Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Awesome Summer Read

"The Start of Me and You" is a YA that I picked up at the LA Book Fair. I was fortunate to hear the author, Emery Lord, speak about writing, life and her book. It was her enthusiasm that had me reading the inside flap and purchasing my signed copy. Emery brilliantly executed a story line that I would have never thought of, and I'm someone who has been going to funerals since I was six. I've been to more funerals than weddings, but not to my first Love's. This is what Paige, in "The Start of You and Me" had to contend with after her first boyfriend died in a swimming accident. The roller coaster ride begins after Paige decides to rejoin the real world. We feel her ups and downs with her flirtation with an old crush, her parents getting back together, and facing her fears from swimming, to falling in love, to joining the Quizbowl. And then there's Max, the wild card,or rather, the nerd card. I admired him the most and loved Paige's relationship with him. This kept me turning the page. A touching and fun read.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Swimming through SCBWI LA Conference Ocean

As a first timer, do I dive in, catch a ride on a dolphin or wait to see what swims my way? With a sea of almost 1200 people, workshops, panelists and speakers, I did all three for three days. I had an awesome roomy, Daphne, swim my way-an illustrator(and writer, though she's not claiming that,yet) from Tahoe. I dove into the waves of workshops. Highlights: Learning about small presses from Alison Weiss, Sky Pony Press and Rana Dioro, Little Pickle Press. The Agent panel where I soaked in how each of these agents work. Break-out session with Michelle Knudsen, PB, MG & YA New York Times best-selling author, her agent, Jodi Reamer from Writers House and her editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel, VP of Dutton Books an imprint of Penguin Young readers Group. Listening and observing this team was inspiring. Keynote speaker, Mem Fox, a PB author, was a delight. Her rhythmic read of her "Hattie and the Fox" continued to resonate in my head into the wee hours of the night. YA authors, Stacy Lee and Anna Shinoda's workshop on amping up tension left me on the edge of a...

The Gala was the dolphin ride with a little wine, dancing, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones, in this sea of sparkles. Then there was buying books and getting them signed. And a few moments that felt okay to approach and speak one on one with a couple of agents and editors.The schedule was so packed, there was barely time to come up for air. Amazing as it was, at the end, I was feeling like a fish-out- of -water and couldn't wait to swim back to Laguna Beach. Maybe I'll pitch to Lin Oliver & Stephen Mooser The Surf and Sand, beach-front hotel for next year's conference.