Children's Author Breakfast 2010 at BookExpo America

This morning I cleaned up dog poop in the yard, but 24 hours ago it was all glam and glitz at BEA's annual children's author breakfast. I was immensely nervous in the green room beforehand, so I clutched Richard Peck's hand for comfort.  It worked:

Cory Doctorow (For The Win), Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead), and I had a chance to chat while waiting for Sarah, Duchess of York, to arrive:

The Duchess has been in the headlines this week (google it) and was hounded by paparazzi. It was wild seeing them snapping photos and feeling the glare of the flash every time I stood near:

As the event drew nearer, she gathered poise and charm. Notice how intently Donna Spurlock of Charlesbridge (who spoiled me thoroughly throughout the day — thank you!) watched the Duchess pick up my book:

The Duchess was warm and gracious as the Master of Ceremonies, pouring us cups of water, pronouncing my name correctly, and pitching our books with savoir faire. She even asked for copies of our speeches afterwards and gave us her email address. Photo courtesy of Alvina Ling:

Publisher's Weekly summed up our speeches quite well. I talked about windows and mirrors, a frequent theme here on the Fire Escape, and gave some insight into why I wrote Bamboo People. I promise I didn't read my notes the whole time (photo courtesy of Jennifer Laughran):

While Mr. Peck was speaking, Cory Doctorow turned his page of notes into tiny origami birds, which I coveted. Kindly, he gave them to me:

All in all, it was an unforgettable day, and the support from the audience of booksellers, librarians, educators, and publishing people was amazing. Thanks, BookExpo!