The Texas Book Festival is in Austin this coming Saturday and Sunday, October 16-17. Are you going to be there? Are you?

I’ll be there, reading Shark Vs. Train at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Children’s Chapter Read Me a Story Tent. Afterwards, I’ll be signing copies of the book and (*free stuff alert*) giving away signed SVT posters left and right. In the meantime, here’s an interview that I did with festival sponsor Kirkus Reviews:

It’s really just about the perfect picture-book text—it leaves lots of room for your illustrator to go to town with the visual foolishness. How closely did you work together?

We worked together really closely. Tom was one of just a handful of illustrators that I thought would really get Shark and Train. Once my editor had a turn at my revised manuscript, Tom and I pretty much sequestered ourselves—online and over the phone and together in person one Sunday here in Austin—for a few months as we gave the story its shape. The main thing we had to figure out is just how Shark and Train came to be in this battle. We tried a really elaborate setup involving a piece of coal flying off a bridge and hitting Shark on the head, but finally we hit on the much simpler kids-in-a-toy-box device.

What other children’s/YA authors will be there? Way more than I’ll possibly be able to see in action (for starters, I’ll miss Cinda Williams Chima, Carolyn Cohagan, Ingrid Law, and Brian Yansky, whose panel discussions happens at the same time as my reading). But if there were three or four of me, here are just some of the folks we’d be catching:

David Wiesner
Peter Brown
Phillip Hoose
Michael Buckley, John Gosselink, Josh Lewis, and Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Naomi Mitchell Carrier, Jennifer Cervantes, Xavier Garza, and Ingrid Law
Carolyn Cohagan, Lisa Railsback, and Sara Pennypacker
Bob Shea
Scott Westerfeld
Meg Cabot
Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
Laurie Halse Anderson, James Crowley, and Bethany Hegedus
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Matt de la Peña, Varian Johnson, April Lurie
M.T. Anderson

I’ll see you there, too, I hope!