Today I got to spend the day at the Kids First Conference in Des Moines. Yea! It is so rare that I get to escape the library for something like this because with only two people working full time, it is hard for either of us to get away. I was super excited to go today because the author of one of my very favorite books was doing the speech over lunch.
Linda Urban is the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect, which I discovered way back when I was working in Illinois. I have read it several times since then, and it gets better every time. The book is so amazing that I have talked about it before and will probably never stop raving about it. A Crooked Kind of Perfect is the rare kind of book that makes me do “the happy cry” as I like to call it. Now, I do the happy cry all the time during movies. Any Disney animated film, Jane Austen adaptation, Ramona and Beezus, The Holiday, Enchanted, are just some that come to mind. But there are very few books that make me so joyful that I burst into tears (I do cry at sad parts of books all the time, but that is different). There are only a few that can do that including Keeper, Greetings From Nowhere, and A Crooked Kind of Perfect.
I told Linda while she was signing my book that I loved her book and she said, “And I love YOU!” It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I also told her about the happy cry thing and she seemed really pleased.
Her speech was really really good. I have heard quite a few authors speak, and I would have to say she is one of my favorites. She talked about her background and how she became a writer. She said that A Crooked Kind of Perfect started out as a picture book, which is kind of hard to believe after reading it. I am SOOOOOOO glad that she ended up writing the novel and didn’t give up when she got her rejection letter saying “This Is Not A Picture Book!”
She was very funny and down-to-earth and talked about how she still isn’t satisfied with the final version of her book and that when she reads it out loud to people she changes some of the words 🙂
So in conclusion: Linda Urban = pure awesomeness. I was sitting at a table of people who hadn’t read her book and every single one of them left the room dying to pick it up. That is the sign of a great speaker. We also found out that her next book Hound Dog True comes out in the fall and already has a starred review in Kirkus (she didn’t mention this herself, someone else brought it up). Can’t wait! Can’t wait!!!!
P.S. I am so mad that I left my camera in the car today. I totally wanted a picture of me with my new BFF!