Last weekend I went to New York City for the SCBWI conference. It was an amazing weekend. I'm just now able to start wrapping my head around everything that happened. As promised, I'm going to give you a recap of my weekend, but it's going to have to be in a number of blog posts because so much happened!
I stayed at the Grand Hyatt with one my MiG partners, Debbie Ridpath Ohi. In fact, all the MiGs came for the conference and wow, we had a blast. You can check out this post for all the MiG pictures. Rooming with Debbie was perfect. She's the best roommate! Look for the next picture book she's illustrating, NAKED, coming out soon.
Friday morning, I took off to visit my publisher, Amazon Children's. I decided to walk because I wanted to experience the city. Man it was cold!
Once there, I met my editor, Miriam Frank. It was wild to actually meet her in person. She took me on a tour of the office area that ACP is renting out until they move into their permanent offices. She dug through their boxes and handed me some of Skyscape's upcoming books, ME AND MY INVISIBLE GUY and THE WAITING TREE. So excited to read those.
First she introduced me to Vera Soki, one of the designers, and Alan Tsai, the production manager. He also handed me a stack of picture books for my boys and classroom, which the kids LOVED.
I also meet Katrina Damkoehler, the art director, who is responsible for making all those beautiful covers ACP has.
Miriam and I went out for coffee and I talked her ear off. Strangely she didn't seem to mind. But after our conversation, I realized how much we clicked and saw eye to eye on books and stories. She gave me book recommendations and had some insightful ideas for my possible sequel. I kept pinching myself because it was all too good to be reality.
When we went back to APC, Miriam introduced me to Marilyn Brigham, another editor, as well as Tim Ditlow, the head of Skyscape, which is the imprint GILDED will be a part of. The only person I didn't get to meet that I was hoping for was Margery Cuyler. I adore her books and was secretly hoping to snag an autograph. Margery was the one who first emailed me that they were taking GILDED to acquisitions.
As much as I didn't want my time to end at ACP, I was super excited to meet my agent, Jeff Ourvan and Jennifer Lyons who runs the agency. Jeff picked me up at ACP, and it was as if I already knew him even though it it was our first time meeting. We met Jennifer at her house. I loved how there were books everywhere. Figures she's the head of a literary agency!
Unfortunately, I totally forgot to get pictures with them! We were so busy talking and planning and then off to an amazing lunch, that the thought didn't even cross my mind. Next time though!
Jennifer gave me a copy of their latest award winning book, THE REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO by Sonia Manzano. It won the Pura Belpre Honor Book.
After meeting Miriam, Jeff and Jennifer, I decided I am the luckiest girl on the planet to have a team of people who are excited about making GILDED become a reality. I think I literally floated for the rest of the day. No, I think I'm still floating.