Monday, October 08, 2007

Kidlitosphere Conference 2007


WOW! Laini and I got home last night after attending the First Annual Kidlitosphere conference for bloggers, blurkers, blauthors (um, I mean "authors") and all around book lovers (blovers?) in Illinois. We had a FANTASTIC time, and as with the SCBWI conferences and the San Diego Comic Con, we're always sad to leave a gathering that has so many creative like-minded people with similar interests. BUT we felt like we made many new friends and we love seeing the power of blogs and how it can truly create a tight-knit community from around the world even before anyone ever meets face-to-face: awesome!

Well, I'm absolutely CERTAIN I'm going to forget to mention everyone here, so please forgive me for that, and feel free to file your complaints here. Seriously though, know that I truly enjoyed all of the interactions I had with everybody and I look forward to having next year's conference here in Portland!!!

Here is a smattering of pics from the conference:
Me with very funny author & blogger Christopher Rowe, his funny-as-well wife the writer & blogger Gwenda Bond and the podcasting duo of Andrea Ross and Mark Blevis.
Andrea and Mark hold a special place in my heart over our long bonding conversation about the show Arrested Development (RIP).

The five of us had such a silly and fun conversation and I think this oddly-cropped photo does a good job of capturing the good time:


Here's a nice pic of author Ellen Klages and the conference's organizer, the author and blogger Robin Brande:


Here's me with author and nice guy Barry Lyga of the book "The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl" which I REALLY enjoyed and highly recommend (it was on my Christmas wish list last year and Laini came through for me! :)

I had fun hearing about his upcoming books and projects he's working on AND got to witness an iPhone demo (okay, several iPhone demos!) from him. It was so handy and he showed great patience in taking Google and IMDB requests. I think his "demos" might have had some influence on Bill's iPhone purchase the next day!

And speaking of Bill, he and his wife Pam (she's the blogger Motherreader, and he's by default "Fatherreader") were such a blast to get to know. I hope your trip to the Threadless store was everything I imagine it to be! (I'm very envious btw! :) Here's a pic with them and a few other great folks at Esme's place:


From left to right, there's Bill with his new iPhone somewhere close at hand I'm sure, blogger and reviewer Ann Boles Levy, the author, blogger, and hostess extraordinaire Esme Raji Codell in the red & white checkerboard, Bill's wife Pam in the red (Threadless!) t-shirt, the blogger & reviewer and Texas librarian Camille Powell, my lovely wife Laini (smooch!), the quite funny blogger and reviewer Liz Burns, and the opinionated in a very good way Gregory K. Pincus. What a nice bunch of people!

We also got to spend some time with someone who's been a champion for Laini's book even months before it's publication, Betsy Bird (thanks to Laini's awesome editor Tim Travaglini and the wonderful marketing staff at G.P. Putnam's sons for getting those ARCs out!). Betsy runs the Fuse #8 column with the School Library Journal and it was SO nice to have the opportunity to chat with her once again.


I don't have a photo of us with them, but we also had a nice time getting to know author and blogger Sara Lewis Holmes and blogger, Cybil's co-founder, and reviewer Kelly Herold. They were two of the first people I got to meet on Friday and they couldn't have been nicer (thanks ladies!). And to Faith who doesn't blog, if you're reading this, you were a lot of fun to chat with too! Thanks for the kind words about my cover -- it meant a lot! :) And to blogger/reviewer and librarian Stacy Dillon, so nice to meet you and thanks for wanting a sketch! I hope I didn't ruin your poster with my squigglings!

As I said above, Laini and I are REALLY looking forward to next year's conference and are VERY glad that blogger and friend Jone MacCulloch suggested our awesome city of Portland as the location! Laini and I will do our best to help her organize everything and coordinate the event -- it should be a lot of fun!

Well, that concludes my longest post in quite a long time. It certainly has the most links I've ever done -- sheesh! If anyone notices an improper link, misspelling, or some misinformation, let me know and I'll correct it asap! And to those I failed to mention, please know that I had a great time meeting you as well and hope to see you again next year or sooner!

12 comments:

Laini Taylor said...

I'm so glad you came with me, sweetie! I always have more fun when you're there. What a great bunch of folks, no?

Robin Brande said...

I heart Laini and Jim. Seriously.

Sara said...

I thought about NOT being nice to you, but Robin would've booted me before the conference had even begun. :)

It was great getting to talk to you and Laini. I can't wait to read your next project together.

I've got my post up now, too, if you enjoy gossip...

Gregory K. said...

I am definitely opinionated about both you and the rest of the gathered bloggers -- great folks!

Looking forward to next year and whatever lies in between now and then....

Stacy (Booktopia, Tweendom) said...

Jim: Thanks for the comment! You and Laini are too cute for school! Also, I've been showing off my poster left and right, and all folks want to know is "Who drew that sneaky lookin' girl!" Sincere thanks for taking the time to pen it for me. (My first love is comics you know. Mr X being my first purchase, followed by Sandman #1 at aged 18!)

Mary Lee said...

It was a great conference! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Mark said...

I had a blast hanging out with you, Jim. Thanks for being a fan of Arrested Development and for the Target laughs on Saturday night.

I hope to see you soon!

Stacy (my friends call me Stasia) Dillon said...

Yep. Comics. I am shivering with anticipation for 30 Days of Night. That was the scariest book I read in a long time! Don't forget...anytime you're in NYC, feel free to stop by my school. (There are 4 like minded people working in the library alone!) Cheers!

Bill/Cinéaste/FatherReader said...

Had an absolute blast myself, and it was great meeting you and Laini (and everyone else, natch). And if you look closely at that photo, you'll see that the iPhone is not only close at hand, but actually in hand...

As for the Threadless trip, it was, alas, far less than expected. Turns out the address we had was for the offices, not the store -- which was two and a half miles distant. And we walked.

In the end, the store was much smaller than we expected, and carried only the last two weeks' worth of designs. But still, we can say we went (and we did see the Rhino-on-a-Treadmill shirt)!

Bkbuds said...

Wow, it's not everybody who takes a picture of me that I actually like. Many thanks!

It was great meeting you and Laini. See you in Portland.

--Anne from Book Buds

MotherReader said...

Bill stole my comment about Threadless. That's it. The couch for him - for a week!

We had a great time with you guys and we'll be there in Portland come hell or high water.

Jone said...

I am sooo glad to have it in Portland!! It was worth having the hand shoot up. Already thinking of ideas...