07 June

Magic to Do by Carey Corp

I am OBSESSED with Broadway Musicals. So when I learned that our publisher BLINK was sending Lorie and me to New York City for The BookExpo America, I immediately started scheming for a way for us to see Pippin during our brief trip. Alas, our schedule was so jam-packed that a show wasn’t in the cards. But, as you’ll see throughout my anecdotic revue of BEA, we didn’t need a Broadway show to have a magical time.


NYC is ex-citing, mystic and exotic … and wet.

Join us on an exciting journey that starts Tuesday evening near Times Square. Just being in the Big Apple made me want to burst out in song, ala Annie. The cold, drizzling rain didn’t put a damper on our spirits as we met up with friends, including our Honestly YA blog sisters, Jennifer and Kristi. Over Greek, we talked arts and literature—I got deets on the casting progress of the Into the Woods movie, which is going to be epic! *Agreed? Agreed!* And I managed to get through the night without embarrassing myself.


Masterfully handled humor: Carey drops a GIANT blueberry down her shirt!

Wednesday morning Lorie and I grabbed breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Wait … a place where they serve you food and sing? Awesome!!! The wait staff, all aspiring actors, was so enthusiastic about our little book inspired by Brigadoon they announced it over the mike.

Of course that’s about the right time for a giant blueberry to roll off my spoon and drop down my shirt! Several things happened next … mortification, near-hysterical laughter (that was Lorie), and finally acceptance. I would’ve excused myself and headed to the bathroom, but a singing waiter was hovering, crooning and drawing attention to us. Not wanting to reach down my shirt in public, I turned to Lorie saying, “Remind me, later, that it’s in there.” Luckily, blueberry-zilla rolled out the bottom of my shirt and plopped onto the floor before corrective action could be taken. *Whew*


Going along our way Broadway: DOON does a Flat Stanley.

After a hearty breakfast of perilous fruit and show tunes, we took our DOON galley around Times Square and the theater district snapping pictures like true tourists. DOON even posed with some random New Yorkers. Then it was time to meet up with our agent for Thai. (New York has so many yummy ethnic restaurants!)


Plots of disaster: Lorie and I almost die in a cab!

Okay, that might be a shade melodramatic but it seemed like certain death at the time. Mid-afternoon, Lorie and I caught a cab to our first signing: The School Library Journal Day of Dialog at Columbia University. The drive was only 4 miles, right up Central Park but the traffic, just like in the movies, was horrendous. So our driver would go from a dead stop to 50 miles an hour—but I SWEAR, it felt like 80—and back to a dead stop. Over and over. My life began to flash before my eyes and I started composing our obituaries: They wrote well and died poorly… Before I could text anyone my final words, the ride was over. And then the real terror kicked in—our first signing!


Performing parts and warming hearts: Our first DOON signing.

Being a launch title of a new imprint is a little bit scary. What would these YA savvy librarians think of our book? Would it live up to its gorgeous cover and the hype? I needn’t have worried because our rock-star editor Jacque had already won over the attendees! They raved about her raving about DOON and many people were eager to read it.

We also got to meet Zondervan’s *wonderful* VP of Marketing, Chriscynethia, and see our stunning DOON posters. Squee!


Taking kings and things by storm: Being Lead Players *Dee-dle-e-dee*

After a much calmer cab ride back to the hotel, we headed to a local lounge to nosh and socialize. It was wonderfully special and bit surreal to hang in NYC with publishing professionals, and press—some of the coolest people. I was relieved none of the appetizers involved blueberries!

Thursday morning it was finally time to head to The BookExpo America. The Javits Center is HUGE! Filled with publishers giving away tales of fables and foibles, including our book.


Finding our corner of the sky: We run out of galleys.

After a busy, brief signing at the SLJ Library Lounge, we headed for the beautiful HarperCollins banners for the main galley event. Our line formed quickly and lasted until we ran out of books. It was wonderful to meet bloggers and put faces with names. Even more astounding, some of the attendees had DOON on their TBG (to Be Grabbed) list. One brother and sister duo said DOON was a top book to pick up at BEA. Another person had DOON on their handwritten short list, right above Lemony Snicket! And perhaps the most memorable attendee was the girl who got our very last book. She was trying to find the signing, saw someone reading DOON, and got our location. When she told us this, she mentioned the helpful reader was already on chapter 3.

Holy Schwartz!


I can’t express how incredible it is to know that some of the savviest YA readers in the blogosphere are now part of the journey. They’ll be reading our words and falling in love with our characters! They’ll be choosing teams and talking about the DOON series. Lorie and I are so thankful to BLINK for giving us the opportunity to come to BEA to participate in the first galley giveaway. We can’t wait to hear from readers as DOON continues to go along its way!

[View our “What a day (week) this has been!” storyboard from our NYC trip]

07 June

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes by Lorie Langdon

Once upon a time, in an office not so far away, a girl dreamed of being a published author.  While this Cinder Girl sat at her computer for long hours, carving out perfect words and building stories with her bare hands–and perhaps a sprinkle of pixie dust–she watched while others went to the Ball. She was happy for the others, and seeing them achieve their happily ever after gave her hope that someday her heart’s desire to be published could come true.

As time stretched on and more of her carefully crafted words were rejected, villains encouraged her to move on, to wish upon a different star. But there was only one ending this Cinder girl would settle for, so no matter how her heart would grieve with each lonely year that passed she never lost faith that she would one day be invited to the publishing Ball.

Then an idea sparked, a magical tale that had entwined with her heart, yet left her wanting more. And visions danced in her head…Far away places, heroic swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise … With her best friend by her side, they delved into their grandest story yet, and recreated the enchanting legend of Brigadoon, infusing their own humor and longing for adventure.

One fateful day a Fairy Godmother named…er…Zondervan read the girls’ captivating tale, and with a wave of their magic wand, granted the story of DOON life. And the Cinder Girl received an invitation to the largest, most glamorous Ball of them all—the Bookexpo America in the glittering metropolis of The Big Apple. So the girl left her poor provincial town for the city where there’s hardly no day and hardly no night. Ohh, what a sight!

The girls received the royal treatment, whisked through the rain in a shiny black carriage, to be guests at The Sheraton Times Square where they slept on fluffy beds fit for a princess, minus the pea, and served dinners that were never second best.

At the BEA ball, the Cinder girl worried her story would be lost among the thousands of other beautiful books in the massive room. Tomes of all shapes and sizes, clothed in brilliant colors competed for the reader’s attention. But because the girls’ Fairy Godmother had created a new imprint tailor made for DOON, along with a strikingly gorgeous cover, in the Blink of an eye the girls’ dance card was full. Librarians, bloggers, booksellers and readers flocked to receive a copy of the epic fairytale of DOON, signed by the girl who had once sat alone in her office dreaming of the day someone would gush, “I can’t wait to read your book!”

As the girl signed book after book, smiling until her cheeks ached, she knew she couldn’t have been happier if Prince Charming had placed the glass slipper on her foot.  And in that moment, she realized she was a Cinder girl no more, but a real life published author, and going to the BEA Ball was just the beginning.


“Open your arms as wide as you can to receive all the miracles with your name on them.”

–          Suzanna Thompson

[View our “What a day (week) this has been!” storyboard from our NYC trip]