Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Love L.A. (More & More) -- Jay

Last weekend, I headed to L.A. for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association trade show. First, I schmoozed on the trade show floor, where the amazing Penguin rep (Hello, Nicole!) was hyping Thirteen Reasons Why like she’d actually read it and enjoyed it. Her pitch was so good, it made me want to order some copies for my own bookstore…and I don’t even own a bookstore!

Then it was time for dinner. They fed the authors first so we could chat with the booksellers at their dinner later on without worrying about anything green clinging to our teeth. Now, I don’t know how to express how cool the evening was without sounding like Mr. Namedropper, so I’m just going to show you a photo taken at our dinner table, and you can just imagine how many times my head almost exploded from being surrounded by so much coolness.

Neal Shusterman, Lisa Yee, me,
Brian Selznick, Pam Munoz Ryan, Cecil Castellucci
(putting names in a caption does not count as namedropping)

The next day, I went out to lunch with Lisa Yee and Julia DeVillers in Santa Monica. Of course, Lisa brought her li’l yellow marshmallow friend with her, who decided to act like Tarzan of the Peeps for this shot.

Then I spoke to three back-to-back English classes at Flintridge Prep; my first school visit since the book came out. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a nervous wreck while waiting to speak before anything more three-dimensional than a bathroom mirror. But honestly, and I’m not just saying this because I know some of the students are probably reading it, they set the bar pretty high for school visits. Smart. Fun. Respectful. And it’s so easy to get them to laugh! (Thanks for a wonderful visit, Ms. Cooper.)

After that, I headed to Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeeshop. They have a Teen Advisory Board there, which I had the chance to speak with and sign books for. Then they permitted me to stay and listen to the board meeting. The store lets them take home and review publisher catalogues and advance reading copies, thereby allowing teens to help stock the teen shelves. I know…brilliant! Chris Crutcher’s newest book, Deadline, was the only book mentioned by more than one person as a must-read. (Well, that and Thirteen Reasons Why…but the author of that book was sitting close to the cookies.)

- Jay


Kelly Fineman said...

Great photos! The teen advisory panel is correct about Deadline, btw - I reviewed it at my LiveJournal blog today. It's really great.

Looking forward to getting 13 Reasons.

Lisa Yee said...

So lovely to hang out with you!

cynjay said...

YOU were name dropped by Lisa Yee the other day. How cool is that?

LindaBudz said...

My head is about to explode just looking at that picture! Fun and fame ... and you deserve it, Jay!