Monday, August 4, 2008

Hanging with the (Book) Stars in La La Land

The stars aligned in Los Angeles this weekend--combining my wedding anniversary with meeting the newest nephew (just 3 weeks old!) in the Headley clan and hanging out with countless fabulous YA luminaries.

First stop: Anniversary

As one last gift before we move to China, my parents sent my hubby and I BY OURSELVES to LA for our wee-bit-early 15th anniversary. There, we finally visited the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, which we'd been wanting to see for years.

Now, as some of you know, I've been angsting / whining / bemoaning about the 50-BOOK LIMIT imposed on us for our move. I mean, really! 50 books! When I visited my public library last week, I actually teared up, already missing my access to every book I could possibly want. So what did my thoughtful hubster do? He bought me a Kindle as an anniversary present! Now, I can download books and audiobooks to my heart's content in our year away. Yahoo!

Second stop: rgz TV
While I opted not to attend this year's SCBWI conference, I met live and in-person my book hero and blog superstar, Little Willow! She is as bubbly and adorable AND articulate as I had imagined her to be.

Look at that mischievous smile! A casting director would be an idiot not to include her in any film or play!

Together, Little Willow and I interviewed a bunch of YA authors for our new readergirlz initiative: rgz TV...coming soon on YouTube! Watch out, Oprah! Little Willow really needs to start her own book TV show. She is THAT spectacular as a talkshow host.
Paula Yoo wowed us with her rocking (seriously) violin concerto. Her playing literally elicited spontaneous applause from people in the outdoor bar! And then we were joined by the immensely talented and warm-hearted Sonya Sones who shares the same hat fetish as me. Lisa Yee & her peep graced the couch--and I have to admit, my FlipCam shook since I was laughing (silently, I hope) at her jokes. Joyce Lee Wong and Tina Ferraro joined in the fun, too. (May I tell you how much I appreciated Joyce's heartfelt thank you to readergirlz for taking our free time to promote YA literature? That was very, very sweet.)

Holly Cupala (pictured in apple green), another readergirlz denizen, just sold her first YA novel in a two-book deal! Can you tell from her wide smile? Okay, part of the smile can be attributed to meeting Jay Asher in person after featuring his 13 Reasons Why all July at readergirlz.

Ellen Hopkins shared her wisdom and heart with us...all in three minutes of footage. And finally, after we wrangled all the details out of Rachel Cohn about her latest book and upcoming Nick & Norah movie, she demanded to interview me about NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. I learned that the woman does not take NO for an answer--no matter how much I protested. Which was a lot. Honestly, I was sweating so profusely, I could have been an ad for why deodorant is a good thing. Let's just say that I very much prefer to be on the other side of the camera.

And let it be known: the Pacific Northwest SCBWI has it going on! Jolie Stekley (in the geometric dress) and Sara Easterly (unpictured since she's imminently going into labor with baby #1) rock the children's book world with the way they run our local SCBWI. We were chatting when Melissa--the famous book reviewer from MySpace--recognized us from all of our photographs. Tucked between her and Holly is Martha Brockenbrough (that's Miss Cinemama to you!). Make sure to check out her TWILIGHT article.

Fourth stop: friends & family
Hubster and I had brunch at the Hotel Bel Air with our very dear friends, Chris and June Peters. They are fabulous and creative--one's an artist, the other a screenwriter. They've moved from down the street to LA. Boo! After snuggling with my newest nephew, I dragged my hubster to Venice Beach for my agent's annual Writers House book bash, famous for its desserts. This year did not disappoint with the micro-milkshakes. YUM.
Fun times in La La Land!


  1. Happy anniversary, you two!

    I had a blast. I hope you did, too!

  2. Happy Anniversary! You must have had so much fun....and to have met LW! Yay!

    BTW, two of my critique members got an ARC of North of Beautiful at ALA and have been raving about your book this week.