A Gathering at Wayside

I recently had the honor of attending a yearly children's fantasy writers luncheon at Jane Yolen's "Wayside" - her home in St. Andrews. I caught the train from Edinburgh with Annemarie Allan, whose latest book, Charlie's Promise is absolutely wonderful. We talked about Pictish lore and feuding mythological figures all the way up - so fun! Author Lisa Tuttle met us at the train station. It was such a gorgeous day and the view of rolling fields into St. Andrews was stunning. I've shared Jane's home with you before, but it was on a cloudy day. This time, sunshine flooded in through the two-story curved windows - a lovely spot to catch a picture of author of Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein with her newest title, The Pearl Thief.
I'd been wanting to read it, so I was thrilled when we swapped - a copy of my A Bird on Water Street for the audio version of The Pearl Thief, which I can listen to while I'm painting Crow Not Crow, the book I'm doing with Jane and her son, Adam Stemple.
     Jane's lovely kitchen (with the gorgeous stained glass window) was overwhelmed with food and hands to help as a result of everybody bringing 'a little something' for the party. Here are Mark A. Smith (winner of the Kelpies Prize for his book Slugboy Saves the World), Jane, Debby Harris and Elizabeth W.
Then it was my turn to jump into the shot.
     I felt like I was in a movie as we all gathered in Jane's dining room to partake of the feast. Truly, history, or at least wonderful memories are made from moments like these. Jane asked us all, "What is the book you have always wanted to write, but never will, and why?" Well, that set us off on all sorts of interesting tangents! Including a debate about the merits of English vs. American flour when making biscuits. (You can imagine the meandering conversations that got us there!)
     Afterwards, we wandered into the garden to enjoy the surprisingly warm for Scotland sunshine. Here is author of the new For My Sins, Alex Nye, Lisa, Mark, Annemarie, and Bob Harris.
Debby (Deborah Turner) and Bob (Robert J.) Harris are husband and wife. Debby is a writer, editor and teacher. Bob has written several books with Jane, and many on his own including new ones you'll want to keep an eye out for. Debby took lots of pictures and I'm hoping to share those with you soon.
     We talked industry, shared our books, talked about new titles we're reading, our ongoing projects, and writing challenges. I made several new friends, all smart as tacks and absolutely delightful. You can never get bored around fascinating and fascinated writers as they gather and share the best stories! All said, this Wayside gathering was a treat beyond measure for this lucky writer/illustrator. Do click on their names to learn more about everybody and their wonderful books!
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