Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ho Hum. Just Another Day at the Javitz. NOT!

Ho hum. Just another day at the Javitz Center. Tra la la.

Yup.  BEA. *walking along*

Hello. What's this?



This is seriously the crazy-crazy. I feel like I should be asking, "Really? Are you sure?"

But I don't ask. I just stand in awe. Of my ridiculous good fortune.

Below, I stand in awe alongside the two ladies who have done the most (after me, perhaps) to bring this book about. On the left, my agent Jane Putch. On my right, my editor Alvina Ling. I should clarify that neither of them technically *belong* to me. I graciously share them with other talented and lucky authors and illustrators.

Walking in and seeing this banner will forever be A Moment for me. Unforgettable.

In the booth, the strategy was to have Miss Piggy standing on the counter hand-selling Daughter. Snerk snerk. Okay okay, I did that. Also, can I swipe the poster?

The day yesterday was packed with awesome, beginning with the Children's Book Breakfast, of which I have no photos of the amazing lineup of speakers: Katherine Paterson, Julianne Moore, Brian Selznick, Sarah Dessen, and Kevin Henkes. I want to say that Julianne Moore a) looks just as impossibly young in reality as she does on the screen, and b) is, awesomely, a complete and total goofball. And now I want to be friends with her.

Also, I met Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) who is a Little Brown author! About whom I learned this factoid: he carries two handkerchiefs at all times, one for himself, and one for "the ladies." Ha ha! 

Here at the breakfast are my publicist Lisa Sabater on the right, and on the left Melanie Chang, Director of Publicity. Two of my awesome Little Brown peoples.

The morning was busy with events. Alvina and I did "speed-dating" at which authors goes table to table in three-minute intervals meeting booksellers, bloggers, librarians, and other book people to talk about their book. Essentially doing 19 quick pitches in a row. Whew! What a crash course in pitching the book! Alvina teamed up with me and I think we got pretty good at quickly describing a very difficult to describe book!

After that, Alvina presented the book at the YA Editors Buzz Panel, which is a terrific BEA event -- and was so packed, I hope next year they will move it to a bigger room! Each year, five upcoming titles are selected to be buzzed about by their editors. Two years ago Lips Touch got chosen, which was why I got to go to New York that time; Daughter was chosen too. It's really an honor. And it's great as an author to get to sit in the audience and hear your editor talk you up :-) Alvina did an amazing job of making the book tantalizing!

I had to slip away partway through to do an interview on the Midtown Stage with Middle Grade librarian Jennifer Hubert Swan, of the awesome blog Reading Rants. She had great questions. So fun!

And from there, it was all strolling and fun and meeting people and seeing old friends!

Here on the left is Tahereh Mafi, author of the forthcoming Shatter Me, with her editor Tara Weikum of Harper Teen. I'm very excited to read Shatter Me, which has been getting a lot of buzz!

Also, I am totally going to steal her purse!!! Have you ever seen a better bag?

And here, on my right, the amazing Ellen Hopkins, multi-NYT-bestseller, who does her own thing so exquisitely well: spare, gorgeous verse novels for teens on very difficult subjects like drug addiction, sexual abuse, prostitution. Her keynote addresses are guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, and she is a ray of sunshine in many a convention.

And on the far right, Sarah Beth Durst, who I think of as my parallel publishing sister, because from the beginning we have had books coming out the same month (at the time it was from the same publisher, but no longer), and who is always so so lovely to spend time with.

Sarah's forthcoming book is so made out of awesome: Drink Slay Love! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! As Sarah describes it: it's about a vampire who inexplicably grows a conscience after being stabbed through the heart by a were-unicorn. Oh yeah. Because, as she points out, unicorns are natural vampire slayers. 

Below, Daniel Handler signing his new book Why We Broke Up for me! It's illustrated by Maira Kalman, who I lurve, and I am so excited to read it. If you go to the link above you can be part of the "Why We Broke Up" project and submit your breakup story!

And really, that was the day. 

* * *

Followed by the evening, and the Little Brown party. Which was SO COOL!

Hello adorable Faye Bi in your adorable tea party hat.

The party was a circus ...

... in this loft with panoramic views ...

There was popcorn and hot dogs:

 Whoopie pies and very very tiny hamburgers:

There was Peter Brown ring toss:

And fun-house mirror versions of YA covers. Recognize the one in the middle?

The game chips were also printed with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and were the coolest thing ever and were pocketed by me as part of a growing DSB artifact collection:

But the coolest coolest coolest thing was in the corner, where a horned henna artist was doing Daughter-themed tattoos in Brimstone's shop.

Teeth and feathers, horns and wishbones, old rusty bird cages, skulls. These things are just the coolest props. I wanted to swipe things, but I did not. I will continue to amass objets for my own Brimstone shop.


Of course I partook of the henna:

There were a number of designs to choose from:

I chose eyes:

I see you.

Here with Alvina are Arnaud Noury, the president of Hachette Livre, Little Brown's parent company (which is French, as is Arnaud), and the lovely Megan Tingley, the publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:

Here, Andrew Smith, Deputy Publisher; Victoria Stapleton, School & Library Marketing; author/illustrator Peter Brown, and Tina McIntyre, Marketing:

Faye Bi, Publicity; Lisa Sabater, Publicity, Cindy Eagan, Editorial Director of the Poppy imprint; Alvina, me, and Tina:

Peter and Alvina are old friends. Clearly. 

You'll know why I had to include this. Missing my bebby:

Aaaaaaand, sunset over the Hudson River. And there's an end to it. :-)


Jeanne said...

