NYC Teen Author Festival: THIS Weekend!

Dearest Tapioca Pearls,
My third big announcement for 2013: I am elated to be a part of the NYC Teen Author Festival this year! It’s organized by one of my favorite YA authors, David Levithan, and the list of authors participating is enough to send me into a sweaty, delirious tizzy. More info at this Publishers Weekly article.

Catch me at these events:

Saturday, March 23 @ 42nd Street NY Public Library:
2:40-3:30 – Under Many Influences: Shaping Identity When You’re a Teen Girl
Being a teen girl is to be under many influences – friends, parents, siblings, teachers, favorite bands, favorite boys, favorite web sites. These authors will talk about the influences that each of their main characters tap into – and then talk about what influences them as writers when they shape these characters.

Jen Calonita
Deborah Heiligman
Hilary Weisman Graham
Kody Keplinger
Amy Spalding
Katie Sise
Kathryn Williams
moderator: Terra Elan McVoy

Sunday, March 24
The No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder
This is going to be crazeballs. There are like 60 authors participating. My session is 3:15-4:00. Come keep me company!

If you are in the tri-state area, I expect to see you there. No excuses.

Thin Mint Dreams,
Kathryn

Come “Behind-the-Scenes” of the Pizzapalooza Tour with my NEW video!

Dearest Baby Goudas,

I am so, so, so, sooooooooo (got it?) excited to share this new video with you. I was going to hang onto it for the Southern Festival of Books or Teen Read Week, but I just can’t wait.

My friend CK is a fantastically talented videographer in Nashville and, in general, far cooler than I will ever be, and he put aside shooting music videos for, I don’t know, THE APACHE RELAY for a day to come film my cooking class and book signing at Salud! (I know! Whaaaaat? I need a bib for all this Awesome Sauce.)

CK has worked on a reality show before, so he did this very cool thing where he shot the video LIKE A REALITY SHOW. Brilliant, I tell you. Enough of me. Here is the video. I hope you enjoy it!

Many thanks to Merijoy Lantz-Rucker and the team at Salud! at Whole Foods in Green Hills and to CK Cates.

Squeeee!
Kathryn

Southern Festival of Books

Dearest turtle bars,

I found out my panel for the Southern Festival of Books, and I am super excited because it is with….

… the fabulous Melissa Walker! Come hear us talk about “Matters of the Heart: Writing Romance Novels for Teens” (please note these are not romances of the bodice-ripping variety, though I hear those are doing well these days).

Details:

Saturday Oct 13, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Room 29, Legislative Plaza

Hope to see you there!

Kathryn

Pizzapalooza Continues…

Dearest pretzel bites,

Between grad school, a writers’ conference, the book release, and a trek up to Maine, the last month (summer, really) has been kind of a whirlwind. Over two weeks in August and September, I spoke to students in five schools in three cities, taught two cooking classes, and had a reading at the best little bookstore in Nashville (well, they might have to share that title with this one now).

I had every intention of posting pics and a recap after each event, but until there are more hours in the day (seriously, who do I talk to about that?), that was all they remained: intentions. Better late than never, I hope. Here’s what I’ve been up to, sending that Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff out into the world:

First, I had two stops in Memphis: St. Mary’s School and St. Agnes Academy. St. Mary’s was a blast from the past, a lot like the school I attended growing up. My 7th-grade English teacher is now the middle school principal there, so in some ways, it was a homecoming. I was a little nervous speaking to the ENTIRE 5th through 12th grades at morning chapel (I think accidentally said the word “butt” in church — oops), but I really enjoyed talking to the girls afterward.

The St. Agnes visit was a little more intimate. We basically sat around and talked books for an hour in their fabu library. Perhaps my favorite part (other than the girls’ really good questions), was their Easter egg-colored jumpers. I’m sure not one of these girls gets up in the morning psyched to put this thing on, but seriously, how cute are they?!

Next up, a cooking class and book signing at Super Suppers in Franklin. I used to work in the kitchen at Super Suppers, and you would be hard-pressed to find a kinder, classier set of ladies than these. The event was a blast, and I could not have done it without them (especially Phemie and Karen). I demo’d Sophie’s mother’s tomato sauce and then Karen taught them how to make Braided Pizza Bread (a Super Suppers favorite) while I signed books and chatted. We also tasted a few recipes from the book. I was thrilled to see some other authors there, including Courtney Stevens (whose debut YA novel, Faking Normal, I can’t wait for) and Rae Ann Parker.

Next, it was on to Hillsboro High School in Nashville, where librarian Hope Hall had me speak to several English classes. We had two surprises: pizza for everyone, thanks to Hope, and a signed copy of the book that I raffled away. I’m quite sure those students busily texting during my talk were just so overcome with excitement at meeting me that they had to take it to the Twittersphere immediately.

That night, a surprising number of brave souls dared the weather to come hear me read at Parnassus Books. Old friends and new were there. The highlight was surely when I stumbled over the words “giant luna moths.” That’s all I can say in this forum…

Finally, I rounded out my Tennessee tour with a visit to Litton Middle School. Courtesy of Humanities Tennessee, every student in their 7th and 8th grades (about 160) got a book! When I got there, the librarian, Ms. Bailey, had propped them all around the room like dominoes. It was a sea of Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous. And I signed every last one!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m hoping to set up some more events in the South and Northeast. Stay tuned!

And now, back to writing…

Pizzapalooza Tour Kicks Off

Dearest Pistachio Nuts

I’m off to Memphis to speak to St. Mary’s and St. Agnes (yep, it’s a double header), but I just wanted to share some pics and updates from my last two events.

