Return from YALSA

I came back from the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) conference earlier this week. Rest assured, I’ll blog about that event soon. But today I want to talk about what happened when I left.

The conference ended Sunday at noon with a great keynote address from Ellen Hopkins and Lauren Myracle, two often banned YA authors who spoke on their experiences to the appreciative audience of librarians.  I stayed in Albuquerque until Monday for a little sightseeing and then took a 10:00 shuttle to the airport. My 1:00 flight left me with almost three hours to kill, so I approached the snaking security line without concern. No worries, not even when I realized I was about to have my first full-body scan.

I’d like to tell you I got zapped and felt the radiation surge through my body. No such luck. It was an anti-climactic experience – step on the mark, hold your hands over your head, big whoop. I passed.

My suitcase didn’t.

With threat level orange, the man eyeing the x-ray machine saw something he didn’t like inside my bag, so I needed to unpack for things with a TSA monitor. And that’s where things got to be fun.  Bet you never thought you’d hear anyone say TSA and fun at the same time, but the lady was a joy for this little introvert to talk to.

She chatted about the number of books in my suitcase – librarian’s symposium = lots of free books to bring home which was probably most of the problem.  As we spoke she picked up one of my two remaining ARCs of PULL (every other ARC had been distributed to conference-goers). I told her she was holding the book I had written.

Suddenly I was a celebrity. She even called her nephew and fellow TSA employee over to introduce him to her author friend. I gave her some of the promotional chachkas I’ve learned to carry with me at all times as we continued unloading my suitcase. (Seriously, I even carry a supply when I go to the bathroom because you never know.) She gushed, talking telling her librarian friends that she knew an author, and her church group and her book club and…and a voice inside my head said, “Just give her an ARC.”

Sometimes you just have to listen to those voices.

She swore to read it and pass it on, promised to email me and we even discussed the possibility of an invite to town to visit her book club, too. By the way, my bag passed it’s second scan, and she helped me repack before picking up the book and promotional literature like it was made of spun gold and heading to her locker to put them safely away.

Ohmigod, I think I have another fan.

See the Pull Book Trailer on YouTube.

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