Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Books & Books

I went for a book signing at the fabulous Books & Books in Miami a couple of weeks ago. You know it's going to be good when an independent book store has an international reputation. This is like the Natalie Portman of book stores - classy, successful, hip, and definitely someplace you want to hang out (and attend a book talk, which they have all the time!)

So after my little talk and after I signed the books, I wasn't in any hurry to leave. And good thing, too! The most interesting things in life always happen when you're not in a hurry to leave, don't you think? (And so why am I always in such a hurry again?) But anyway, there I am, hanging out with the events coordinator (hi, Debra!) and the children's book buyer (hi, Becky!) when I hear the story of Becky's tattoos. As you might have guessed from KINDRED, I have this slight fascination with tattoos.

Remember how I said that Books & Books is awesome? How they have signings practically every day? That's because every author who tours goes there (I'm really not exaggerating.) So when Eric Carle (he of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame) came by for a signing, Becky was suddenly seized with daring inspiration. She handed him a Sharpie and asked him to draw the very hungry caterpillar and told him that she was going to get his sketch on her arm tattooed in place. He drew it. She ran over to a tattoo artist who tattooed over the sketch. Her first ever tattoo.

Eventually she had Mo Williams (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) draw his pigeon, and Lane Smith (It's a Book) draw his monkey. She's mulling over who should be next. And one day, when she becomes a children's book illustrator, she'll draw her own character and have it tattooed.

I think that is one of the coolest things I've heard. It's like her arm should be in a museum for modern art and children's literature. She's a walking national treasure.

More later,


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