I had the most awesome weekend because I got to hang out with Lisa McMann, the author of the Wake trilogy, Cryer’s Cross, and the upcoming release The Unwanteds. She’s been staying in her hometown Holland this month and wanted to get together with some Michigan English teachers and librarians. She and I chat sometimes on Twitter, and when she told me about this and asked if I would want to come, I of course said YES! She made the whole thing even better because she emailed the teachers and librarians she invited and told us we could bring another English teacher or librarian as our guest. I invited Lindsay since she’s my best friend and she told me about Wake
It’s a bit of a drive to get out there, so Lindsay and I got up early Saturday morning to get ready and head out. The party started at 4:30, so we had time to check into our hotel and get lunch. A bunch of times throughout the day we were geeking out about this whole thing. When we arrived at the condo, we did get a little confused about where the condo she’s renting is exactly, but thankfully we weren’t the only ones! Once we found the condo, Lisa was there greeting everyone and giving hugs. She’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful. She had name tags for us so we knew everyone’s name. She also had them for our tote bags, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. She told them about her party, so they sent us presents! Everyone received an ARC of her upcoming books The Unwanteds (Aug. 2011) and Dead to You (Feb. 2012). We also received an ARC of Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler, which is a March 2012 debut, and a finished copy of Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch. Obviously, we were all excited about this!
I think everyone had a wonderful time. It was really fun to meet other teachers and librarians and spend the evening sitting on the balcony, watching the sunset over Lake Michigan and talk about books and teaching. Lisa had appetizers and drinks to start before our dinner was catered. Wow, was the food awesome! The chicken satay and peanut sauce was my favorite, with the twice baked redskins following close behind. Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Her sister made us the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. The lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling were fabulous. I could have eaten my weight in those cupcakes. As we ate, Lisa mingled with all of us. Some of the books we talked about were Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach, OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy, and Blood Red Road by Moira Young, just to name a few. All of us were making lists of books to read. It was seriously so much fun.
Lindsay and I made sure to head down to the beach to take some pictures and dip our feet in the lake, which was freezing cold. At some point in my life when I hit the lotto, I think I’ll buy a place on Lake Michigan. That could happen, right?
Lindsay and I bought hard copies of Wake, Fade and Gone along with copies of Cryer’s Cross, which I already had. We were able to take some pictures as well, and then sit and chat with her. It was fun to talk to her about writing and what we do with our students. She’s taking part in a writing contest with Simon & Schuster for teen writers. When I saw the link to this, I sent it to some of my students who are aspiring authors. I told her about the stories I’ve read written by Felecia, Tristan, Mali and Lori because I think all of them have the potential to write a book in the future.
Overall it was the best way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait to tell my students about this in the fall! Thank you Lisa for inviting me and Lindsay! We had an amazing time and are very grateful for the invite