Sunday, May 08, 2011

Port Townsend, WA

On the way to my latest speaking gig, I happened to be passing through the town of one of my favorite new authors. Her book doesn't come out until next month, and I'll tell you more about Forgotten then, but getting to sneak in some coffee time with Cat Patrick was a great way to begin my visit to Washington.

Port Townsend chose Thirteen Reasons Why as its first Teen Community Read novel, and I hope they continue this event for years into the future. This wasn't just about reading and discussing my book. They also created poetry, visual art, and performance pieces inspired by it. It'ill be fascinating to see what the students create for other books.

First, I gave two presentations at Port Townsend High School. Some authors don't like speaking in auditoriums full of teens, but I'd do it every day if I could! Not only do I have fun speaking, but the more quiet one-on-one conversations afterward are made up of so many special moments.

Then I went to Jefferson Community School, where I shared a nice lunch with the students. And the students made the lunch! This was an amazing school, and if you check out their website, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Lunch was followed by a radio interview. After that, my voice was beginning to fade, so I retreated back to my cottage...which included its own dry sauna! (Anyone want to volunteer to be next year's Teen Community Read author???)

Next came a pizza dinner with high school book club members, followed immediately by a poetry reading in the public library. It was a beautiful end to the day.

But there was still more to come!

I gave a community presentation at the library the next day, and I was so happy to see local illustrators Jesse Watson and Richard Jesse Watson in attendance. (Yes, they're related!) Jesse helped local students create visual artwork inspired by 13RW before I arrived. Here's a photo of me and Jesse on either side of Jody Glaubman, the librarian responsible for organizing this wonderful event.

And here are a couple of the art pieces the students created, which were hung in various galleries around town.

The next morning, I got in my rental car, drove it onto a ferry to carry us off the island...

...then drove to the airport, hopped on a plane, and made it home in time to spend a few quality Mother's Day hours with JoanMarie and Isaiah.


author... said...

what a cool event. fun to see "life of an author" in effect. i always forget to take photos and kick myself for it later. congrats!

Jody said...

Port Townsend loved you, Jay! The teens are still talking about you and bugging me about the next Teen Read author. It's so great to have teens talking about books and favorite authors.

Cat Patrick said...

Very cool recap, and again, I'm honored that you could spare some hang time. Thanks for mentioning me/linking to my site in your post, too! Seems like Jay Weekend was a huge success.

heidi said...

This looks fabulous!
What an incredible sounding event. Thanks for the recap!


Megan Bostic said...

Oh man, you were in my area AGAIN and I missed you. bummer.

jodi said...

so cool... and it sounds like the students really loved your visit too. that was quite the audience!

glad you had a great trip!

Cuppa Jolie said...

Super cool to have you here, Jay! And it was so great to have a chance to visit with you. Congrats again on book 2. Can't wait for it!