Visiting Chicago

A couple of weeks ago, I visited suburban Chicago (Burr Ridge, to be precise), to visit a couple of schools and also participate in the closing of the 9th Annual Write-On Literary Festival.

I began the morning at Hinsdale South High School, where the main topic of conversation was — surprise! — I Hunt Killers, along with my list of Disturbing Serial Killer Facts that I like to trot out at such events. (I always get a kick out of picturing dinnertime conversation that night at the kids’ houses.) It was a good time, especially when the school librarian introduced me to the kid who approached in a crowded hall and shouted, “Hey, do you have Boy Toy?” (Remind yourself that italics don’t come across in conversation and you’ll understand why the librarian hurriedly said — very loudly — “Why, yes, the library does have a copy of the novel titled Boy Toy.”)

Then I headed to Burr Ridge Middle School, which was a treat. I don’t go to a lot of middle schools because most of my books aren’t really aimed at that age range (something that will change soon, he said mysteriously…). The kids there did an absolutely wonderful job decorating the library for me. Check this out:

Isn’t that some gorgeous artwork? I had so much fun there, talking about Archvillain and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl. This also happened:

Some of the kids made their own superhero masks, too, and then let me stand amid them like a Kirby character, arms outstretched.

Me with my minions.

That night, I headed off to Indian Prairie Public Library to speak at the Cool Compositions ceremony for the Write-On event. After my little spiel, I was honored to get the chance to hand out nine awards (three awards in categories for short stories, poetry, and comic books), generously donated by the Gift of Carl (who also sponsored my trip in the first place).

All in all, it was a terrific trip, with lots of variety and some great, cool kids. Thanks to everyone at IPPL, Burr Ridge Middle, Hinsdale South High, and Gift of Carl for making it possible!