I’m only a freshman.”
    Person: “Yea, what college?”
    Me: “A HIGH school freshman.”
    Person: “Wow, you present yourself so maturely! And you wrote a book!”
    (And then my best friend sitting behind me would pipe up.)
    Darian: That’s why she’s at an author event.
    (Then I would smile innocently and the guy next to me would laugh.)

    It was awesome though. I’m looking into more of them. Probably more after I finish my book: “The Kismet Illusion” and after I finish the novel I’m working on (Which still remains without title) and the collaboration project I’m working on with my friends (Dahlia and JP) entitled “Don’t Quote Me Unless I’m Dead” which is like a make-fun Memoir (because we think it’s funny that people our age our writing their memoir at this age.)

    Anyways, I’m done ranting.

    Ever Sincerely,
    Zayna Thomas

  4. Today’s post was brought to you by the letters A AND B (authors & books). 🙂 Awesome pics. Hooray for being there to book-stalk.

  5. Thanks …

    … Kate, For bringing those of us not attending right there! Great pictures. I can smell the crisp unopened books all the way from New England :-).

  6. Thanks, Kelly~ It’s been really amazing all around. And we had quite a night of literary tourism after seeing Blue on the train platform. We sat outside the Robie House for a good twenty minutes watching fireflies play in the yard. Magic!

  7. Thanks – I love seeing photos of events I miss, so I figured I’d try to do justice to this one. (though I’m not sure that’s possible)

  8. Thank you – I am SO glad my kids are here, too. My daughter, in particular, was absolutely glowing on the way back from the convention center last night. “I can’t believe I MET Blue Balliett…and Christopher Myers…and Marla Frazee…AND Kate DiCamillo!” Those people are major league rock stars at our house, and there they were all in one big room!

  9. That must have been so much fun! Congratulations, Zayna. And good for you for having written your first book so early (you have about a twenty year jump on me!)

  10. I’ll be there late morning on Monday, I think, and will try to track you down. I’m with my family, so we’re trying to squeeze too much into just a few days, as usual!

  11. Re: Thanks …

    I am enjoying your posts and tweets so much. Keep taking pictures. Thanks for giving us a feel of what it’s like to be there.
    Have fun,

  12. Thanks for sharing these great pics, Kate. I feel like I’m there with you . . . Standing right next to Neil Gaiman . . . I’m so jealous! (I’m such an NG fangirl!)

    Have fun at your signing! 😀

  13. Thanks for the snaps of my friends!
    I’m so glad you’re having such a great time, Kate! Enjoy yourself! I can’t wait to hear all about your signing. 🙂

  14. You are in book heaven!! I love the pics. Thanks for allowing those of us at home to live vicariously through you! I’m glad you’re having a good time.

  15. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Kate. I hate that I didn’t have a chance to meet you. I’ve been following your tweets, too.

  16. Kate, MTV Books is a division of Simon & Schuster so if they have Violet is would be at the S &S booth. Yes, please let me know. Looking forward to more of your updates:)!

  17. Great picts! Hope you can catch Judy, that would be way cool.
    (Your running into John Green made me think of a LOOKING FOR ALASKA line: I am concussed!)

  18. Wow, you had a stellar day!!

    Do you know that when we went to go check for Newbery tickets, they were sold out? We didn’t have time until after Kristy’s signing, and it was too late.

    So, I’m sorry we won’t be joining you. 🙁 I hope you find some nice people to sit with. I’m sure you will!!!

  19. We’re so glad you have so much energy,and are an intrepid book stalker! And we get to see some with your eyes and words and camera!

    I already knew your husband was the best, but how great he said “weekends like this don’t come all the time.”