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matched madness, signing saturday, and mississippi

booksellers extraordinaire Jill Moore and Emily Grossenbacher, author Pamela Voelkel, and me

Before I get started on my Mississippi report:

*Remember, the MATCHED MADNESS Auction for the Red Cross is going on until midnight (MST) tonight (March 31). Many thanks to all who have bid so far! I really appreciate it. Let’s get those bids in!

*I wanted to give a little reminder that I’ll be signing books this Saturday, April 2, at Deseret Book in Orem from 6-8 p.m. More details on the Events page. Hope to see some of you there, and many thanks to those who came to the Costco signing on the 19th! It was great to see you!

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Oxford Conference for the Book in Oxford, Mississippi. The students (9th graders) were fantastic. They had all read MATCHED and had wonderful questions and were so polite. This Conference is a wonderful event and I was truly honored to be a part of it. It was my first trip to Mississippi and I had such a wonderful time.

Not only was I able to meet with incredible students in Jackson and Oxford, I was also able to meet Emily and Jill, booksellers from Lemuria and Square Books, respectively. They are fantastic, hilarious women who are passionate about books and kids and reading. I also met some local authors—Julie, Katie, and Sarah Frances, who let me come to dinner with them and who were very sweet and friendly! And Susan Phillips was lovely enough to drive me around and was so patient, kind, and just plain fun to talk with.

Another highlight of the trip was visiting William Faulkner’s home. The curator, Bill, made the Faulkners really come alive with his descriptions as he toured us through the museum. I loved seeing the place where Faulkner took the phone call informing him that he was the recipient of the Nobel Prize, the room where he outlined his novel right on the walls, etc. We also had lunch on the lawn of his home, Rowan Oak. A former English teacher’s dream come true!

Susan and I in front of Faulkner’s home.

I left Mississippi thinking about a lot of things, some book-related, some not:

*the fantastic presentation given by the other YA authors, Jon and Pamela Voelkel (seriously, their presentation was AMAZING, and I am dying to figure out how I can get them to my son’s school)

*how one’s time can best be spent in this life

*which $.99 plastic pirate each son will pick when I return home

*how beautiful Mississippi is in the spring

*why I write

*the blessing of being a parent

*how a good teacher can change everything

Travel always makes me reflective. Maybe it’s all that uninterrupted thinking time on the plane. But I’m grateful to have had the chance to go, and grateful to be home.

P.S. On Tuesday, I’m going to post something writing-related. What do you think it should be?

+ comments (3)
  • Karen_St_Louis
    April 3, 2011

    Darn, Jon and Pamela Voelkel just came to our local bookstore and I missed them. Now you’re making me wish I’d gone.

    I have lots of ideas for writing-related posts. How about these:

    Why do writers write? What do we hope to accomplish? (Looks like you’ve already been meditating on this one.)

    How do you justify what you do to someone who thinks that writing fiction (especially for children) isn’t serious work?

    How do you deal with feelings of jealousy about the talents of other writers? ( “If only I could write like so-and-so…”)

    How do you keep yourself going when you’re feeling discouraged about your writing or your future as an author?

    How do you find good critical readers who are willing to read your entire novel-in-progress? What should a good critical reader be able to do, specifically?

    Sorry if you’ve already answered all of these in previous posts.

  • Alejandra
    April 4, 2011

    will you do any book signing in NY?
    I love MATCHED

    • ally
      April 5, 2011

      I was just in NY in February, so it might be a while! But keep checking the Events page. If anything comes up, I’ll be sure to post it there.:)

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