Love that poster! And the flower in your hair. Looks like an awesome day! I soooo can't wait to read daughter of smoke & bone!!

Shveta Thakrar said...

Holy moly, Laini! That is all. :)

Plus yay for meeting Faye. Isn't she awesome?

tone almhjell said...


Prohugelation! You are beyond awesome. I've got major, major chills!

storyqueen said...


What an incredible day!

So happy for you, Laini.

Cat Patrick said...

I love that post! I can't wait to read your next book! Apparently I'm obsessed with exclamation points!

I aspire to be there with you at some point in the future (even at the LB party since we're publisher-related). And I'm sorry, but I might need the purse, too. xox

Kayla Olson said...

Okay, so, I just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone last week, and I must say:

a) it was incredibly good, and the more I think about it the more brilliant I think it is

b) all the promos for it? AWESOME. And totally deserved. I feel like I know secrets, of all the props and henna tattoos and the new cover picture.

c) speaking of…there's a new cover picture?! If you announced this, I totally missed it, but I LOVE it! Beautiful, and it looks even more gorgeous when made into a huge banner over the entryway.

Okay. That is all. I'm so, so, so excited for you and can't wait for the world to read your book. (My husband's reading it now, too, and is hooked.) :)


Johari said...

Can't wait to pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Watching your career unfold is such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your experiences.


Yes, please. I'd like to place an order for the Kate Spade bag in a lovely lavender. :)

SarahWT said...

Bravo, Laini!! Loved reading this post and seeing the giant poster! :)

Orchid Witch said...

Wow!! That banner is amazing...such a fun time you are having.....I'm feeling so much pride right now...

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yay - that is a lot of awesomesauce right there!!

sharonwrote said...

And a photo of Tahereh Mafi to boot! (This is the first time I've seen her face in a photograph... she only ever shows her shoes on her own blog!)

The only problem with all of this fabulous news is that we have to wait until 9.27.11 to read Daughter of Smoke & Bone!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is simply awesome. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

Unknown said...

Amazingly cool. Every girl's dream! (Okay, maybe not every girl, but every-girl-I-think-is-cool's dream!)

Commander Kip said...

The new cover hath bowled me over with awesome.

dawn said...

WOW! congrats laini! you deserve super stardom! i'm with the orchid witch. :)
p.s. the new cover is AMAZING!

Jane said...

wow, so amazing.
It's such fun watching your cinderella story unfold

Anonymous said...

what a blast--i swooned a little bit when you named the panel with katherine paterson on it. squeeeeee. ok. fangirl moment over. and now i must congratulate you, wow, what an honor! thank you for being so honest about sharing your reactions and "moments". wow. wow. wow!

this looks SO fun and obviously it is well-deserved by all the hardworking authors out there--not to mention all those publishing staff, who i know work just as hard. i'm a little sad that my mind goes here, but as a seriously book-loving person working in early education, i can't help but compare it to shindigs for educators--which are generally potluck with homemade/grown decorations, in the cafeteria or gym of a school. i don't know if there is a non-bitchy way to make this enquiry, but i can't get it out of my mind, so i'm just going to be blunt and ask: is the cost for these book parties (assuming they are a part of marketing, maybe?) passed directly to the consumers in the form of book pricing, or is there a nonprofit that funds things like this? like, i don't know, the ALA or something? i genuinely don't know, and i kind of want to. i mean no disrespect to all the hard working folks out there in the book world, and am not judging, i just...want to know. feel free to ignore.

Amber said...

HOLY smokes! (and bone) :) (see what I did thar?)

I am SO happy for you! That all looks amazing. I can't wait to read!

:) oxox

~Michelle~ said...

Perfect Pie!

faye said...

Woo-hoo for the shout-out Laini! It was amazing meeting you. If we don't cross paths tomorrow, have a safe trip home! :)

tone almhjell said...

Anon, I think teachers deserve parades and fairies and stardust and really ripe summer melons and Swedish candy. <3

Alix said...

Oh how amazing! It looks so much fun! Congratulations! Very much looking forward to reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

And I WANT that bag! It's so fabulous!

Katie Anderson said...

I am tellin you what - you are really getting the movie star treatment for this incredible book.

And lucky for me, my agent knows what a Laini fan I am, so she picked DAUGHTER up for me at this very event :)))

YAY!!!!!!!! I can't wait to dig in :)

Kara said...

This is crazycool! I am beyond excited for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Also to go to BEA. I mean, one day. In the distant-y future.

And, man, that purse is awesome! I really want to try and make my own DIY version of it, despite my lack of sewing skills.

Debbie Barr said...

Oooh, the new cover is lovely! I am so happy for you, you are an incredible writer, and it's great to see your book getting such wonderful attention already! Can't wait to read it. :)

Jenn B-H said...

I was so happy to get an ARC of this at Book Expo last week. I wish I could've stood in line to get your signature. I was able to get a copy for Sheila Marie (Scholastic) and she is as excited and happy for you as I am. Wishing you all the success in the world with DSB and I can't wait to see how this series progresses.

Courtney Pippin-Mathur said...

I just wanted to say you are awesome and I love your posts! Thanks so much for the inside glimpses, can't wait to read the book!

MotherReader said...

Sorry that I missed you there this year! Bummer! Oddly enough I ran into many of those other LB folks - Alvina, Faye, and Peter. I did NOT meet Daniel Handler and am very jealous of your signed book.

So happy to see all the buzz about your book! Can't wait to read it!

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