Monday, November 30, 2009

NCTE 2009 wrap-up

As I mentioned last week, I was in Philadelphia for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conference. I took the train to Philadelphia and met Grace at the hotel, then we walked over to the conference center to meet Jarrett Krosockza and his wife Gina for a quick lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.

I had the mac and cheese, of course!
Good, but not the best.

Then Grace and I ran off for her session on "The Art of Story" with author Carmen Agra Deedy. We had a few technical difficulties at first, but then her talk went smoothly and I think the audience was impressed by her talk. I know I was!
Carmen was a fantastic speaker/storyteller as well--her final story about her mother in a mall parking lot brought me to tears.

Afterwards, we headed to the convention center for Grace's signing:
at the Little, Brown booth:

That evening we hosted a children's book dinner with special guests Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Jerry Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse), and Suzanne Selfors (Smells Like Dog, pubbing May 2010) at the restaurant Fork. Delicious food (not pictured), delicious company:
The next day I'm sorely lacking in pictures, but it started with booth duty for me in the morning, when Jerry Spinelli and Chris Lincoln had signings back-to-back. Then Jerry and I escaped for a nice lunch, and in the afternoon I walked the floor for a bit saying hi to authors such as Lisa Yee, G. Neri, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, E.B. Lewis, and more.

I helped out for our Jerry Pinkney signing in the afternoon, then escaped to the hotel for a quick nap.

That night Assistant Editor Connie Hsu and I took "our" authors to dinner at another amazing restaurant called Supper. Once again, I'm sad that I neglected to get any pictures of authors Matthew Quick (Sorta Like a Rock Star, pubbing in May 2010) and his wife Alicia Bessette, Grace, or Stephen Emond (Happyface, Connie's first acquisition, pubbing in March 2010), but I did manage two photos of the food. Here's the farmer's plate we ordered for the table:
And my duck and waffles. Yum.
The next afternoon I had coffee (and cheese--odd combination, I know) with the incredible Janet Wong, and then that evening was the cocktail party that kicks off the ALAN Workshops where Sarah Ockler and Sara Zarr vamped it up:
And then it was off to our YA fiction dinner where Matthew Quick joined the two Sara(h)s at Portofino. And yes, once again, we had amazing food (spinach ravioli! tiramisu!), conversation, and this time we had the added wonderment of readings from 20 Boy Summer (Ockler), Sorta Like a Rock Star (Quick), and Once Was Lost (Zarr).
And that, my friends, sums it all up. Thank you Philly, NCTE, ALAN, all our authors and illustrators, and of course our amazing school and library marketing team of Victoria Stapleton and Zoe Luderitz.
Till next year!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Poem for a Poetry Man

I’m winding down from the 2009 Annual NCTE Convention in Philadelphia and Thanksgiving. I attended the NCTE Convention for the first time ever because I wanted to be there for the Poetry Party in honor of Lee Bennett Hopkins, the 2009 recipient of the NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award.

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong compiled a special book of poems, Dear One, as a tribute to Lee. I was thrilled to be asked to contribute a poem to Dear One.

Here's a picture of me with some of the children's poets who attended the Poetry Party for Lee Bennett Hopkins.
L to R: Janet Wong, J. Patrick Lewis, Kristine O'Connell George,
Moi, Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Here’s the poem I wrote for Dear One. The words in italics are titles and a subtitle of poetry books that Lee has published.

Eating Poetry
by Elaine Drabik Magliaro

Here we are
sitting side by side,
eating through a day
full of poems,
chewing on wonderful words,
delicious words
full of surprises
words that flit, flutter, fly
from our tongues,
words that taste of
April, bubbles, chocolate,
words with the scent of sky magic.

Here we are
sitting side by side
savoring similes,
munching on metaphors,
rhymes dribbling down our chins,
licking rhythm from our lips.

Here we are
sitting side by side
in the city I love
eating poetry
a l l d a y l o n g…

At Wild Rose Reader: Party for a Poetry Man.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I just finished Fay Weldon's bracing and cheerful autobiography, AUTO DA FAY. Listen to this (from the last chapter, "A Career is Born"):

"I put the play into the envelope -- I feel the same awe of it as I did of the atory I wrote about a railway station when I was eleven, and about Pompei when I was 15. I know it has an existence outside myself: I simply deliver it as a midwife delivers a baby. I call the doctor who is startled to find I haven't given birth yet and says I really have to go to into hospital to have the baby induced, now. It's been too long.

