Novel Realizations

ALA was fun! Thanks for all the awesome librarians who stopped by and said hello! I think I have recovered now from signing so many books. The first time I ever got carpal tunnel syndrome was when I wrote the first Au Pairs book. Motha-fracking hand HURT after that—I think I was writing so fast, and it was the first time I had to turn in a book in three month’s time. Funnily enough, that was the first and last time it happened—I think my muscles just got used to the strain. Because they don’t throb now.

Anyway, speaking of things that throb—Mo Willems is the heart-throb rockstar of the Library Convention! I mean, librarians were SWOONING over him. And seriously, when I saw him at the Hyperion cocktail party I was like, “Who is that guy? He looks like McDreamy!” No, he is Mo Dreamy! And who is he you ask? Well, if you are under the age of five, you know the answer to that. He’s like the uber-bestselling award-winning writer of all things Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie. Anyway, he’s also really nice. And his line (of people who wanted his autograph) put all the other author’s lines TO SHAME. And he was signing T-shirts! (One librarian came up to my line afterwards and was like, “He signed my shirt! Sigh…” as if he were Jon Bon Jovi and he’d just John Hancocked her chest!) If you click on the link and look at the pics, they do not do the Mo justice, btw.

Mo was my biggest star sighting, next to Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Smash Crash) who also has that rockstar sheen at ALA—it’s all about the length of your LINE man, and these two dudes were like the biggest stars at the convention. I loved it.

Mike and I had a blast. I had my hair blown out for the first time in months (oh the days in New York when it happened every day) and my hair right now is BLONDE. Kind of scary. I didn’t plan on being blonde, but my stylist got a little excited (he was also doing Kimora Lee Simmons’ hair that day—she’s REALLY tall) and put in way too many highlights. So now I’m a California blonde. Then I wore a cute little Jane Mayle dress and my new backwards Marc Jacobs heels – you know, the one where the heel is at the bottom of the toe facing the wrong way, so the shoe kind of hangs in the air, it’s such a Dada shoe, more a sculpture than footwear really—j’adore. Mine are the brown suede with orange leather piping, not the shoe in the link. I can’t find a picture of my shoes, but they ROCK. Mike wore his new Helmut Lang suit and looked so handsome. (Mike Dreamy? I have to, right?) Not many guys can pull off the Helmut. You have to have the skinny artsy Euro look, it’s basically MADE for architects.

At one point I was seated across the people who wrote “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” and they also had the mega-line. My editor explained that they had just won a little something called The Caldecott. (Which is the huge best-book medal given to kids books.)

I’m not an awards-whore. Which is lucky for me, since my books are not the awards-type. In fact, while it is gratifying that the Blue Bloods books have been lauded so much (someone at the convention told me it was on the Nevada Best Books list—yay), it’s just icing. I’ve never liked the Academy Award movies (Atonement—argh—that movie blew! puh-leeze!) or the books we’re all supposed to be reading that win all those literary prizes (Although I do love Jhumpha Lahiri and Junot Diaz). In fact just the word “literary” makes my skin crawl, because it’s just rooted in this cultural snobbishness that dismisses so much of what I like, like Bridget Jones or um…novelizations.

‘Cause you know, you’re not supposed to like things that actually give you pleasure and make you turn the pages. And you’re REALLY not supposed to like books that are total whore-products as in, let’s suck-out-every-last-dime-from-this-stupid-consumer. Like Star Wars novelizations. But I was a kid and I didn’t have that mindset, and I really, really enjoyed them. (The first one is even written by George Lucas himself! And if I remember correctly gives us a lot of info on Wedge Antilles, Luke’s friend, who ends up to be a tiny character in the movies but had a bigger role in the novel. Really cool.) I even bought the awful Phantom Menace novelization when it came out – big mistake. (Not all novelizations are equal.) I also used to read the Star Wars book series, but haven’t picked it up in a long time (because one has to have time to have a life!!). But the other day I saw the new one: Star Wars: Revelation (coincidence?? I think not! LOL) and read the back and read about Darth Cadeus, who is apparently Jacen Solo, the son of Han and Leia who ends up on the Dark Side.  And I was SORELY tempted to get sucked back into the galaxy far, far away. I mean, DARTH CADEAUS!!! How can you resist?

And speaking of novelizations, my FAVORITE one ever was Robotech End of the Circle. It is actually one of my favorite books of all time. Oh yeah, when people ask me what my favorite book is I’ll say War and Peace. Because W&P is actually one of my favorites and it sounds better to say Tolstoy is your favorite rather than reveal that one’s favorite book is Robotech: End of the Circle, a book that is a novelization of a cartoon.

That’s right. A novelization of a cartoon.

But it was anime! I’ll protest. LOL.

This is a book that was most likely written by a humble ghostwriter toiling for a “despised” book packager. But it is well-written and awesome pawsome. Good writing comes in many shapes and forms. You should check out all the Robotech novelizations too. They rock. And how great that they are bringing Robotech to the big screen??? I can’t wait!

Am I your Internet Best Friend? By that, do you know more about my life than those of your real friends? That’s okay. I have lots of Internet Best Friends too. This guy is my new IBFF: And here’s his blog on why cultural snobbishness sucks. And I love that his name is Prince.

Anyway, I have fun surprises and announcements coming up vis a vis the poetry contest and Revelations publication. So tune in, Tokyo!