Texas Book Festival 2015

20151017_140152Last week­end I had the plea­sure of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Texas Book Fes­ti­val in Austin, TX. It was a huge event, with over 300 par­tic­i­pat­ing authors and spread out over the capi­tol area of down­town. I had the hon­or of read­ing Emmanuel’s Dream with illus­tra­tor Sean Qualls to a huge crowd in the Chil­dren’s Read Me a Sto­ry tent.
20151017_140202First, Sean and I were intro­duced by the most adorable (and well-rehearsed) class of kinder­garten­ers. They’d each mem­o­rized a line of our bios and had them print­ed on a card for the audi­ence to read as they recit­ed them in order. Best. Intro. Ever.
2015-10-17 IMG_2538 CynthiaThen, Sean and I read the book togeth­er, tak­ing turns with each alter­nate two-page spread. This was the first time we’d ever done this, and, in fact, the first time we had ever met! What a treat!
2015-10-17 Akiko 1The best part for me was hear­ing about Sean’s process for mak­ing the art. I love the art in the book, and it was fas­ci­nat­ing hear­ing the details behind it. I was able to share some of this new knowl­edge in a school vis­it a few days later!
2015-10-17 Akiko 2After the read­ing, our talks, and a Q&A ses­sion, we head­ed over to the sign­ing tent. We met some great peo­ple, includ­ing some of the kids who had intro­duced us and their par­ents, as well as local teach­ers, authors, and illus­tra­tors, includ­ing the tal­ent­ed Akiko White. Akiko has been get­ting her hat signed by illus­tra­tors for years, and it is quite a work of art, let me tell you! She was gra­cious enough to let me sign it… I tried to write small. 🙂
Many thanks to local author and friend Cyn­thia Levin­son for the hos­pi­tal­i­ty, cama­raderie, moral sup­port, and pho­tos. You all are in for a treat when her new book, The Lit­tlest Marcher, comes out (I got a sneak peek)!
Thank you, too, to Sean for being such a great co-pre­sen­ter and awe­some human being. I’m so hap­py we final­ly got to meet!
Thank you to Akiko and my friends Mike and Jeanne Dah­mus for tak­ing pho­tos and giv­ing me per­mis­sion to use them here, and for buy­ing books!
And thank you to the Texas Book Fes­ti­val orga­niz­ers and vol­un­teers for mak­ing it all hap­pen. It was such an hon­or to be a part of it all.

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