"I go to the hospital in a taxi. I can't get hold of Ron who's meant to be decorating a house...and has left me his number in case I go into labour, but they say he hasn't come back from lunch. This is a bit worrying because his painting partner is his best friend's girlfriend, blonde, a proper artist's moll, and I am now counted as a wife, and she is unhappy, but I am in no state to worry. I know he loves me.

"Karen [new step-daughter who has been threatening to run away] seems to be secretly packing, but I can't go into that now. I get the taxi to stop on the way to University Hospital where my father trained, and where I am to have the baby, put A Catching Complaint through the letterbox on the corner of Regent's Park Road and Primrose Hill Road where later I was to kill poor disagreeable Angie in The Hearts and Lives of Men [really fun book, read it], and three hours later Daniel has burst flailing into the world.

"And I am now thoroughly Weldon....what I do from now on, all that early stuff digested and out of the way, is write, and let living take a minor role."

The "early stuff" -- her life before this play which was the first of many, many sales--to TV (she wrote the script for UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS and for the 60s/70s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which *I* think did better with Darcy/Elizabeth than the Colin Firth version: but then I always found him totally wrong for the role -- too fat and puffy-looking, not tall enough,and not nearly arrogant enough!), movies, publishers -- 24 novels, some children's books, and nonfiction, and short stories too)-- is the subject of the book. Throughout it, though, there are references to her (later) writing. I found the lack of fuss she made about her writing very different from the way I usually talk about mine, and thoroughly inspiring.

She was in advertising before the "new career" was born; one of her slogans, alas rejected, was "Vodka--get drunker quicker."

Thank you Fay Weldon, for this autobiography and all the other books of yours I've read that have made me laugh -- and think!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

super-extravaganza book give-away!

Are you looking for some great gifts? Enter the Enchanted Inkpot's Annual Inkies Giveaway Extravaganza! All you have to do is answer one of the following questions HERE: What MG/YA fantasy would you like to read over the holiday break? What fantasy book most reminds you of the Holiday or New Year season?

Can't wait to read the answers!

giving thanks

Thanks everyone for helping me choose my TODAY Show outfit! Which one will I wear? Well, you'll just have to tune in to see! Ha ha. But, I will announce the jam winner next week--I want to wait until then as some might be too consumed by the holiday right now to claim their prize (though it's really good jam!).

And Thanksgiving is a very appropriate holiday. For those of you who have read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, you know that thankfulness is one of the themes. To me, knowing and remembering how truly lucky I am is perhaps my greatest fortune. And hopefully, yours too.

This Thanksgiving:

I am grateful for the the typical but very, very important: health(except for some bad teeth), great friends, and family.
I am grateful that the work that I have tried my best with has been well received.
I am grateful that I finally got to go to PEI
I am grateful for tolerant sasquatches
I am grateful that I finally learned how to make a frosting rose
I am grateful that Al Roker chose my book
I am grateful that my books have such lovely and supportive fans!

I have many more things than that to be thankful for, but those are some of the big ones. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Public Thinktank

Today I'm posting from St. Louis, where I'm visiting family for the week of Thanksgiving. Hope you are all gearing up for a great holiday!

Just a note to say today between 12:00 and 1:00 pm I will be interviewed on Public Thinktank Radio during their Lets Talk About Education show. It will be a live call-in show where I talk about recent projects and my new books. The station broadcasts in the Brooklyn College area, but if you feel like tuning in you can also listen online (there is a link at their web site) or check the archives in a few days.

More soon!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm ba-ack! Japan and Hong Kong trip

Sorry I've been neglecting the blog for the last few weeks--as some of you know, I was traveling internationally in Japan and Hong Kong. I had hoped to try to post from abroad, but the spotty internet access at hotels and the time difference made it difficult.

