Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kid Konnection: Girls Night Out with Wendy Mass & Courtney Sheinmel

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a recent book event that Booking Daughter and I attended -- a Girls Night Out at Aaron's Books with Wendy Mass and Courtney Sheinmel!

Last Wednesday evening, Booking Daughter and I headed to our favorite bookstore Aaron's Books to meet tween authors Wendy Mass and Courtney Sheinmel! Sam and Todd, the owners of Aaron's, hosted the girls' only event and everyone there had a fantastic time. We ate pizza and chocolate, listened to both authors read from their latest books, and even had the opportunity to ask questions! The store was packed and I'm pretty sure the adults in attendance had as much fun as the girls.

Wendy Mass and Courtney Sheinmel are doing a joint book tour to promote their new books THE CANDYMAKERS and SINCERELY.  They were extremely gracious and spent a lot of time with each girl there. I loved that they were so eager to answer the tweens' (and moms') questions, and I felt as if I learned a great deal about both authors. While both authors write tween books, they approach their craft very differently. Ms. Mass usually knows the plot before beginning the book, while Ms. Sheinmel likes to understand the characters first.

Wendy Mass is one of Booking Daughter's (and my) favorite middle grade authors. Booking Daughter has read almost all of her books (we actually own all of them) and I've really liked the few that I've read too -- especially JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE (my review.) We both were extremely excited to meet Ms. Mass, but Booking Daughter (and I) were a bit starstruck! Booking Daughter couldn't think of a question to ask her in front of the entire audience, but she did go up to her later and asked her which book was the easiest to write -- the answer is 11 BIRTHDAYS and FINALLY! She wrote both of these with brand-new twin boys!

Another highlight of our evening was meeting Courtney Sheinmel -- she is absolutely adorable and as sweet as she is cute. Neither Booking Daughter nor I have read any of her books, but I definitely got the feeling that we were missing out. We ended up buying all three of her books and plan to delve into them in the very near future. Booking Daughter is so excited about SINCERELY (which is really two books in one!) that she wanted to start it during the car ride home. The only problem was that it was pitch dark outside.

We learned some interesting things during our Girls Night Out:

- The movie version of JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE should be out this summer -- yay!

- Ms. Mass and Ms. Sheinmel are working together to write a screenplay!

- Ms. Mass knew always knew she wanted to be a middle grade writer. She used to idolize C.S. Lewis and thought that their books might eventually be on the same shelf. She still checks in bookstores to see if they are!

- Ms. Mass wants to write one book that would be a sequel to A MANGO SHAPED SPACE, JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE, and EVERY SOUL HAS A STAR -- how fantastic would that be?

- Ms. Sheinmel always wanted to be a writer but attended law school instead. She practiced law for a few years but quit so she'd have more time to write.

- Ms. Sheinmel teaches teens how to write and she's also active with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Booking Daughter and I are still on a high from our visit with these two wonderful authors! A huge thanks to Ms. Mass and Ms. Sheinmel for taking so much time to talk with us. And of course, a big old thanks to the fine folks at Aaron's Books for hosting another great event!

Wendy Mass, Booking Daughter, and Courtney Sheinmel
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

You can color me green with envy! I read Finally and 12 Birthdays last year and loved both of them. It sounds like I need to try Sheinmel's work too.

Laura Fabiani said...

OMG, what a wonderful event! My daughter and I love Wendy Mass. We've also never read Courtney Sheinmel but I now have her on our wishlist. And your daughter is so cute. I think we would have been starstruck, too!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Your daughter looks so excited! Even though my daughter is only five, she's already met several authors of picture books. Hopefully, her enthusiasm will remain the same as she grows older.

Karlie said...

Great picture of Booking Daughter and the authors!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Sounds like so much fun! Your daughter is looking more grown up every time we see a picture!!!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

What a great event! Were any of Booking Daughter's friend able to attend (I don't remember how far away Aaron's is from you).

Pizza, chocolate, books, and girlfriends ... perfect!

courtneywrites said...

It was so great to meet you and your daughter -- you are both so beautiful and gracious! Hope to see you again soon!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

What a beautiful night out! Booking Daughter is adorable and the night sounds like it was really wonderful and the authors very gracious. Can't wait to check out their books!

Allie ~ Hist-Fic Chick said...

What a great photo of Booking Daughter! So sweet :)

Beth F said...

Beautiful photo and what an amazing event. How cool that you get to share this with Booking Daughter.