Yes, I know it’s fall, but honestly, last spring was such a whirlwind that I didn’t even post about a couple really amazing things that happened, so please allow me do it now.
First of all, I had the incredible honor of being the featured author at The Lexington School in Lexington, Kentucky. Those students sure know how to show an author a great time! And these librarians–Lori Hancock and Laurie Nawor–are the creme de la creme. You should have seen how they rolled out the red carpet, so to speak. There was music of Malawi playing over a loudspeaker, Zebra-striped cookies served at a reception, and near-life-sized cardboard cutouts of various animals from the African continent.
The spring was busy for another reason: Here in Austin, we wrapped up the Words Across the World program run by local independent bookseller BookPeople in conjunction with the Austin Independent School District, Random House, World Altering Medicine, and yours truly.
Student representatives from forty participating schools came to the celebratory end-of-year party. We called some of our Malawian pen pals. It was a jaw-dropping experience to connect after sending literally thousands of letters back and forth during the school year. (We also enjoyed hearing the goat and chickens in the background.) Then we Skyped with Kevin Bergman, one of the doctors from World Altering Medicine. Students from Austin presented him with a check that will help buy and deliver thousands of doses of malaria medicine to hospitals in Malawi.
I wrapped up the spring with a retreat to Vermont with many other children’s authors who are represented by the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. It was great fun to meet so many authors whose books I’ve long admired!