Right now, I'm in Philadelphia for the NCTE conference (National Council of Teachers of English). But that will be a post for another day. Today, I'd like to share my Asia trip in photos, focusing on everything children's book-related.

First up, Japan. I was there for the wedding of Little, Brown senior designer Saho Fujii--Saho is the designer of Wabi Sabi and Year of the Dog, to name just two of her amazing book designs. She is originally from Kyoto, and that was where the beautiful wedding was held:
In the two days after the wedding, Saho organized sightseeing in the area, including to Mt. Hiei, where the cat Wabi Sabi traveled:
We also checked out a bookstore, and found some of the books we publish, included Vampirates, which Senior Designer Alison Impey designed:

And of course we found Twilight, which they divide into parts so as to keep each individual book small, compact, and cute:
We also found Gossip Girl and Eggs:

Back in Tokyo, Alison Impey (of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and When the Moon Forgot design fame) and I visited Japanese children's book publisher Tokuma Shoten's offices, and had lunch with their editor-in-chief and senior editor, as well as SCBWI regional advisor for Japan, Holly Thompson.
And then the SCBWI Japan conference, which took place all day Saturday the 14th in Yokohama. I gave three talks solo:
And the Alison joined me to talk about how illustrators are chosen, as well as a Q&A:
Here are two group pictures with some of the attendees!
The next day I was off to Hong Kong for a whirlwind three days. On Monday, Regional Adviser Mio Debnam took me to lunch and then sightseeing to the Peak:
And then I gave my first of two evening talks:
And then a lovely dinner at the China Club with a great group of people!
The next day, I wandered around the city, and randomly came across an elaborate and beautiful Jimmy Liao exhibit in Hong Kong's Times Square!
(from Sound of Colors, with moons from When the Moon Forgot in the background...)

So beautiful.

I gave another talk Tuesday evening, and we went to another delicious dinner at the Quarterdeck Club:
As usual, I was all about the food on my trip. For fun, here's an animoto video of some of my food highlights:

(If you can't view the video, try this link.)

I need to give a special thank you to Kathleen Ahrens, the SCBWI International Regional Advisor who extended the initial invitation to me to come to Asia, and also to Holly Thompson and Mio Debnan who were such gracious hosts, tour guides, and organizers. I had a wonderful time meeting everyone, and, of course, eating. ;)

And a special congratulations to Saho and Bob! May they have a wonderful marriage full of love.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

about nonfiction

I want to talk about nonfiction for a moment... since that's what I do. I must wonder why I do it since it takes a lot more work than fiction. Anyway, when you get down to it, a lot of historical nonfiction is fiction in a way. When all the people you're writing about are dead it becomes a he said she said kind of thing. What is the truth? Even now, when things are videotaped (you'd presume it to be the truth) IS it?

The other day I was flipping through Palin's new book while at work. I know I know, but I was bored. Don't judge! Anyhow, she wrote about the video that went viral--the one where she was interviewed in front of a turkey being beheaded last thanksgiving. She said she didn't know that there was a turkey behind her and that they turned the camera to an odd angle to catch it. I thought--how awful! What a terrible thing for a camera man to do! I felt bad for Palin. So, of course, when I got home I promptly hunted down the video on YouTube. Boy did my opinion change! It was not shot at an angle. The scene was shot with her straight on and the turkey directly behind her. Yes, the camera man knew what was going on but she should have as well! It did not look like they were trying to one up her at all. So what's the truth? Did she or did she not know about the turkey? There was a lot of noise going on, too--cries for help via the turkey and that sort of thing.

When I did research for Strong Man I got all sorts of conflicting information about when exactly Atlas died. Was he 79 or 80? His grave stone said one thing, his official website said another... and his obits were all over the place.

Now that I'm working on a book about a dog. Was he black or brown? All the kids' book covers illustrate him as brown but it turns out that he's stuffed i a museum (odd, I know) and he's brown. Did he age and turn brown or was he always brown? Perhaps the old news articles made him look black because they were in black and white.

So what I must conclude is that there is no one truth for anything. It's all a matter of perspective. Nonfiction writing is a job of taking what people say and then making your best educated guess as to what the truth really is. Perhaps if I were writing about math then things would be different... but I can promise you all now that me and math are like fire and ice. We don't get along. So I will continue to make educated guesses and hope that kids can learn to do the same as well.



