What’s more fun than making a list of these? Attending one of them.

I was in author heaven last week, first with a couple of terrifically productive days in Natchez, Mississippi, and Vidalia, Louisiana, researching my upcoming picture book biography The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, and then rounding out the week at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg for the 44th Annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival.

Wonderful hosts. Terrific speakers, including Derek Anderson, T.A. Barron, Phil Bildner, David Diaz, Gary Schmidt, and Roger Sutton. (And those are just the ones I caught in their entirety: I missed Joyce Carol Thomas entirely and quite reluctantly had to leave for the airport partway through a sidesplitting story from Carmen Agra Deedy.) Marvelous food (and plenty of it). And a tour of the amazing de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

One of the other Hattiesburg highlights was seeing, for the first time, hardcover copies of Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, which officially goes on sale this Thursday. My own box of author copies arrived in Austin while I was gone, along with the nifty bookmarks I’ll be giving away this week at the Texas Library Association conference.

Here’s a peek, along with a hope that if I didn’t get to see you last week in Mississippi, I’ll get to see you this week in Texas!