So, the dinner was great. I had a glass of wine and (almost) totally forgot that I was networking with agents & editors and just felt like I was hanging out with some new friends. Stephen Barbara was super easy to talk to. We discussed books- what we like, dislike, etc. He is a HUGE Mo Willems fan. (Who isn't?) His other favorite picture books include How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood (which I will be ordering today!)
Unfortunately, just when the conversation started getting really good (in other words, it turned from the industry in general to my specific career!) they made Stephen Barbara move to the other end of the table. They wanted to make sure all the guests got an equal opportunity to schmooze. This is why I was so bummed that dinner for five turned into dinner for fourteen!
But on the whole it was a really fun night and I am so glad I went.
BTW, Tina Wexler is super cool! She is NOT inclined to take on PB authors, but if you write middle grade or YA, try her!
I did not get much of a chance to speak to Maureen Sullivan, but she seemed lovely.
I did not get much of a chance to speak to Steve Metzer either, but I did hear him give this tip to my friend, Tiffany:
If you want to write a PB in rhyme, I suggest you write your entire story out in prose first. Otherwise, rhyme ends up driving the story.