Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wish You Were Dead

You have returned from a terrific week in Vancouver, WA., across the Columbia River from Portland, OR. If anyone owns any Columbia Sportswear (jackets, shirts, shorts, etc.) the company that makes it is named after the river.

The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, the air robust and clear, the vegetation lush. You have never seen such bright red rhododendron or orange azaleas.

Just before you left for the journey, you received 500 business-size cards from your publisher promoting your next book, Wish You Were Dead, your first “pure” YA thriller, which will come out this October. Along with the cards was a note from your publisher urging you to distribute them to likely readers.

Being a dutiful author, you took a bunch of cards with you and began handing them out, but immediately encountered a bit of a problem. Business cards are a way to network and promote oneself, but can one really accomplish that when the card you hand out says, “Wish You Were Dead?”

Oh, well.

It was a great trip. Your host, Carol Mackey, and her husband Charles, were gracious, generous, and delightful company. They took wonderful care of you (even inviting you to their home, cooking a delicious meal, and then demolishing you in every Wii game known to man ;-).

Every media specialist, librarian, and school administrator you met was equally accommodating, friendly, and helpful. At Frontier High School you were invited to leave your mark on “the column of fame,” where the esteemed authors, Sharon Draper and Jack Gantos, had their marks before. This was a humbling experience, not only because Draper and Gantos are seriously well-known major award winners, but because Gantos actually has artistic talent, and Draper has a lovely, swooping autograph – attributes you severely lack.

Luckily there was a young lady in the library with artistic talent – and she was a surfer as well! – who was willing to help you. The result is here (thanks, Rachel and Kelli!).

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