Friday, April 24, 2015

Texas Library Conference: Taking Texas By Storm

Texas Library Conference
Austin, Texas
April 14-17, 2015
That's Naomi Bates (on right) and me, Pamela Thompson (on left) right before we sit down to interview the keynote speaker,  New York Times best-selling author David Baldacci! What a thrill!

You can find David's books at any bookseller and almost always on the Top Ten list. David has recently entered the YA market with the release of his first YA title, The Finisher. I reviewed it last year and interviewed David with a group of librarians and book sellers.

Naomi filmed the interview at TLA and  that I'll post it  to the blog soon.

David Baldacci is a practiced speaker. In the keynote, he was entertaining and witty. A crowd of 4,700 librarians attended the conference this year and everyone enjoyed the keynote. He talked about writing and being a famous author and how it's not that different from anything else. He admits he often wrote his finest fiction when practicing law (big laughs from the audience). A case of mistaken identity where a woman mistook him for the other lawyer turned writer, John Grisham, also got big laughs. Baldacci spends his time writing and in charity work. His charity "Wish You Well" donates books to food banks. Baldacci says we all need food to eat in order to survive, but "we can do better." Books are food for the soul.

As for the rest of the conference, it was equally entertaining. Whether networking with other Texas librarians or chatting up the authors, the conference was a blast! I stopped by to see Nikki Loftin, (author of Wish Girl)  and congratulate her on a fantastic book. She was Texas sweet. She jumped up and hugged me and thanked me for my review. Wish Girl is the BEST middle grade book I've read in years and I told Nikki that I see many awards in her future. Nikki said that she was turning the guest bedroom in her house into the "Pamela Thompson suite" and invited me to stay with her any time I'm in Austin. How Texan is that?!

A road  trip to Austin would never be complete without bluebonnets. They were blooming everywhere! The hill country sure came out for me. Bluebonnets as far as the eye could see! Like Wish Girl, the bluebonnets are a love letter for Texas.

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