Hello all,

I will be doing a signing from 12 - 4 at the Brooklyn Museum this saturday. Many of my lovely fellow authors/illustrators will be there as well. So, if you're in the area, stop on by!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

choose my Today Show outfit!

Sooo, my search for the red dress and my Today show outfit is winding down. While there were many, many gorgeous (and expensive) red dress/top combos I have narrowed it down to 2! Yes, 2! Aren't you proud of me?

But I can't decide between the 2...and this is where YOU come in! Tell me which one you think I should wear, PLEASE:

outfit A (an ebay found anthropologie dress):
or B (a preloved--my favorite store--sweater and gray skirt):

Both have been chosen for their color (you know how I insisted on lucky red) and appropriateness (I looked at what other authors wore and tried not to go toooo overboard) in mind.

Let me know what you think! Leave a comment at my gracenotes blog with your choice and your reason why! To one random commenter I will send a jar of Very Berry Cherry PEI preserves, fresh from my recent PEI vacation (it's really good jam, you HAVE to try it. soooo yummy!).

Books with flair!

I've joined Books with flair; a program that partners me with my closest independent bookseller, the Porter Square Bookstore, to offer personally autographed books for the holidays! How does it work?

Simply call the Porter Square Bookstore at 617-491-2220 and ask for a signed or personalized copy of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

You pay for the book(s), shipping, and handling, and the bookstore will ship signed stock in time for the occasion, even gift-wrapped if requested. If you want the books personalized, provide the name of recipient to bookseller. I will be going in to sign once a week until Dec. 21st, so this is a great opportunity to get books specially signed for the holidays!

Books with Flair
(dreamed up by the marketing genius Mitali Perkins--remember she was the one who helped me plan my online launch?) is a wonderful way to get unique and meaningful gifts for the people on your holiday list! Since this year I'm not able to offer free autographed bookplates (so sorry!), this still enables those of you who were looking to give my books as gifts a personalized touch.

If you are an author or illustrator, you should consider joining Books with Flair, yourself!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The art for Disappearing Desmond is officially signed, sealed, and delivered, yippee! The last bunny has been painted and the last thumbnail crossed off. I made a quick trip down to NY yesterday to drop it off (I am loving that Northampton is so much closer to the city than Boston) and am officially in the post-deadline afterglow. This means time to catch up on my non-work to do list, thank my fella for dutifully cooking dinner every night, and clean my apartment.

While I do all these things I will leave you with some of the finishes from the book. Stay tuned for updates as it is designed, printed, and makes its way into the world!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Poetry News

I can announce my news now that it's official: I’m an incoming member of the NCTE Poetry Committee.

Click here to find out who the other incoming members are.

This is our charge: To recommend on a regular basis every two years a living American poet to the NCTE Executive Committee for the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in recognition of his or her aggregate work; to sustain the collection of poetry books of award winners, past and future, in the University of Minnesota, Kerlan Collection; to recognize and foster excellence in children's poetry by encouraging its publi­cation; and to explore ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry through such means as publications, programs, and displays.

More NCTE Poetry Award Information

NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children

2009 NCTE Poetry Award Winner

2009 NCTE Convention Session A.18: Poetry Party! Celebrating 2009 NCTE Poetry Award Recipient Lee Bennett Hopkins

I'll be heading down to Philadelphia for the NCTE Annual Convention later this week. Let me know if you're planning to attend the convention. Leave me a note in the comments.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The right comments at the right time

Usually, I don't show things until they're finished -- but my wonderful agent kindly offered to look at my novel-in-progress "even if it's rough." So with some trepidation I sent it to her.

It's always scarey to send something even when it's finished and much scarier to send something that is not. But I really wanted to know if I was wasting my time -- there were parts of the book, all the middle-grade, childish parts, in fact -- that felt forced to me, forced and clunky. I wasn't interested in them (I can now say this).

But I didn't tell her that. I just sent her the whole thing.....and her first comment was that I needed to decide what age group I was writing for. Then she urged me to make the heroine older -- and (when, I think, she realized that I wasn't going to be devastated by the deletions) to take out all the childish scenes.

