This past weekend, I spoke at the Southern Festival of Books, a long-running book festival in Nashville, Tennessee. Varian Johnson and Heather Hepler joined me for a panel on “Heartache and Hope” in young adult literature. Our crowd was small but interested (and interesting), and we had a good time talking books and the field of young adults books. Afterwards, we beebopped up to the War Memorial for a signing. I managed to give away all copies of Soul Enchilada and got a brief few minutes to check out the vendor booths. My flight was early, so I missed the chance to hear other authors speak. I did have the chance to say hey to Alan Gratz and Laurel Snyder.

Many thanks to Humanities Tennessee for providing the venue and the bag of Tennessee goodies for authors. A shout out to Emily Masters for making it all so easy. And a special thanks to my hosts, Helen Hemphill ( Long Gone Daddy, Roundabout, and The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones) and her husband Neal for giving me a place to bunk, as well as inviting me to join them for the inaugural Authors in the Round dinner the first night of the Festival. Helen is gracious and welcoming, and her reading of Deadwood Jones Saturday morning was spot on–and hilarious. 

Next up, NCTE and the ALAN Workshop in November.