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this is not a proper ALA recap because I’ve lost all concept of time

June 28th, 2012 by erin

This past weekend (how is it Thursday already?) I was in Anaheim for ALA. I have not yet reacclimated to east coast time, not that I ever acclimated to west coast time, since I kept waking up at odd hours of the night while I was there.

I would love for this to be a proper long photo-filled recap but I’m still in denial about this whole “Thursday” thing and the whole weekend is basically a book-filled blur that I shall recount in a non-linear flurry of paragraphs and possibly sentence fragments.

I was attending my very first ALA to participate in two different events, both for library-based honors The Night Circus had received. The first was for RUSA which designated it as the Fantasy pick on their Reading List. The event was a fabulously eclectic “Literary Tastes” panel bright & early (I think it was early, again with the not knowing what time it was) Sunday morning which involved me babbling followed by Russell Banks, Candice Millard and Mark Adams speaking engagingly and coherently about their books.

After signing shiny new paperbacks for librarians I went directly to my other event which was for the Alex Awards, an honor given to ten books a year that are written for adults but have special appeal to young adults. That panel featured me, Ernest Cline, Rachel DeWoskin and Brooke Hauser. I babbled again, but that appears to be what I do. And it was great to see Ernie again since we keep running into each other as we are on similar publishing roller coasters. Someone at Random House should organize some sort of Ready Player One/Night Circus mashup event, that would be magical geeky goodness.

Other than that I was mostly wandering the event floor, rarely getting recognized but often being complimented on my shoes. I met lots of wonderful writers (including all my delightful co-panelists) and also people I have known through the magic of the internet but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet in person as well as writers whose books I knew but hadn’t met the people behind them. I saw my friend Lisa Brackmann read and got a copy of her new book which I haven’t read yet, and later I went to see Deb Harkness read and got to meet her and she was absolutely lovely. Really, I met so many fabulous people I would name-check and link them all but then this would turn into a sea of links.

Instead I will just tell my favorite meeting people story of the weekend, which came about because I got to spend some time with the fabulous Lisa Brown and as we were walking around she asked if I’d met Daniel Kraus and I said no but I remembered he tweeted that he wanted to give me his book, so she introduced us and he’s fabulous and I got a shiny copy of Rotters which has a fantastic cover and also everyone who saw me holding it gushed about it. And then he mentioned that there was some pre-Newbery award Random House cocktail party thing and I should go, so I asked other Random House lovelies about it and ended up crashing and then one party-crashing led to another and I wound up invited along to the Newbery Caldecott banquet, though I am told it does not count as crashing if you have a nametag, though mine was handwritten:

Overall I had a fantastic time and could probably fill lots more paragraphs with names and links and books and babbling, but I’m running out of Thursday already. I’d been a bit worried about having so much extra time but time surrounded by book people is always time well spent.

Really the only negative was that I could hear but not see the Disneyland fireworks from my hotelroom, ah well.

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2 Responses to “this is not a proper ALA recap because I’ve lost all concept of time”

  1. EMKokie says:

    Wonderful to see you at ALA, and I’m sure you were far more coherent than you recall. (I also love the idea of shoe compliments outnumbering recognitions). Hope the time evens out for you soon.

  2. Mark Adams says:

    Hi Erin, this is Mark Adams from the ALA Literary Tastes panel. I’m afraid that the blurry nature of the weekend prohibited me from telling you how wonderful and inspirational I thought your talk was and how much I look forward to reading The Night Circus.

    All Best,

    MA