Sunday, October 29, 2006

Festive Festival

A few days ago, I wondered about the pacing of my current rewrite of E (I'd say "revision," but it's really more than that). Especially given that they're co-protagonists, I was concerned about the pacing to the moment when my heroes meet in person. But still writing sparce, I'm a scene or so out at page 44. In Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), I realized, Q and B meet on pg. 55ish of the mss. Given that these are both gothic fantasies for the same-age range audience, that's a good sign.

This weekend is the Texas Book Festival. On Friday night, I had the honor of dining with TLS (author interview) at Eastside Cafe. I had the chicken mushroom artichoke soup and crab stuffed shrimp. Then we cruised back to socialize with some of the other incoming authors at the Marriott, which GLS will report on shortly at his blog.

We visited the festival itself the next day. Celebrity sightings in the tents included JW (author interview), KD, JK, L&RG (author interview), HH and her co-author BB (co-authors interview). I also tried to say "hi" to SM (author interview), but her escort was already nudging away avid fans to take her somewhere else. In the capitol building itself, sightings included VB (and her darling family)(author interview), AB (author interview), TC, VJ, and GB. AL also waved as she ran by.

This year, GLS spoke on a panel for the Writers' League 2006 Teddy and Violet Crown winners and finalists.

On the children's front, short works finalists BC, author of The Pledge of Allegiance by Barbara Clack (Texas A & M University Press Consortium, 2005) and AS, author-illustrator of Mocking Birdies (Simply Read Books, 2005) participated, though TT, the winner for Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom, illustrated by JRB (Cinco Puntos, 2006)(recommendation) was in Canada so his publisher, LMB, accepted for him.

In addition GLS, a finalist for Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005)(author interview), and winners HH and BB, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight (Dutton, 2006)(co-authors interview) also took part.

Qustions included sources of inspiration, the revision process, and titles. What with the Violet Crown winners on the panel, too, it was a large group. However, the moderator was strong and the participants all were gracious, so we got to hear from everyone.

From there, reception followed at the Brown Bar from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Appetizers included a bacon-wrapped shrimp, cubed cheese, and both fruit and veggie platters. Attendees were a lively bunch--including the finalists, winners, and HH, who was on a concurrent panel (author interview), and her husband, JL (author interview), who moderated that same panel, VJ, GB, CB and his wife CB.

Afterward, GB, CB and his wife CB joined GLS and I for dinner at Gumbo's, which is right next door to the bar. It was my first time and the restaurant, and the food was gloriously Gulf Coast with all the butter that implies. I had the halibut with crab over a mushroom risotto and asked for my hollandaise sauce on the side.

KA (author interview) will be stopping by later today after her signing at the Wildflower Center so we can autograph her stack of copies of Santa Knows (Dutton, 2006).