Marirosa Mia: This past weekend Julie and I had the honor of attending KidLitCon 2012! Julie attended the Pre-Conference on Friday, September 27th and I attended the Saturday events. And though I grumbled through my subway ride over (waking at 8 AM on a Saturday should not be allowed) to the New York Public Library (what a beaut!), once I was there I was in full swing. Particularly since I couldn't attend the full day's events due to prior commitments, I was determined to acquire all the information I could. Strangely enough the two panels I was slotted into discussed reader participation; what I learned most from those panels was that comments don't always signify participation. Meaning, just because only three people leave comments doesn't mean your readers aren't engaged. I'm afraid I'm guilty of this: I follow dozens of blogs and don't post a single comment! But that doesn't mean I'm not engaged by the content. What about you, Julie? What pearls of wisdom did you glean from the Con?
Julie: I attended fabulous sessions at both Holiday House and Penguin Young Readers Group. At Holiday House, among many other treats, we saw spreads from picture books coming out in the spring. What terrifically talented illustrators they've lined up!
The upcoming Holiday House picture book I'm most excited to read is THE FRAZZLE FAMILY FINDS A WAY, by Ann Bonwill, with illustrations by Stephen Gammell. Here are my notes (please keep in mind that there was quite a lot of information flying at us, fast): "Story of crazy family. Mom forgets to comb her hair; Dad forgets to put on pants. Energetic, very fun art." A mom who neglects to comb her hair! Can I ever relate! Fortunately, I haven't yet forgotten to put on pants. But I do fear it's within the realm of possibility. Anyway, I'm keeping an eye out for that book. We also heard from the lovely Betsy and Ted Lewin about their upcoming, beautiful and simply worded I Like to Read books.
We had a guest author at Penguin as well: the vivacious Gayle Forman, bestselling author of the young adult hits IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT. It was immensely helpful to hear her tales of books she has written and then stored permanently away in a drawer. It's easier to think about my drawered books, now knowing about hers. She also has a new book on Penguin's list: JUST ONE DAY. Ruta Sepetys, author of BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, which Mia reviewed for us, does as well: OUT OF THE EASY. I'm excited to read both.
Penguin in fact has a slew of exciting books, much like Holiday House. Mia, have you worked on any? Would you like to put in a good word?
M: I'm currently working on OUT OF THE EASY, which I hope you like, Julie! It's very different from BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY but still a fantastic read. Haven't read JUST ONE DAY yet, but I'm a big Gayle Forman fan so I can't wait to read it. Now a question to our lovely readers out there. Did any of you attend KidLitCon? What new books are you excited to finally get your hands on?