Once again, I feel like I haven’t written in forever, and so much has been happening! It’s also November, and I feel that there’s so much to be thankful for right now.
Since I last wrote, I’ve been taking THE CARVER around Tucson and having a blast at places like Sunnyside High School as well as Barnes and Noble’s Mini Maker Faire! Seriously, what a dream to be signing books inside of Barnes and Noble. I loved the conversations I had this weekend. Honestly, how could I not form an instant bond with the four-year-old who loves Captain America and can’t wait to put a Carver button on his shirt? Or the woman who just wanted a fist bump for seeing a young Latino publish a book, or all the teens whose faces lit up when they saw the amazing cover work for this series? I also had such a great time at Sunnyside. My heart thundered with joy to see so many teens openly sharing their enthusiasm for books and writing. One girl listened to my book spiel and said, “Wow, you wrote that book? Do you, like, do autographs and stuff?”
Of course, I found that comment very endearing because only three or four days before, I was in full-on fanboy mode at Phoenix Fan Fest. (Because what else do I do with my free time when I don’t have my author hat on?) You all know about my love for cons, and this year’s Fan Fest will easily be one of my favorites for a long time to come. First of all, it’s much smaller and more intimate than the bear that is San Diego Comic Con, so thankfully camping out overnight wasn’t a thing this time. (Although I’ll be ready to take on the bear again in July!) Fan Fest lines are quick and painless, and I hardly had time to compose a Tweet! There were some great costumes as well, including a devoted group who went all out to form an ensemble of Harry Potter characters ranging from a very convincing Sirius Black to a Rita Skeeter with just the right amount of hair product…
And I’m very excited to have a Stranger Things poster on my desk now, signed by “Hopper” and “Eleven”! I loved chatting with Millie Bobby Brown, who had the best reaction when I asked her how Phoenix was treating her. Spoiler alert: nobody really liked the heat–do I blame them?–but they love the people! Elizabeth Henstridge from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was incredibly kind and signed my S.H.I.E.L.D dvds, and as for Brett Dalton (who some of you might know as my “fan casting” for Liam), we need to start a hashtag to get him in a Carver Netflix series so I can be best friends with him. A long time ago, I actually wrote to him for an autograph request, and he responded with a handwritten note on a 3 x 5 card. I brought that card to Fan Fest to thank him personally for his time. He had a really great response to that, and then we had a fun chat about SHIELD and dinosaur rights, because he feels very strongly about the fact that people keep going back to Jurassic Park. We also got a few goofy selfies in! #BrettForLiam, please?
Lastly, I recently had a quick trip to Spokane, WA, and while I was there, I was so captivated by this Chinese Lantern Festival:
The whole time, I wondered how my characters would react to the festivities, especially Mulan! There were also contortionists, “face changers” (you must YouTube this!), and martial artists. It was a great time to walk around with a cup of hot chocolate and let my imagination stew a bit. After all, revisions for THE UNSEEN are nearly complete, and I’m shifting half my attention to two new projects: the third and presumably final book of THE ORDER OF THE BELL, along with a fun side project for NaNoWriMo! I’d love to tell you more about it, but I think I’ll save it for my first newsletter. I’m officially inviting you to jump on my mailing list before I roll out the first letter! I’d love for you to be first in the loop on all my future projects, events, and get some exclusive insight on these worlds I’m building. Who knows–I might even give some fun things away from time to time, just to say “Thank you!”
Until then, what are you thankful for this month?