Monday, March 11, 2013

The Young Critics Club - Greenwich, CT

I'm back from a whirlwind week of amazingness! So last week I headed up to NYC to visit with my wonderful HarperCollins team again. You would think that with a camera in my iphone that I would always remember to take pictures, but I can never remember to use it! So even though I met with my fabulous editor Phoebe and the amazing editorial assistant Jessica, I didn't get any recent photos with them! So I have to stick in a photo from my last trip up just because they are truly the best of the best!

I also did not get a picture with my fabulous publicist, Olivia, for which I'm hitting myself! However, I did get one with Alana, my AWESOME marketing guru, but only because she was the one to think of it in the first place! This was at dinner with my editor, note I once again didn't get a photo with Phoebe. But she and Alana took me out to this amazing little Italian place in midtown that had the most delicious calamari and eggplant dishes.


After the incredible meal, I headed over to my parents place and woke up to a snowy March Friday morning. This was the day that Phoebe and I were scheduled to head up to Old Greenwich, CT to go to the Perrot Memorial Library to meet with the Young Critics Club.

After some back and forth with the lovely librarians about the weather and school cancellations and 6" of snow in Connecticut, we decided that it would still be worth going because the kids still wanted to come to the book club event. So Phoebe and I headed up to Connecticut. By the way, there is nothing like having a whole day of alone time with your editor! I'm sure all of Phoebe's other authors are terribly jealous of me!!

So up in Old Greenwich, we met with the wonderful children's librarians, Kathy Jarombek and Mary Clark that run the amazing Young Critics Club. They took us to lunch in this amazing Italian restaurant called Applausi. I wish I could share with you a photo of my meal and dessert but I ate them so fast that even if I remembered to take a photo, which I never do, it would have been too late. Seriously, I nearly licked both my plates clean! But you know what was better than the food? The conversation between 2 super smart, super experienced children's librarians and my brilliant editor. I was among my people! I could have talked long into the night. However, the Young Critics were waiting and so we headed to Perrot Memorial Library which, btw, is one of the most beautiful public libraries I've ever seen.

This is the children's library and a view of the back of the building. The front of the building has these gorgeous cathedral windows that looks out onto a park with a lake and little gazebo.

And above is the room where the Young Critics Club meets on alternate Fridays. The YCC is a children's book club that has been in existence for 30 years! The book club has an application process that must be filled out by the kids (no parental intervention, please) and the kids must interview for a spot in the club. Plus, there's a waiting list to get in! I wish I had this in my library growing up!

Here's a picture of me with Mary Clark and Kathy Jarombek. My editor is taking the picture and not in the shot! So many regrets on my sad photo skills! Can I tell you how much I loved these ladies and how wonderful this experience was for me? They sort through many many books before choosing some to bring to the YCC. And the fact that they chose PROPHECY makes me so grateful and so appreciative of them. The icing on the cake was then meeting the Young Critics themselves and seeing how enthusiastic and how much they enjoyed my book! They are an extraordinary group of kids who are very bright and very curious. Not only did they have questions for me, but they had smart questions about publishing that my editor was able to answer for them. Can I mention again how lucky I am to have my editor come up with me for my presentation?

The kids were so interactive and the hour flew by so fast that I was stunned to find out what time it was! We had a book signing also as quite a few of the Young Critics had also bought my book to have signed! Leaving behind this lovely library and these wonderful librarians was hard! I kind of want to move up to Old Greenwich so that this can be MY kid's library! I would love to have my kids be a part of this amazing book club! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet with the kids and Kathy and Mary. And I have to thank my editor Phoebe for making it all happen and for going with me! This was definitely an experience I won't soon forget and I will always treasure my day with the Young Critics.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great experience, Ellen. Awesome that you got to spend so much time with your editor and that they're helping you out like this on marketing.

Charles Gramlich said...

If I ever were to get involved in anything like this it would have to be in the summer. Couldn't get away during the school year. Sounds very exciting!

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