ALA 2014 - Las Vegas

This year I was invited by my publisher, Shadow Mountain, to come to the American Library Association Conference held in Las Vegas to sign books in their booth. They put me up in a nice hotel, fed me a wonderful dinner, and treated me like an all out star. They are AWESOME publishers!

The goal for publishers at ALA is to get their books into the hands of librarians, teachers and readers across the country so they will spread the word about how awesome a book is. The perk for those attending ALA, is that they get a TON of free books (with the understanding that they will post reviews and share which books people should buy). The publishers bring in authors to sign their newly released or soon-to-be-released books and it is just a FAN FEST. Many long lines & many short friendships later, you walk away excited to read a book and share it with the world.

My illustrator friend, Apryl Stott, met me at the conference and worked with me to promote my book and helped out at the signing. It was so fun to see her there and to spend some time catching up.

I signed on Saturday and Sunday mornings for an hour each time. On Saturday, the line of people wanting me to sign a book for them was amazingly long (some of the people in line told me my line was as long as the Caldecott winner David Wiesner's line). I hope they all like my book as much as his. :-) I was humbled by this turnout and so grateful for the positive comments people gave me on my book, Discover America: From Sea to Shining Sea.

All in all I had a wonderful time, a wonderful experience and a wonderful trip. Thank you to all the amazing teachers, librarians and book lovers out there. KEEP READING!!!

Here are some pics from the trip:

View from my hotel room

The first of 2 signings at the Shadow Mountain booth 11am Saturday Morning

I was told by people in line that my line was as long as Caldecott Winner, David Wiesner's line. I don't know about that but I did sign for an hour straight. I met so many nice people, teachers, librarians and even kids.

This little girl was the highlight of the signing. She even signed a book she made with her dad for ME! I was honored.

And here I am signing one back for her. (and small world, the guy in the background with white hair is actually my neighbor back home. It just happened that his company had a booth at the convention and he happened by during my signing)

still signing

I had Tshirts made for my friend Apryl and I to wear the first day...a bit of advertising for the book. It worked.

Kevin Henkes signed a book for me and asked for one of my postcards.
And yes, I stood in line for all of my favorite authors and illustrators. I am so not above standing in line. :-)

The amazing Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett

A shot of me with my awesome friend Apryl Stott and one of our signed books

I got to meet Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. He was so kind and personable.

Meeting Rosemary Wells, author illustrator of the Max and Ruby series and now franchise

Molly Idle signing and discussing technique. I can't believe she only uses colored pencil. 

Me and Melissa Sweet. Her collages are beautiful!

Apryl and I ready for a night on the town in Las Vegas. (Of course things don't get too wild when you've got two alcohol abstaining, book loving moms going out)

Me and Karen Zelnick, Marketing Guru for Shadow Mountain Publishing, at the Publisher's Dinner at FIX in the Bellagio. Yummy food. Great company.

Meeting Tom Lichtenheld, author illustrator (of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site as well)

Second signing on Sunday Morning in the Shadow Mountain Booth. I signed out of all 250 copies the publisher brought to the conference. They were very surprised and pleased to place so many books. I was surprised and pleased so many people came to the signings.

One of my illustrating/story telling heros, Aaron Becker. He signed one of his books for me and I signed one of mine for him. Nice exchange. Very kind person.

I also got to meet up with some of my Utah author friends. Here's me snagging one of Ally Condie's ARC's. Loved the book by the way. We sat together years ago at a signing in a Christian bookstore, before she made it big. Now look at her. What a sweet, kind person she is. She is a wonderful mom to her kids, author for the YA market, and friend to all. YAy Ally!

Getting a quick hug and an ARC from my wonderful friend Carol Lynch Williams. Read her stuff! It's good!

Meeting Oliver Jeffers, hip, cool, creative author/illustrator.

My haul of books from ALA.  I've snagged time to read a few of the Novels and all of the picture books. Love 'em! Good stuff. I'm a lucky gal.

My kids love the books too!

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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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