new york trip 2013

New York Trip Part Three: My First Book Party. My first Reading. With VIDEO!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ZlkixlAx0&w=560&h=315] Well I meant to post this ages ago, but I guess life got in the way. I've already blogged about all the fun I had in New York at Book Expo America and my first author school visit, but the most fun had to be the book party!

I have to admit I was very intimidated by the planning/throwing a party for myself. I love planning things for others, but when it comes to celebrating me, I usually stick to casual meet-ups or low-key dinner parties. So planning a book bash in Manhattan was a BIG DEAL.

All planning worries aside, the party was a huge hit! It was amazing to be surrounded by so many friends, family and supporters. Thomas acted as my official bookseller, and I even ran into the problem of running out of books (a good problem to have).

The whole thing felt like what everyone says about weddings--that it goes by in a flash and you talk to so many people but can hardly remember it. For me, it was a flash, but a wonderful one. Old writing teachers, the authors who blurbed my book, former coworkers, even Thomas's extended family attended. I felt so blessed to have so many loving and supportive people in my life--and I can officially say that I couldn't have done it without any of them.

For those who missed it (or those who will enjoy a video of me stumbling over my own work), I've made a quick video of the main event--the reading. Enjoy!

New York Trip Part One: My First School Visit!

Creative writing workshop for teens, author high school visit Oh man, oh man. It has been exactly a week since I returned from New York, and I feel like I'm still recovering! All in all, it was an AMAZING trip, and I seriously don't even know where to begin. So I'll start with my first school visit (and first book event) ever ... my visit to Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. And what a great first event it was!

Creative writing workshop for teens, author high school visit

I met with two groups of students who LOVE creative writing to talk about The After Girls, share tips and do a couple exercises, and it was so much fun. I can't explain how exciting it is to talk to teens about writing. Speak to adults, and you get a whole slew of questions about getting an agent, getting published, royalties, advances, sales, business business business. Not to say that isn't all terribly important, but speak to teens, and you get questions about ... wait for it ... WRITING. How do you keep writing when you feel stuck? How long does it take to write a novel? How do you think up your characters? How much do you base your stories on real life? What music do you listen to while you write?

Creative writing workshop for teens, author high school visit

Needless to say, it was refreshing. It reminded me why I do this all in the first place. Because writing is a joy and a blessing--and I am so lucky to be able to share that blessing with others.

Creative writing workshop for teens, author high school visit

The best part? These bright-eyed teens were great writers! They were uninhibited, creative, observant. They were eager to learn more and to make their stories better. They weren't worried about how to get published. They were only worried about how to get down all the wonderful things they had to say.

After the workshop, I signed all the kids' books, probably the most fun of all! Above are a few photos. See them all on the school's Facebook page.

P.S. If you're interested in having me visit your school, just email me at leahkonen@gmail.com, and we'll try to work something out. I'm available in-person in many locations and also via Skype.