CAL Cultural Fund grant, which I received in order to attend the 2012 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles over the first weekend in August. I have been to one of these conferences before, in 1999, in Paris, when I was living in France, and it was an unforgettable experience. As a brand new author, I learnt so much and made some great friends, some of whom I am still in touch with today. (See below!)
Then, if that's not exciting enough, the three of us will be staying on to do a spot of travelling. After all, it's an awful long way to fly for a three day conference! While in Los Angeles we will take a day trip to San Diego to visit Kane Miller the US publishers of the Billie and Jack series, to be released there in August. I do hope that American children will love Billie and Jack!
After the conference, we will visit my dear friend Whitney Stewart in New Orleans. I met Whitney at the conference in Paris and a few years down the track, we worked on a book together called Becoming Buddha, which was published both in Australia and the US. As we have another book in the pipeline I thought we absolutely HAD to get together to chat about it about over tea and biscuits. Or, would that be mint julep and crawfish? Email and Facebook are only so effective...
Lastly, we are spending a few days in New York. After all, you can't go to the US and NOT go to New York, can you? We are staying at the quaintly eccentric-sounding Library Hotel. ("Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and each of the 60 rooms explore a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to." Book-nerdy enough for you?) While in New York we have booked to see The Lion King on Broadway for my youngest, mainly because I am always SO shocked at the prices of musicals in Melbourne I figured if he was only ever going to see one it better be a big one!
So, there's a brief itinerary for you. I guess it goes without saying that we are beside ourselves with excitement. I will try my best to post some touristy/funny/interesting things for your reading pleasure while we are away.