Fun in Santee

Got to be part of a really fun event yesterday at the Santee branch of the San Diego County Library.

(And now, since I typed the word “library,” I have to take a moment and burble the following: LIBRARIES RULE JEEZ BY GOSH WE SHOULD FUND THE HELL OUT OF THEM!)

(It’s true. We should.)

(Also, they should remain public and not fall to privatization.)

Anyway. The event was billed as “Lunch With Teen Authors,” and my co-panelists were Kirsten Hubbard, Cindy Pon, and Barrie Summy. They were smart and funny and engaged, and part of me wishes I could have just sat in the audience and tossed questions at them instead of listening to myself blab (which I have kind of a tendency to do).

After a couple of, shall we say, lightly attended events, it was both a relief and a pleasure to see the audience fill up the available space. Seemed like a good mix of teens and maybe some pre-teens, moms, and a guy filling plates with Chinese food, who may have been my favorite person there on account of he was filling plates with Chinese food. Cindy taught me the correct way to say “chow mien,” and before the panel I ate my chow mien at a table with two girls, and they were both cool and one of them had even read Kid vs. Squid, so that was a treat for me. I also met a guy named Shane who quite rightly pointed out that one of my ideas for a Kid vs. Squid sequel violated one of the key genre concepts of KvS, and he even suggested an alternative. Shane, if you happen to be reading this, I mispoke. I didn’t literally mean Hell. Nonetheless, you are quite correct, sir.

Librarian Marisa and the audience asked a lot of good questions, and I particularly liked answering the ones from the young writers in the audience. I hope we didn’t crush their dreams by talking about the hard parts of being a writer. But, durn it, they deserved the truth.

Mysterious Galaxy was there selling books afterward, and I signed a few, plus some bookmarks and postcards, but even better than signing the books was seeing library copies being snatched up. As much as I love finding my books on bookstore shelves, knowing they’re in library circulation is an incomparable feeling. Libraries. They are good.

Later, I met local YA writers, Lisa Ritter Cannon, Nikki Katz, and Andrea Ortega, who keep a group blog, YA Know, and I joined them and Barrie, Cindy, and Kirsten for some coffee and chat, which was, as you might expect from the overall tenor of this entry, very fun and pleasant.

All in all, just a really great event. Thanks to Marisa and Santee Library and the Friends of Santee Library (who sprang for the event) and everyone in attendance.

Here’s a photo ganked from Andrea Ortega’s Twitter feed:

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