On Monday, I talked to a group of English and Creative Writing students at East Hamilton School outside of Chattanooga. We did a fun writing exercise (I’ll post on that later), and I talked about how I became a writer and the process of bringing a book from rough draft to finished copy. (I still feel weird talking about myself so much.) The EH group was awesome. I got some great questions. Go, Hurricanes.

Secondly, I’ve been volunteering as a chef’s assistant at Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods in Nashville for a couple years now, but last Saturday, I taught my first class ALL BY MYSELF (okay, not really all by myself — I had a lot of help from the head chef and amazing volunteers, but just give me this moment, alright?)

It went pretty well, if I do say so myself. No one lost a digit (that they really needed) and we turned out some super tasty food, thanks to the six students. We made two recipes from the book: Sophie’s mom’s tomato sauce and the dessert she makes for [redacted for spoiler]. On the menu:

“Real” Greek Salad
Whole Wheat Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Deconstructed Baklava
 

What is deconstructed baklava, you ask? It’s the dessert of the gods. Baklava is a traditional Greek (and Turkish) dessert pastry made with honey and chopped nuts. To “deconstruct” it, we used the same flavors and put them together in a new way. We made pastry cups from sheets of phyllo dough sprinkled with sugar, then put a scoop of homemade honey ice cream in them and sprinkled with pistachios and honey. We also made pistachio brittle, but it didn’t have time to get hard enough to break into pieces. You win some, you lose some in the kitchen, as Julia Child said (ok, she didn’t say that but she would have in this case).

Here are some photos from the event. A really cool video also coming soon.

Gotta hit the road. More from the Pizzapalooza Tour later.

Happy Book Birthday to Me!

Wow. I’m not really sure when this snuck up on me, but it’s my PUB DAY!!!!! Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous (perhaps the longest title in the history of titles) is available in stores–like, NOW! Like you can walk into a store and buy it–with money (and maybe Cheez-Its, if you play your cards right)!

Pub days are always kind of strange in that Christmas afternoon feel, when all the gifts have been opened, and even though you’re surrounded by a pile of wrapping paper and a bunch of fun, cool, neat things you’ve been begging for for ages, you’re still kind of “that’s all?” After all the blood, sweat, and tears (ok, no blood except for a papercut, but still), it’s a little anti-climactic. Where’s the ticker tape parade? Where’s the singing telegram? There’s only one way to solve the post-partum… get to making another baby book.

So, I’m working on a new one. A couple new ones, actually. We’ll see which one takes the forefront. In the meantime, I am super excited about these upcoming events in Nashville. Meeting readers is by far the best part of sending your books out into the world. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you at one of these events:

Saturday, August 25th
Cooking Class and Book Signing
Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods in Green Hills
2:30pm – 4:30pm | $39 (includes a signed copy) | Hands-On
Register here

Saturday, September 1
Cooking Class and Book Signing
Super Suppers in Franklin
Two sessions: 1:00-2:30, 2:15-3:45 | $25 (includes a signed copy) | Hands-On
Call (615) 595-8899 or email franklintn@supersuppers.com to book a spot

Wednesday, September 5
Reading and Signing
Parnassus Books in Green Hills
6:30 pm | Free!

October 12-14
Panel Discussion and Book Signing
Southern Festival of Books at Legislative Plaza
Dates and times still TBD

Pizza, an Apron, and Other Stuff that You Can Win from this Giveaway

Chickadees,

I’m trying something new here on this little bloggity blog of mine (which, by the way, you may have noticed has recently undergone a makeover). My new book, Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous, comes out in less than ONE MONTH (**insert ear-piercing squeal here**). In anticipation, I will be running my FIRST EVER giveaway on my website.

From now until August 7 (that’s two weeks), you can enter to win a signed copy of Pizza (that’s the book, not an actual pizza, although I will now spend the rest of my afternoon contemplating how one would go about signing a pizza — marinara sauce in a pastry bag?) AND AND AND an adorable apron. It may be cute and vintage looking; it may be the one Alex gives Sophie in the book; it may have my face on it. You’ll just have to ENTER and see! A SECOND winner will receive a signed copy and a signed cooking utensil of my choosing. (Probably not a whisk.)

But how do I enter, you ask? Simple! Follow me on Twitter @kathrynwauthor (if you haven’t already) and send me a tweet. On August 8, I will pick a winner from a hat, possibly this one.

If you’re a blogger, please share this with your followers. Always the more the merrier in my opinion.

May the best Tweeters (Twitterers? Twitterians? Twittians?) win!

Kathryn

TWO Book Signing and Cooking Classes!

Dearest Cornmuffins,

The culinary is about to meet the literary. If you are in or near the Nashville, Tennessee, area, you will have not one but TWO chances to come see me do my best impression of the Swedish Chef! I am delighted to be hosting two book signings/cooking classes at Salud! at Whole Foods and at Super Suppers Franklin. Details below:

Saturday, August 25th
Teens Cook: A Book Signing & Cooking Class with Author Kathryn Williams
2:30pm – 4:30pm | $39 Hands-On for ages 12 & Up

Join author Kathryn Williams as she shares recipes from her latest novel, Pizza, Love and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous, in which the main character is a contestant on a teen cooking show. In this fun-filled afternoon, Kathryn will work with students as they learn how to work with phyllo dough, make ice cream, almond brittle, classic tomato sauce, and Greek salad. After class there will be an informal question and answer session with a book signing. Readers and cooks of all ages are welcome! Book is included with class tuition. MENU: Deconstructed Baklava; Honey Ice Cream; Pistachio Brittle; My Mother’s Tomato Sauce Served with Whole Wheat Pasta; and Greek Salad. Register here.

Saturday, September 1
Details TBD
For more info, check their Facebook page closer to August or call (615) 595-8899.