Looking Back #4: A Memorable San Francisco Trip

I’m counting down to the publication of The Unbreakable Code with highlights from the past two years since Book Scavenger was published. So much has happened in such a short time, and I’ve been so busy trying to keep up, that I’ve neglected to share many of the big and small moments. So here we go, in no particular order . . .

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My table at the bookseller meet and greet at NCIBA.

In April 2015 my publisher sent me to the NCIBA conference in San Francisco which was exciting for several reasons:

1.) It was my first time talking about Book Scavenger in an official capacity.

2.) My publisher was sending me! For people who travel all the time for business, that probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but in publishing it’s not uncommon for children’s book authors to do the legwork themselves and pay their own way in order to appear at a conference, festival, or bookstore.

3.) San Francisco!!


At this time, I was working on the sequel for Book Scavenger and needed to do some in-person research, so I extended my trip and invited my mom to join me in the city so I could see things like this:



And this:



And this:

And this:


All of which you’ll find referenced in The Unbreakable Code, by the way. This photo is my favorite, even though it’s not very good, and that’s because of the story behind it.

My mom and I were eating lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize on my cell. I ignored it and continued with lunch, but then my husband called. The restaurant was loud and we were close to being finished, so I didn’t answer, but he texted for me to call him. When I did, he said I was going to get a phone call with a Bay Area area code and I needed to answer. When I told him that already happened but I ignored it he said, “Go listen to your voice mail and then call me back.” I didn’t really know what to make of how cryptic he was. I would have been worried except I could tell my husband wasn’t, but I had no clue what this could possibly be about.

The phone call, it turned out, was from a bookseller named Drew who was letting me know Book Scavenger had been selected as one of the Top Ten titles for the Indie Next list and as a New Voices pick. I didn’t totally understand what all that meant, but I was familiar with the Indie Next list. One of the coolest things to me about that moment, in a life is circular kind of way, was that Drew worked at The Linden Tree, and he didn’t know this then, but I used to work there too many years ago. So it was extra special to have someone from that independent bookstore in particular be the one to deliver the good news, and to be with my mom in San Francisco during that moment really made it perfect.


In case you missed it:

Looking Back #1: Re-visiting my alma maters!

Looking Back #2: Meeting my editor!

Looking Back #3: Meeting Ann M. Martin!