Welcome Book Expo Friends

Welcome to all our new friends from the Book Expo America. My partner, Dr Sara Williams, and I had a great time participating as both educators and authors.

Pictured above is myself with Marcia Clark, infamous for being the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trials. I actually watched these trials live long ago while I was between jobs as an art director. I saw all the best highlight-reel moments live. I never imagined I’d meet Marcia Clark in real life. She was very personable. I’m eager to see how my mom likes her personally autographed book, Blood Trials.

We spent 2 whole days there and I think I could have spent a week. I was in book heaven. Especially when I ran across the Choose Your Own Adventure booth. I wanted every single book. (I saw people walking away with suitcases full of “free” promotional books.) But I limited myself to only 3. Back home I re-discovered that I have the #1 original publication in the series. The Caves of Time. I remember being in elementary school and waiting for the librarian to open the new shipment of books so that I could be the first to read the new Choose Your Own Adventure. Now I want to write my own Choose Your Own Adventure book for dreams. It may require a future licensing deal.

I got to meet many more publishers, distributors and authors, including another one of my favorites, Berkeley Breathed, and an autographed copy limited-edition preview of his new book Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope.

We have big hopes for our future partnership with some of these new friends and associates as we seek a publishing deal for our own Dream Playbook, a book that has undergone almost 2 years of writing and testing, not to mention years and years of higher-level education (Sara has a PhD in child psychology) and life experience (my bicycle ride around the world, the ultimate example of making dreams come true).

Some favorite books that I found:

  • Penguin Problems. A book that scored high on my Jealousy Scale (I wish I did it first. So the more jealous I am, the better the book). It took me about 5 seconds to think, “Wow! I love it. I wish I wrote this.”
  • What do you do with an idea? This is another book that scores so high on my Jealously Scale that I think it actually made me angry that I didn’t think of this first. Thus my new Anger Scale. I imagine this book could have been called “What do you do with a dream?” However, the idea (dream) just came out of nowhere. So, I think I need to do a related book, but where the dream is an intentional creation. I’m going to call it: “The Day A Dream Was Born.”
  • Big Red and the Little Bitty Wolf by Jeanie Franz Ransom. Jeanie was an author that walks the talk and spent a lot of time to take us under her wing. Not to mention, her books are wonderful. I liked the role reversal in this book. And there are a couple of pages of practical advice at the end for those dealing with bullying issues.
  • Backyard Ballistics: (Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices.) Wish I had this when I was a kid. My attempts at a bow and arrow, slingshot and catapult were depressing failures. I will be able to put this to use at one of my favorite NPO’s: Happen, Inc.
  • The Power of an Attitude of Gratitude. My nephew already picked this one as one of his favorites.
  • The Good Dog. By the creator of Blues Clues. We had a really insightful discussion about the diminishing word count of children’s books, perhaps related to the parent’s attention span and overwhelming responsibilities in daily life. These books are about 4x longer than average with over 2000 words. It’s nice to be able to live in this world a little longer.
  • History of Monster Movies. And a fun meeting with the author/illustrator and publisher.
  • Time Travel with a Hamster. The kind of book I would have devoured as a tween, and may still do. Actually, this book rose to the top of my pile. I love the subject and it’s wonderfully written. I can’t believe it is recommended for only 8-12 years old.

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