Spanish cover ---> click to enlarge --->

Hi everyone! What's going on with you these days? Ready to hear my 4 for the win?

So, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you may recall my snood-ish battle cries, such as, OUT, DAMN SNOOD! and SNOOD, BE DAMNED!, invented by my Ladies of the Snood. Well, those ladies, Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy, former Associate Directors of Publicity at Harcourt Children's Books, have launched their own company, Blue Slip Media, specializing in publicity and marketing for children's books. Barb and Sarah are priceless. They're talented, experienced, great at what they do, so much fun, and they always made me feel completely taken care of. (They once gave me the best tip ever for conquering the fear of public speaking: Just picture everyone in their snoods! HA HA HA HEE hoo) ANYWAY. If you're in need of publicity work, hire them. (And don't worry, they won't come at you with snoodisms, that's just me ^_^.) The website of Blue Slip Media is here, a Publishers Weekly article about how well they work together is here, and a PW article announcing their new venture is here!

As it turns out, it's an appropriate time for battle cries, because Graceling seems to be involved in some sort of smackdown over at School Library Journal's Battle of the Books. Basically, it's 16 books, pitted against each other like basketball teams during March Madness, the victor in each match being decided by a single judge, the judges being some of the biggest names in children's books. There'll be four rounds. Here are the rules of the estimable contest and here is the schedule. And here is me enjoying it while it lasts, because, hello, in Round One I'm up against Kathi Appelt's National Book Award Finalist and Newbery Honor Book The Underneath, with Tamora Pierce deciding. Yikes! Seriously, this is such a hoot -- check it out. The brawl begins on Monday.

So, did you hear about how how Iowa's supreme court unanimously overturned the state's ban on gay marriage? And Vermont legalized gay marriage? People, it's happening. The tide is turning. I'm so happy I could pop.

Remember the video I posted on Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day -- the "Please Don't Divorce Us" video -- that made some of you cry? Well, watch this two-minute clip of Iowa State Senator Mike Gronstal explaining why he opposes any ban on gay marriage in Iowa. It might just also make you cry -- but out of happiness and pride.

(In case you can't watch the video, here's the transcript.)

Thanks to my pal Deborah Kaplan for the links. Her excellent LiveJournal on librarianship and academia, fandom, F&SF, YA lit (lately, some great stuff about F&SF, YA lit, and authors of color), and OTHER COOL STUFF is at gnomicutterance.

All taken by my Paris agent, secret code name: Bossy McLaine.

On top: My bodyguards and I at the De Agostini stand at the fair; me on one of the less perilous tower stairways. Underneath: EVERYONE AT MY DINNER -- publishers, agents, scouts, and me!

Finally, I just want to say that my heart goes out to everyone touched by the earthquakes in central Italy. ♥


Jen said…
Loving the pics...Your body guard guy is so awesome in his random uniform! Waiting for more pics!!!!
StefanieEmmy said…
Hmm ... are your bodyguards a symbol for someone ... like: Katsa and Po? :D Well, the thought just poped into my head when I saw the pic. ^^
Oh and the tower: is it one of the two that are not far from the big big big Piazza Maggiore? I've been there last September, the cathedral is amazing! :)

Greetings from Austria
tinkandalissa said…
Love the bodyguards! Seriously, they walked around w/you dressed like that?
i <3 iowa and vermont!!!!!!!! let us all move to iowa and vermont to show the world how effing right they r!!!!!
Artemis Grey said…
Wow, that grouping of pictures, each so removed from the others and yet all on the theme of your journey, create such an eclectic portrayal of everything you experienced! That costume on the left is wild. I would probably have demanded that I get something to wear too. :)
Natasha said…
Thank you for the shout out for my wonderful state of IOWA!!! I love my home state for lots of reasons, but this one has definitely made me even more proud to call myself an Iowan. Sadly, there's a lot of opposition already maneuvering for a state constitutional ban, which sickens me. We will work to fight that, and in the meantime revel in standing up for this right!


Thanks for the pics and all the other news...!
Anonymous said…
Kristin, I'm a huge fan and I know this is random, but do you have children? And if not, why? (I know it's personal, so if you decide not to respond, I'll understand.)
Loredan Avery said…
Thank you so much for sharing all this great news. The pictures are amazing, and all the success that you have garnered is most definitely deserved. You are a great source of inspiration for this fledgling writer!
Kristin Cashore said…
Stefanie, it was not one of those two, but it was within easy walking distance of Piazza Maggiore. Actually, I climbed that really tall one near the piazza -- the Torre Asinelli -- while I was there, too. The views were beautiful! And thanks for writing in from Austria -- another place I'd love to visit someday. (Actually, I did drive through Austria once when I was young -- we were driving from Germany to Italy -- and the Alps are far and away the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Are you in the Alps?)

Alissa, yes! It was so funny, because I knew he wasn't a real knight, he was just a guy dressed up as a knight, but still, I felt SO SAFE!

Natasha, congratulations on being an Iowan! :o)

Avery, you're too kind.

And hi to everyone! :o)
Unknown said…
Battle of the Books, huh?
Let's see...The Underneath v Graceling. That's a little like comparing an apple (which I adore) to an orange (which is fabulous) or perhaps a cupcake with buttercream frosting to a chocolate chocolate chip cupcake with peanut butter buttercream frosting. Hmmm...I know which one I'd choose (and I loved both books)! Go Graceling!
Anonymous said…
There is a poll on the Battle of the Books site.

Go vote for your favorite!
Unknown said…
Graceling is currently 2nd place behind The Hunger Games.

Vote Vote Vote
Remy said…
I’m writing to say thanks for writing Graceling, I enjoyed it so much. As soon as I finished it I just had to start reading it again.

I got into reading recently after reading the twilight series and this is the only book I’ve read so far that I loved as much – Thankyou :)

WTB Moar! Please keep writing! Also I find your blog hilarious :P

And that Iowa and Vermont video did make me cry and actually cheer woohoo <3

Sorry if I'm rambling! This is my 1st time posting in a blog, but I just had to say thanks for such a beautiful book.

Remy from Australia
HorseLover said…
Wow, go Gronstad!! Everything he said was so true. If only gay marriage would be allowed in the rest of the U.S...although I can not see in all seriousness how anyone could listen to that speech, and then still be against it. I just can't. My faveorite line was "We've already won." That was cold, strong truth.
And as for the poll, I hope Graceling wins...because Graceling is AWESOME!! :)
Also, I know this is a bit off topic, but I would recommend A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray to everyone reading this...It is seriously amazing...just as good as Graceling (if thats even possible ;)
Artemis Grey said…
So I just voted for Graceling on the battle of the books. *satisfied sigh* :)
StefanieEmmy said…
Hey Kristen,

thanks for answering. I do live in the Alps, my hometown is Innsbruck, which is the capital city of the Tyrol (which is also known as the "heart of the Alps" - if you believe all the tourist managers ;) ^^).
When you drove to Italy through Austria coming from Germany then it's very likely that you passed Innsbruck because there are two motorways crossing here (Inntal and Brenner motorway).
Actually the mountains are extremely beautiful these days because it's really warm (about 22°C and more) and the peaks are still snow-covered. :)
Vanessa said…
So happy Graceling won! My perfect final match is going to involve Graceling vs. The Hunger Games, and I'll have to cover my eyes while they duke it out, because I love them too much to see them hurt.

The whole battle of the books concept is absolutely hilarious.

Anyway, I read your book and I loved it, and I just wanted to say, it's GREAT. I wandered over here to tell you that, then got distracted by all the great posts on this blog. My point was.. I can't wait for your next book... any hints on when that might be?

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