As I’ve said on Twitter, put me in front of a crowd and tell me to talk about A) my book, B) challenging gender roles in middle grade fiction, or C) castles, swords, and anything medieval (especially medieval Scotland)—or all three—and this quiet writerly type will become a presenter.
On March 14, I gave my first bookstore talk at Print: A Bookstore, a fabulous indie in Portland, Maine. The audience was warm and friendly, and I loved their questions and chatting with them as I was signing. One girl asked me if I had any advice about writing for young people. I was asked that at my school talk the next day too. And my advice for both was this: Write what you care most about; read a lot, including outside your preferred genre; and keep a notebook, and take down every idea that comes to you. I hope I helped to inspire young writers; being a writer meant a lot to me when I was their age.
Luckily, our second major snowstorm in that many weeks petered out in the morning, so the roads were clear and this event could go on, and at last I could share my sword and castle and book cookies!
My launch party the previous week had been cancelled due to the threat of snow, and these fancy butter cookies from Pretty Crumbs had been intended for it. Fortunately, butter cookies freeze beautifully, and I was able to save them for this event. (They were as delicious as they are gorgeous.)
Thanks to everyone who came! It was great to see you all.