My Highlights from ALA In New Orleans

ALA in New Orleans was quite an experience for me. There was so much good! As a survivor, I also had to deal with stress and triggers–but I know that I wasn’t alone in being anxious; there were other authors who were, too. And talking to some friendly authors and librarians helped make the whole experience so much better for me!

My personal highlights from ALA in New Orleans:

  • Ellen Hopkins coming to talk to me at my booth! That was a delight, and a real highlight. And Alex Flynn and A.S. King talking to me before the YALSA coffee klatch! These are all writers whose works I love, so it was a treat and an honor.

  • Most of the copies of Scars going in the first 20 minutes of my signing! I couldn’t believe it! And having lovely people come up to me and talk to me during the signing. Also, finding out that more than half of first printing of the Scars paperback has already sold–and it just came out. Wowza!

  • Talking to readers who needed Scars, who had cut or had a friend or a child who had. And hearing from one lovely librarian who came up to talk to me that she’d called Boone County Library when Scars was being challenged there (by a patron) in support of Scars. Thank you!!

  • Having a librarian tell me in the YALSA coffee klatch that Scars was in her top 10 YA books always checked out. Wow! And having some librarians recognize me 🙂 And having many librarians tell me that the WSJ article/opinion piece by Gurdon that put down Scars was, er, crap. (They used far stronger words!) (laughing) Thank you!!

    Me at the YALSA author coffee klatch. Photo taken by WS Stephens, whose students love Scars! (beaming)

  • Being with my editor in person again, Evelyn Fazio, who’s become a friend. How cool is that? 🙂

    Me and my editor (and friend) Evelyn Fazio at ALA

  • Seeing both my books–SCARS and HUNTED–up on the WestSide banner! What a thrill!

    WestSide Books banner at ALA 2011

  • Having a publisher try to poach me and Joe Lunievicz (though I also found that, um, inappropriate). I said firmly that I’m very happy with WestSide. But still, it was such a compliment, and also felt kinda good. And having another publisher joke with me and Evelyn about stealing me–*that* felt happy, it was lovely teasing.

  • Talking and walking with fellow WestSide author Joe Lunievicz; he is as sweet and kind as he is online. And I loved meeting all my fellow WestSide authors–everyone was SO kind! Karen DelleCava, Beth Fehlbaum, Bobbie Pyron, Selene Castrovilla, and of course Ed Yamada (sales) and Stewart Penn (owner).

    Me, Selene Castrovilla, and Karen DelleCava (WestSide authors)

  • Talking to authors, bloggers, and tweeters who I like who I’d only met online. A great feeling! Among them, Kari from Teen Book Scene, Kekla Magoon, Cynthia Liu, Christine Taylor-Butler, and many more!

  • Sitting next to Cindy Alexander from Broddart on the plane there and back–having a wonderful conversation and making the travel feel-good instead of a stressor.

  • Going out to dinner with all my fellow WestSide authors and the WestSide crew!

The WestSide Crew! Left row, front to back: Stewart Penn (owner), Mr Fehlbaum (Beth's husband), Beth Fehlbaum (author), Evelyn Fazio (editor), Cheryl Rainfield. Right row, front to back. Ed Yamada (sales), Joe Lunievicz (author), Selene Castrovilla (author), Karen DelleCava (author), Bobbie Pyron (author)

What did you like about ALA?

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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