Sunday, March 4, 2018

Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literary Festival 2018

In 2015, I was one of the author speakers at the Charlotte S. Huck Literary Festival in Redlands, CA.

My books sold out quickly so I was quickly invited back for this year (actually last year, but I had a scheduling conflict). This year, however, after I spoke, my books again sold out quickly, leaving some attendees disappointed and the bookstore stunned. They said they'd never seen books sell out that fast and asked me "What did you say?"

I love the structure of this event. Each featured author gets to hear every author speak to the entire attendance. (Often at book events, authors are scheduled against each other throughout.)

I had the added privilege of speaking with a group of 4th and 5th graders whose parents drove them to campus. They had done some impressive prep work…

Inspired by Bill Finger, the kids made gimmick books:

Inspired by Bill Finger, I used "bill," "finger," and "bat" puns throughout Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, and the kids discussed this (and alliteration):

They even made a timeline of notable events in comics history, which listed multiple Bill Finger events...including Bill the Boy Wonder and Batman & Bill! Granted they kindly did that because I would be there, but it was still cool to see.

Coolest of all: their nametags indicated their names twice…once correctly, once backwards. As for why, see Bill the Boy Wonder

Thank you again to Marjorie Arnett, my author "angel" Andy Mitchell, and all the committee members/volunteers who made the festival (and my participation in it) possible. It was an honor to meet James and Lesa Cline-Ransome, whose joint presentation was disarming, modest, and impressive. It was a similar honor to meet Kathi Appelt (and her husband) in person years after I "met" her as both a participant in the "kidlit authors read bad reviews" videos and a keynoter at a particularly dramatic SCBWI conference.

Side note: I started my California week in Los Angeles, where I had the pleasure of having lunch with Scott Valentine, the actor who played Nick, Mallory Keaton's boyfriend on Family Ties. He did not participate in my
Family Ties oral history but shared some startling stories over Thai food...

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