April 7, 2014, I had the pleasure of attending ABC Children’s Institute 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. This event is hosted by the American Booksellers Association and is sponsored by Baker and Taylor as well as book publishers. The purpose is to gather independent booksellers from across the country for two days of networking and diverse educational seminars on children’s literacy as well tips for reaching out to children through bookstore events.
My publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books, featured several upcoming titles including my middle-grade novel, The Guardian Herd #1: Starfire, at a luncheon on April 7th. Later that evening, Harper authors Nate Ball (Alien in My Pocket), Michael Hall (Orange Aardvark), Kelly Light (Louise Loves Art), and myself signed ARC’s of our novels for booksellers at the event’s closing reception.
It was a beautiful evening in San Antonio! The food was delicious and the company was entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with independent bookstore owners who exist on the front lines of children’s publishing–hand selling books and helping children discover new titles. I was happy to share with them the inspiration behind STARFIRE and my writing process. Many had read my book and I was thrilled to receive their feedback. They were also fascinated by the ongoing Panster/Outliner debate and we had a good laugh about it. I am a panster, and my signing buddy, Nate Ball, is an outliner. Clearly, there is no right or wrong way to write!
I want to thank my publisher, HarperCollins, for the opportunity to attend this event, as well as Kathy, Jenny, Eric, and my fellow authors for making it such a successful and enjoyable evening. A special shout-out goes to my publicist, Olivia DeLeon, who worked a miracle to get me to San Antonio when my plane was diverted to Austin–Thank You!” — Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Learn more about Jennifer and her exciting new middle-grade series, THE GUARDIAN HERD #1: STARFIRE, coming this September from Harper Childrens on her website. You can also follow her on Twitter and Fan her on Facebook.