Happy New Year, readers & friends! This is normally when I do the year in pictures, except I’ve already recapped the first six months of 2011. Just scroll down my blog if you missed it, it’s there. So where has the past year taken me?
In June, I finally got to announce ICONS, the first title in my new solo sci-fi/fantasy dystopian series for Little, Brown.
In July, I got to hang out with author friends like Andrea Cremer, Heather Brewer, and Rachel Caine at Comicon in San Diego. That’s Rachel with my daughter, Emma, her number one fan.
After Comicon, I headed off to a cabin at Bass Lake, near Interlochen, Michigan, to finish my work on the last book in the Beautiful Creatures Novels. This was the view off my porch every day, while I wrote:
In August, I found myself in NYC, visiting with my friends at Little, Brown. Alvina and Jessica, on either side of me, really know how to throw a party. Even Hurricane Irene didn’t dampen things too much…
In September, I visited 500 readers at a wonderful school in Ohio. They had all done projects based on Beautiful Creatures, and they were amazing! Check out the model Ravenwood, below.
Later that month, I joined my writer friends Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong and Carrie Ryan on the Oregon Coast for a completely inspiring writing retreat. These women are the best!
On the way home, I stopped by Charleston to speak at a SIBA breakfast. That’s me with Margaret Peterson Haddix, who is my namesake, since my married name is Margaret Peterson. In fact, I only work under my maiden name because my daughters were horrified that I would presume to use the name Margaret Peterson, since it belonged to the one and only MPH.
Weeks later, I got to see Melissa, Carrie and Kelley again on the Smart Chicks 2.o Tour – along with Jen Barnes, Ally Condie, Melissa delaCruz, Beth Revis, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, as well as almost every YA writer I know. I hit Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and Ottawa. We had amazing crowds and wild writerly hijinks, as usual.
In October, Kami and I hit New York City, CT, New Jersey, Houston & Austin for the Beautiful Chaos release tour. I love those trips because I get to see Sarah Burnes, my super agent, and Julie Scheina, my super editor. That’s my agent on the left, and my favorite adult writer, Hilary Reyl, on my right. We’re on the top of Eataly, at the Birreria. One of my favorite lunches in NYC!
A highlight of the tour was my second trip to the Texas Book Festival, where I had a great fangirl chat while signing in a graveyard with (among others) Sarah Dessen, documented in the blurry photograph below. Note my devil eyes…
November was my most beloved event of all, the first-ever YALLFEST in Charleston. I directed the programming for my good friend Jonathan Sanchez, of Blue Bicycle Books. It’s even more fun to put together panels than it is to be on them. Bringing all our writer friends to Charleston was one of the greatest weekends of my life.
At the end of November, I found my way back to Paris and Grenoble, as I often do. I met with readers to film a TV segment where we toured La Manoir de Paris, a haunted house right in the center of Paris. The highlight of my Paris trip was not just seeing my French publishing family at Hachette Jeunesse (see below!) but getting to meet our translator, Jean Luc. He is a genius – and the guy next to me in the photo.
And finally, December brought my whirlwind week in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of my Asian readers, librarians, bloggers, journalists, booksellers and publishers.
I can’t think of a better way to end the year, and I look forward to so many more wonderful journeys – and friends, and stories, and adventures – in 2012!