Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Last weekend I was lucky enough to be one of nine authors invited to take part in the first ever EpicFest, a "literary festival for kids of all ages" held at ImaginOn, an astonishing structure in downtown Charlotte, NC, which contains an enormous children's branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library plus two beautifully appointed performance spaces for the Children's Theatre of Charlotte.
Each author did two school visits on Friday. I had a lovely time at River Oaks Academy and Chantilly Montessori. On Saturday, the day of EpicFest itself, each author gave a talk, sold and signed a lot of books, and had the chance to hear some talks from our fellow presenters. If we had wanted to, we could also have built Lego creations, made all kinds of  crafts, and dipped apples in white chocolate and then covered them with sprinkles. My biggest regret of the festival: not finding time to dip that apple!

Here is the "book house" I saw at one branch of the library during my lunch break on Friday:

Here I am with new friend Sheila Turnage, whose debut novel, Three Times Lucky, was named a Newbery Honor Book. (Also pictured: Pete the Cat.)
And here is the "book mobile" made by my old friend Mark West, professor of children's literature at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. It hangs on the front porch of his home, books swinging gently in the Carolina breeze.

I came away from the festival thinking: I love being part of this world, the world of people who write books, read books, teach about books, love books. I want to be part of it in every way, forever.

Guess I'd better start writing my next book soon...

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