What a relief! She said a lot more (including what WAS working), but the point of this post is how incredibly helpful the right comments at the right time can be; and that this conversation proves something I've long suspected. The writer always knows, deep down (or maybe not so deep down) what's wrong. It's just that sometimes we -- or I, anyway -- don't want to admit it and am hoping I'm wrong, just being too critical blah blah. But in this case, admitting it has come as huge relief -- now I know what this book is going to be. Or rather, what I'm going to try and make it.

And showing it to her at this point has saved me a huge amount of time--I would have realized what was wrong eventually; but it's great to know NOW. Thank you Sara!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Light Verse by Arthur Guiterman

I’ve been writing quite a bit of light verse lately. Today, I thought I’d share a couple of humorous poems by Arthur Guiterman with you. I hope you enjoy these rhythmic gems.

Strictly Germ-proof

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup

Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;

They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;—

It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;

They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;

They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope

And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Kindness to Insects

I saw a Melancholy Wasp
Upon a Purple Clover Knosp,
Who wept, "The Poets do me Wrong,
Excluding me from Noble Song --
Though Pure am I and Wholly Crimeless --
Because, they say, my Name is Rhymeless!

You can read the rest of the poem here.

NOTE: I won't be posting on Friday next week. I'll be down in Philadelphia for the NCTE Annual Convention.


I’m sharing some of my original double dactyls about characters from children’s books and fairy tales at Wild Rose Reader.

I have three new posts at Political Verses this week: Driving Drunk: A Short Poem about Mary Strey; A Dead Rabbit Toss Competition Poem; and Making the Grade.

Gregory K. of GottaBook has the Poetry Friday Roundup here: The Lament of Thursday the 12th (a poem) and the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Indie Interview: Curious George Goes to Wordsworth

Many a long years ago (okay, maybe not that long) I worked at the Curious George Goes to Wordsworth Bookstore in Cambridge, MA and it changed my life. So when the store recently interviewed me, I thought the least I could do is return the favor.

So, as a part of the Enchanted Inkpot's Indie Interview Series, I bring you Curious George Bookseller Extraordinaries: Katie, Michelle, Natasha and Rachel!

1) Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into bookselling, and about your bookstore?

Michelle: I’ve always loved books – as we all say! I’ve wanted to be a writer, or somehow involved in the book world, since I was in middle school. I had a wonderful opportunity to intern at Houghton in college, and it was fascinating (and a bit overwhelming!) to see how many steps there are in the process of getting books from a writer’s typewriter to a bookstore. But my favorite part about reading books was missing from this kind of office experience: the talking about books, the passing along of a much-loved, dog-eared copy, and that amazing feeling when you’ve connected the right book with the right person. This store is constantly supplying me with that opportunity, from my colleagues to parents and kids themselves sharing their recommendations and their reactions to my own recommendations.

Since we are a small, local, independent operation, we really strive for that personal approach: we really know our books, and we want every kid, student, grown-up, whoever, who comes in here to find that book that they cannot put down even for dinner. I can’t describe that feeling when someone comes back to us and says, “That was just what I wanted! What’s next?” The same goes for our toy selection; our buyers have children themselves and we wouldn’t carry something that they wouldn’t give to their own kids. We want people to come here for toys they remember from their own childhood, to pass on that joy they remember from say, a classic Fisher Price telephone, or a giant shark stunt kite on a perfect March day. We love our books, our games, definitely -- there's not a day goes by that one of us isn’t buying something for ourselves -- but we love those kids running down our stairs yelling, “THIS IS SO COOL!” just as much.

2) How do you view your role as an independent bookseller? What do you find most rewarding about your job? What is most challenging?

