Cindy: I am still recovering from a fun weekend in L.A. attending the L.A. Times Book Prize and Festival. That article will give you an overview of all the fun I had at this festival that draws 140,000 visitors to celebrate the world of literature. Families, aspiring authors, teachers, and book lovers of all sorts descend on the USC campus to revel in books and 400 authors and over a 100 panels. All five of our YA Literature finalists were there and it was a treat to meet each of them. Mal Peet and Patrick Ness traveled across the pond to be with us and since I am still struggling to deal with my measly 3-hour time difference as I face a busy week I am even more impressed with their coherent and lively discussion during our panel with John Corey Whaley on Saturday. In another panel, Libba Bray and Pete Hautman were delightfully entertaining with their talk of books and expert pineapple slicing, mushroom identification and discussion of the War on Women with the line of the weekend: “Transvaginal Wanding is not just my drag name anymore.” Sorry–you had to be there. A post-panel report just isn’t the same. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all. The Award ceremony with its presentations to a host of authors in the adult categories added to my already long list of big girl books I am missing out on in my life. But I was heartened to find that I am in the middle of reading the winner of the adult mystery/thriller category. Stephen King won for his time-travel novel 11/22/63. I can’t turn the pages fast enough on this one.
Back to Pete and his L.A. Times Prize winning novel, The Big Crunch. We blogged about it a year ago and you can catch that here. And you can read an interview by editor David Levithan with Pete about this book here. Oh, and the best part? Pete’s reaction to the weekend and details of surprise celebration party thrown for him upon his return home! Read it here on Pete’s blog. Congrats, Pete!