This will be the second ALA in a row that I’ve missed due to the COVID pandemic. It’s a conference I always enjoyed going to: a great fusion of my work as a librarian and my work as an author. I got to catch up with librarians and publishers from across the country, going to presentations, doing author signings, and have a grand time. I’m hopeful next year I can go back with a vengeance, especially since this year, I would have been able to go and promote THE PERFECT PLACE TO DIE.
Thankfully my publisher, Sourcebooks, arranged for a virtual event in an effort to replace at least some of the hobnobbing. Last night I and four other Sourcebook authors got to go to a virtual dessert party with around 50 librarians. We each had a chance to talk about our books, and then we went to a series of breakout rooms, meeting with smaller groups and answering questions. It’s easily the most authorly I’ve felt in years.
There were a lot of compliments on the book’s cover, so huge props to the Sourcebooks folks for putting that together so nicely. All of the librarians in attendance had received an Advanced Reading Copy of the book (as well as some gourmet popcorn and other goodies), and many of them had already read it. I heard good things all around, with people excited about the book’s setting and crossover appeal with The Devil in the White City. Being able to tell them about the starred review in Booklist certainly didn’t hurt, either.
Being an author is often a solitary endeavor, so when there are opportunities like this to actually talk to people who are excited about books (and my book in particular!) is very invigorating. Leading up to it, I realized that I’m woefully out of practice speaking to groups, as I had much more “stage fright” ahead of time than I usually would. You’d think after all the hours and hours (and hours) of Zooming I’ve done over the pandemic, one more Zoom would have felt like nothing, but I did stress about it. Thankfully it all went off without a hitch.
A month and a half to go until the release!
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