Thursday, October 01, 2009

FAME is Exhausting!

I am so worn out.

I've spoken at a lot of schools and conferences over the past two years, but never at a conference for school librarians. The attendees at the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference are like a swarm of Energizer Bunnies. They just keep going and going and going... And it's wonderful! They understand the importance of their jobs and jump at every opportunity to make reading more exciting and enticing for their students. So the authors at this conference are constantly being asked to pose for photos to show the students back home. I've never smiled so much in my life!

After yesterday's panel with Roland Smith, Neal Shusterman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Ridley Pearson, I had my first of two book signings. I've wanted to meet Wendy Mass for years, and was lucky enough to find myself signing right beside her.

I think I acted a little fanboy around her, but I couldn't help it.

Then I sat down for a filmed interview, which is always interesting. Do I look at the camera? No, look at the reporter. Damn! I looked at the camera.

At night they had a dinner, followed by dancing. But people were having so much fun talking, the dance floor remained bare. JoanMarie, a dancing fool, was with me and kept asking, "This song? What about this song?" So I finally gave in and showed off my four swing dance moves.

And then I skedaddled off the dance floor. So JoanMarie began pulling everyone onto the dance floor and soon the place was hoppin'.

The President of Fame even told me I'd better bring JoanMarie back next year, whether I'm nominated for anything or not.

This morning, I rushed downstairs to hear Margaret Peterson Haddix give a speech during the Author Breakfast. But a hotel worker ushered me into the wrong breakfast and I missed most of Margaret's speech because I was too busy hanging out with the folks from some conference with Cardiovascular and Renal in the title.

Definitely not my crowd...though I did eat their food.

Then I accepted my Florida Teens Read Award, which was a huge honor. And now I have to somehow fit a couple of heavy personalized glass bookends into my carry-on luggage.

That was followed by a tear-inducing keynote speech by Jodee Blanco. I am absolutely buying her book, Please Stop Laughing at Me...One Woman's Inspirational Story. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait to get it signed because the bookstore sold out of her book.

Finally, I gave my presentation.

It was a very fun event for a couple of reasons. The audience was made up of people who've definitely contributed to the success of my book, so I felt like I was talking to friends. And JoanMarie was there. She's only seen me give this presentation one other time, back when I was brand new to this public speaking thing. And I'll admit, I was showing off a bit for her!

And now it's time to hit the pool.


Steve said...

Mr. Asher, I would like to say that I have just recently read your book and I was blown away. As an aspiring author I congratulate you on your moving characters and lightning quick pacing. I couldn't put it down and after finishing it I told everyone and their brother to check it out. I hope to see more from you in the future.


Joan said...

Awesome! I am so happy for you. Hey, just may win the Washington State Evergreen Award for 2010 also! I introduce the 10 nominees each fall to the students and you should have heard them when I intro-ed 13RW! You will find yourself up here with Washingtonian energizer bunnies at a WLMA conference! Did JoanMarie like the presentation as well as RAL students?

More on Machu Pichu?

Cheers, Joan

OnMessage What's Your Story podcast said...

Yay Jay! So happy for your success and congrats on the award -- it is MUCHO deserved. I still get people mentioning your book to me since the review, it definitely makes an impact which is so incredible. And Wendy Mass is one of my favorite authors too, and such a nice person. Looking forward to your next book! (hint hint) ;)

wendyM said...

A friend told me to read your blog're too sweet! I wish I'd known about your acceptance speech, I would have snuck in! Pretty funny about winding up at that other conference for breakfast. I kept checking out those guys (not in THAT way!) and wondering what they thought of all of us.
I hope you guys are having fun in the sun and with The Mouse.
I really had fun meeting you and your wife, and look forward to crossing paths again soooon, maybe on the left coast next time. :o)

Anonymous said...

Mr Asher- I am an elementary school media specialist, so I do not always get to read all the books on the Fl teen list. But after today speeach and sesion I purchased you r book and read it in one day. I loved it. You signed it for my children and I am so greatful. My daughter has alreadystared reading it and my so will soon. I must say even I cannot always motivate him to read but I told him about you books and he is looking forward to reading it. I alos told my kids about the Grover ref. They laughed. Thanks for writing about a topic that many kids have a hard time talking about. I hope after reading your book people will see why it is so important to treat all people with kindness and respect. You just never know what that person is going through. Thanks for putting up with us energizer Bunnies we all have a great passion for our proffession and respect for your talent.
Thank you

MichelleJ said...

Mr. Asher, Your take on our conference was amusing and delightful! Love to hear the author's side of our conference. I was sitting in the back for your author session and across the aisle from me was author Wendy Mass. I asked her if listening to an author is just as exciting for her as it is for us media specialists, and she emphatically replied "oh, yes!" It is nice to live in a world where authors are rock stars!

Amy Huntley said...

I'm in love with librarians, too. As a teacher, I can't believe how much they've helped me over the years!

And, Jay, thanks for much for your kind words about THE EVERAFTER. I'm excited that it's finally here, too. Oh, and I've been pushing THIRTEEN REASONS for a while now in my classroom!

Rita said...

Ha! Damon and I know four swing dance moves, too. Maybe, if they're different ones, we can share info sometime. Then we'll know . . . six.

Great to see in these comments how awesomely your talk went over. :)