Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hanging with Laurie Halse Anderson

I first met Laurie Halse Anderson over five years ago at a local conference for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators when I heard her speak about writing. I was attending the conference to learn as a writer and lover of words, looking for inspiration to stay motivated about my own writing and hoping to meet some incredible writers. The conference didn't disappoint!

I had an opportunity to chat with Laurie for a good while that time, talking about being part of a writing group and really putting on paper the voices that are talking to you in your head. She also provided some materials about her presenting at conferences. At the time, I was still on the board and conference planning for the NC School Library Media Association and having Laurie at a conference would be spectacular!

I met Laurie again a few years ago when she was promoting her newest book and made a visit to our favorite local independent book store, Quail Ridge Books. At the time, she was as witty and authentic and inspiring as I remembered her. She offered her advice for aspiring writers and read from the novel. It's always a great thing to hear author's read their works!

And last night, I had yet another opportunity to hang with Laurie Halse Anderson. And once again she was the incredible, inspiring and entertaining writer that I've come to expect. Over dinner with a few fellow library media coordinators, she shared her day's experience, working with students at one of our high schools. She jokes that just the smell of the school building makes her twitch and gets her excited. After dinner, we had the chance to hear her share her research and thoughts on her latest book, Wintergirls, about a young woman's struggle with an eating disorder. The audience, mostly women and about half teenagers, hung on her every word as she again inspired us to be the best writers, the best readers, the best people we can be.

Thanks for autographing yet another of your works. I can't wait to cozy up and discover your latest protagonist!

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