Thursday, June 28, 2007

Work, Spring list, stuff

I think I'm recovered from ALA now. I hope to do a whole wrap-up on Monday over at the Blue Rose Girls. But in the meantime, I'll just say that it was busy, exhausting, thrilling, and fun. I attended the Caldecott/Newbery dinner for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I seemed to have barely a minute free from Saturday through Monday, was booked most days from 8:30 am till 11 at night. It was the busiest conference I've ever attended. But more on that later. I got home late Monday night, only to go to work early on Tuesday to prepare for our Focus meeting for our Spring 2008 list. For those of you who don't know what Focus is, it's sometimes called Launch, sometimes called Presales. Basically, it's the first formal meeting that we have to introduce our books on a certain list to the sales force. Generally, we have a Focus meeting, then a Presales meeting, and finally the formal Sales meeting. At my company, the editors usually only get to present their titles at Focus, and then only the editorial directors present at Presales and Sales (although this policy keeps changing). Just to give you a sneak peek, my four hardcover titles for the Spring 08 list are:

Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez: this is the first picture book both written and illustrated by Edel, and he's using a completely different art style--very simple, graphic, bright. Sergio is a penguin from Argentina who loves water but doesn't know how to swim.

The Blue Stone by Jimmy Liao: our follow up to The Sound of Colors, this is another 80-page breathtakingly illustrated book. This one follows the journey of a blue stone as it is transformed from one thing to another. It's carved into an elephant statue for a museum, then becomes a bird statue in an elderly woman's garden. It becomes a stone cat in an orphanage to keep the children company, and a heart-shaped necklace for a teenager's first love. This is a story of the different possibilities of life, and finding home again.

Crocs! by David Greenberg, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger: another installment in the "gross animal" series, alongside Slugs!, Bugs!, Snakes!, and Skunks! When a boy and his dog need a break from the busy, dirty city, they go to a tropical island for vacation, not realizing they're about to encounter an islandful of crocodiles.

The Postcard by Tony Abbott: his follow-up to Firegirl (now out in paperback), this one is quite different. I like to call it Holes meets Chasing Vermeer meets Carl Hiaasen. When Jason's grandmother dies, he's sent down to Florida to help his father deal with the funeral and selling of her house. A mysterious phone call leads Jason to discover an old postcard that launches him on a journey to uncover family secrets.

So, keep an eye out for these books come Spring! In terms of my workload, I'm almost done dealing with this list, and am about to start concentrating on my Fall 2008 list. I have a lot of novels on that list, so I'm anticipating more craziness. I had a moment of despair today thinking about it. There are times when work is hectic, but I can see an end in sight, I can see it getting better. But today, I realized that for the next three months its only going to get worse. My cube has been a disaster zone for the past month, and it's past the perfect mess state, and has now reached the unproductive, I-can't-find-anything state. But I stayed at the office till 9:30 tonight, put together my new shelves that I ordered from OfficeMax, and managed to create a semblance of order once again. I went through old emails from a month ago and responded and sorted emails dated up to June 7th. I'm hoping to get through another few weeks worth tomorrow. I'm feeling better. I'll have two days next week to catch up, and then I'm off for vacation to Southern CA for a family reunion on the Fourth of July. I have no more trips planned for the rest of the summer, so I should have plenty of time to get work back on track.

I think I can, I think I can.

On a brighter note, last night I went to see Manu Chao at the Prospect Park bandshell. It was a miserably hot, sticky night. The subway down there was slow and crowded. I was sweating sweating sweating. But after I finally met up with my friends, drank down a cold beer, made a work call, and finally the music started, all was wonderful again in the world. The rain held off until the middle of the encore, and by then it was welcome and exhilarating. We danced in the rain. Later that night, my phone stopped working. It said "Car Kit" on the face of it, for some reason. I googled it and discovered this was probably due to water damage. I thought I'd have to buy a new phone. But today, I went to Verizon, and instead of asking me if the phone got wet, the technician said, "Well, this is usually a sign of water damage, but as there is no physical evidence of this, we'll replace the phone." Woo-hoo!

Sometimes things work out.

Okay, I pounded out this post because T.S. complained that I don't post a lot anymore. Happy now?

Oh, one more thing. I FINALLY finished reading Carter Beats the Devil which some of you have noticed has been in my "What I'm Reading Now" queue for probably the last 6 months or so. You probably thought I just wasn't updating it, but you were wrong. I've really been reading it for that long. I kept putting it down and starting other things and losing it and then finding it again and reading more. It was a really really great book, and I wish I had read it without all those breaks, but regardless, it was still a fascinating, compelling read.

I'm hoping to finish New Moon tonight, which I've also been reading for a while.

And with that, I say good night.


T.S. said...

Peer pressure works!! WOOHOO! :-P Thank you for yet another fantastic blog, though I have got to figure out a way to read them without making myself late for work or bedtime. They're just so compelling.

By the way, it's nice to know that Jen and I aren't the only ones with only a small amount of titles this particular season.

Sara Z. said...

It's good for us authors to be reminded how busy you are and how many different things you have going on, because when we are sitting home alone staring at our computers, it's easy to think, "How come my editor didn't answer the email I sent 90 seconds ago yet? She hates me! I'm a failure! Why me, god??"

It was great to finally meet you at ALA!