Rachel: I think indie bookselling is all about personality and personalization. I talk to a lot of customers who really value our recommendations, whether they live in the area or just stop in once a year when they’re visiting relatives in Boston. My job as an indie staffer is to keep a library in my head of what’s new, what’s classic, what’s good, and what’s on the shelf, so that when someone comes in asking what my favorite new picture book is or what to give to a sporty 13-year-old girl, I can find them something they’ll be really happy with. That’s my favorite part -- when someone comes in knowing who they want to buy for but not really knowing what to get, and I can find just what they’re looking for. On the flip side, sometimes it’s hard to make just the right suggestion to customers who don’t know who they’re buying for. Gender and approximate age are good starting points, but I always feel like I could find the perfect thing if I just knew more. I even practiced my handselling skills on my family last Christmas, and even the most book-phobic of them really enjoyed what I picked out.

3) How can readers and authors work with and support independent booksellers?

Natasha: Readers can always stop by or read our blog to see what’s going on in the store. New events like book clubs, signings, readings, and parties (especially with the holidays coming up) are always going on. If you have read a great book, tell the bookseller! It’s always nice to hear from customers what they love, so we can recommend favorites to similar readers. We just set up a “Kid Pick” review board for kids to let us know what they think of books they’ve been reading. Authors can always drop a line on their blogs or websites to grab their books at a favorite local, independent place. They can keep in contact with stores when they have the time to participate in signings, events, or even just to ensure that booksellers have their books. We love it when authors stop by and sign whatever we have on the shelves!

Readers and authors alike can always help independent bookstores the same way: word of mouth. If you love us, tell your friends! If you think of a book you love, tell your friends to pick it up here! If someone you know needs to find an awesome gift, send them here!

Katie: We have a lot of scheduled author events, with a signing and usually an activity, where kids get to interact with their favorite author or illustrator. Readings, drawing activities, discussions, writing workshops – really, any way that an author or illustrator can reach out to their audience, at the venue of a local independent bookstore, benefits everybody! As Natasha mentioned, we also love to have authors and illustrators just drop in to say hi and sign stock. We’re all book lovers as well as booksellers, so the staff tends to get flustered and fangirly about these visits! But it’s also a great opportunity for me as event coordinator to broach the idea of an event or guest blog spot with that person.

If authors sell their books from their websites, they can put a link on their site to IndieBound rather than a chain online bookseller. Independent stores register with IndieBound, so customers can order online directly from their local indie bookstore with the same convenience of other online shopping.

4) Can you tell us about a few of your recent favorite YA or MG fantasy books?

Rachel: There are so many! Ash by Malinda Lo is excellent, as is The Good Neighbors graphic novel series by Holly Black (the second installment just came out). There’s also the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go is in paperback now and The Ask and the Answer just arrived in hardcover), which are more sci-fi than fantasy, but exceptionally good reading. For the middle grade set, I really love The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh and Savvy by Ingrid Law.

Katie: I tend to read a lot of supernatural romance and “creature feature” YA fantasy! Shiver by Maggie Steifvater has an unusual take on werewolves. Not only is the romance in that one compelling (I have such a crush on Sam!), but the plot is nail-bitingly suspenseful. Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy is a great series about demons and angels. Right now I’m in the middle of The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, and I’m hooked. Blood Promise, the fourth in the series, came out earlier this month. I’m probably the world’s biggest Neil Gaiman fan, so I’m constantly recommending his books for middle grade through adult. Odd and the Frost Giants will be here soon!

Some other titles on my looooong to-read list are Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott (a MG “Wild Swans” retelling), and the third in Nancy Farmer’s Sea of Trolls trilogy, The Islands of the Blessed.

5) What's the most memorable experience you've had bookselling?

Katie: Other than some "kids say the darndest things!" moments and authors/illustrators dropping in to chat, a lot of bookselling is pretty episodic. A customer asks a question, you pull together your resources -- the store's inventory, your coworkers' brilliant brains, quick online research, and most importantly, your own internal database of awesome books -- to try to answer that question to the best of your ability and give the customer as many good options as you can, and hope that they will find something that is just what they're hoping for. Then there's another question! But when you can find someone "just what they're hoping for," the feeling is memorable even if the actual incident doesn't stay with you that long. We have many loyal customers who have been on the other side of that experience, and who keep coming back to us for that reason. And we enjoy the challenge of the unusual question. Often the booksellers are learning from each other and discovering new favorites, right along with our customers!

Just as we have learned from you! Thank you, ladies!