And yes, we did intentionally pose under the sex books. We found it kind of hilarious. That is what I love about talking to the people who come to my events. They are easy to laugh with like old friends.
Another person who became a real friend to me during my IWBYJR visit to Madison was Erik Shager who is a teacher in an alternative high school program called Work and Learn. I don't do as many school visits as other YA authors and I think it's partly because my books are on the edgier side. But the cool thing about Work and Learn being a different kind of program is that I don't have to censor myself. I can just go in and tell the students my road to publishing, including all the bumps on the way. And I dunno, maybe I'm making some kind of difference or at least giving them a taste of something interesting to read. I can't tell you how psyched I was when one of the girls I met this year messaged me on facebook to tell me she'd ordered BALLADS OF SUBURBIA and was looking forward to reading it. Here I am with some of the girls from the class. Julia, the girl on the far left, added the cool text. Also pictured from left to right are Ashley, Claira, and of course me: