Calling all young artists!

May 12th, 2015

Betsy-Tacy-Deep-Valley-Homecoming-cover-Mankato-TImes

 

Hey there Betsy-Tacy fans — I just read about this competition in the Mankato (Minnesota) Times, and since there are so many fine young artists who visit my blog, I thought I’d pass the information along!  The contest is being sponsored by the Betsy-Tacy Society and Mankato’s Carnegie Arts Center, and winners will be announced at this summer’s “Deep Valley Homecoming.”  Click here for full information and an order form.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 10th, 2015

A big time in the Big Apple

May 7th, 2015

A number of you have asked me about the Edgar Awards and my trip to New York last week. Here’s the full scoop, complete with about a zillion photos!

It all began with this:

Edgar Awards invitation

And why was I invited to attend the Edgar Awards banquet? Because my book ABSOLUTELY TRULY was a nominee! As you may know from my previous blog posts, this was cause for much excitement, much laughter at “Dress to Kill” (gotta love that), quickly followed by much panic — I’ve never been to a black tie event in my life! What would I wear? And what would my husband wear?

More on that soon…

Meanwhile, it was time to pack our bags and hop on a plane to New York.

Cascades from planeCascade Range from 30,000 feet

See why I love living in the Pacific Northwest? This was the view as we left Seattle, flying over the Cascade mountains. Sigh.

It’s always a treat to fly through Seattle. And I mean that literally:

Dilettante Chocolates SeattleDilettante Chocolates kiosk

Whenever we have a layover at Sea-Tac, I make a beeline for Dilettante. Fabulous hot chocolate! And so many choices!

Dilettante signDilettante’s menu

Make mine milk chocolate, please. Mmm. Wonderful!

But there were wonderful things awaiting us in New York, too, including this:

HVF at S&SWelcome display at Simon & Schuster 

This is what greeted my husband and me when we stopped by my publisher for a celebration. (Ignore whatever weird thing my left hand is doing, OK? We’ll just chalk that up to an excess of excitement.) Simon & Schuster had not just one but THREE books nominated for the Edgar Award!  Huzzah!

Stuart Gibbs, Naheed Senzai & HVF at S&SStuart Gibbs, N.H. Senzai & moi

On the left is Stuart Gibbs, standing in front of his absolutely hilarious book SPACE CASE. In the middle is Naheed Senzai, with her tender and moving story SAVING KABUL CORNER. Me? I’m the one with my eyes shut, dazzled by all the talent in the room!  Which includes the walls behind us–they’re covered with book jackets featuring award stickers for things like the Newbery and Caldecott medals. So cool!

After the celebration, it was time to go back to the hotel and grab a nap before the award ceremony. Hello, jet lag! And then it was time to get ready…

Steve & Heather at EdgarsJames Bond Steve Frederick and me

This was the selfie we took in our hotel room, before making our grand entrance. In over 30 years of marriage, I’ve never seen my husband in a tux before. I was dazzled…

Heather & Steve glammed up for the EdgarsAll glammed up for the Edgars

And here we are, dressed to kill indeed! I accessorized with this:

Edgar Awards badge

Woohoo! And with sparkly silver shoes, which you’ll see in a moment. The MWA (Mystery Writers of America) gave us each a swag bag…

Edgar swag bag

… which included this fun item:

Poe bandages

Hilarious!

Simon & Schuster placed a full-page ad in the program showing off our books:

S&S Ad Edgar program

So cool! Thank you, S&S!

Here’s a picture of me with my smart and lovely editor, Kristin Ostby. Kristin is Stuart’s editor, too. (She’s good at her job.)

Stuart & Kristin & HeatherStuart Gibbs, Kristin Ostby & moi

I gawked at several celebrity authors, including Sara Paretsky and Stephen King (too shy to introduce myself to either one), and I met the amazing Lois Duncan:

HVF with Lois DuncanHVF with Lois Duncan

Lois is the author of such books as I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and HOTEL FOR DOGS. I’ve been reading WRITTEN IN THE STARS, a newly-published collection of short stories she wrote and published in her teens. Impressive! She was being honored with a “Grand Master” award.

Mostly I hung out with my friends who also write middle-grade mysteries, though:

Edgar Juvenile nomineesN. H. Senzai, Marcia Wells, Stuart Gibbs, moi, Kate Milford

This is the only picture I have of the vivacious and fun Marcia Wells, who is as sparkly in person as the dress she was wearing. I laughed out loud reading her terrific EDDIE RED UNDERCOVER: MYSTERY ON MUSEUM MILE. Love that Eddie!

After the cocktail party and photos, it was time to go into the swanky ballroom for dinner.

Edgar Awards menuEdgar Awards banquet menu

Mmm. It was delicious. The decorations were awesome, too–and some of them were edible!

Edgars atmosphere

Here’s a closer look at the white chocolate Edgar Allan Poe…

White chocolate Edgar

…which I didn’t get a chance to taste, because my agent Barry Goldblatt beat me to it!

Agent steals chocolate Edgar

Speaking of Barry, like my editor Kristin Ostby, he had not just one but TWO clients nominated for an Edgar — yours truly and Kate Milford!

Barry Goldblatt with Kate Milford & HVFKate Milford, Barry Goldblatt & moi

And Kate’s book won! Deservedly so, because GREENGLASS HOUSE is a very special book and a wonderful read–I hope you all rush right out and snag a copy!

After the award ceremony, we all hung out for a bit and basked in Kate’s reflected glory.

HVF & Kate post-EdgarsHVF & Kate

Kate and I compared shoes:

Sparkly Edgar shoes!

We both like sparkles. Mine are the silver ones, hers are — appropriately! — gold. And here’s her Edgar award:

Kate's Edgar award

Fun, huh?

And then the party was over. But the city still beckoned, and there was a full moon over Manhattan…

NYC night Spring 2015Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building

My two favorite buildings in New York, captured together right outside our hotel!

There was so much more to explore. My husband and I stayed on for an extra couple of days to get our fill of this amazing city. We walked for miles (seriously! we estimate we walked at least 15 miles in two days), downtown to 2nd Avenue Deli…

2nd Avenue Deli

… for the best pastrami sandwiches ever.

Then uptown to Central Park, which was in swoony full bloom…

Central Park Spring day 2015

Central Park

Central Park April 2015

Central Park Spring 2015

We stopped to refuel at Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie with Viennese kaffee und kuchen (cake and coffee) — mmm, Sachertorte for me — then walked back down Park Avenue enjoying more spring blossoms…

Dogwoods on Park Avenue

Next up? A play about Winston Churchill (James Bond my husband isn’t wild about musicals, so we settled on a subject of mutual interest).

Churchill set

Excellent choice! We loved it!

After that, it was time for a late-night bite. Like tuxedos and elegant long dresses, the Fredericks don’t do dinner at 10 p.m., but we did in NYC! We met up with my dear friend and former colleague Diane Roback, who steered us to Empanada Mama, a 24-hour spot (because let’s face it, who doesn’t have those occasional 3 a.m. empanada emergencies?) over on 9th Avenue that was FABULOUS!

Steve at Empanada MamaHappy customer

Just the sustenance we needed to face another long day of walking ahead. Next morning, we lit out for the High Line.

High Line sculptureSculpture along the High Line

If you’re ever in New York, you must walk the High Line! It’s a repurposed elevated railroad spur that’s now a mile and a half long park and walking trail. Great panoramic views of the city and the Hudson River, wonderful trees and plantings, and a very fun vibe. Plus, the new Whitney Museum of American Art has been relocated to the end of it on Gansevoort Street. We were going to stop in, but it was opening day and the lines were long and the day was gorgeous so we just kept on walking…

Hot Chocolate at City Bakery

… until our feet took us to City Bakery for hot chocolate. Because really, when is it never the right time for hot chocolate? Unfortunately, their homemade marshmallows were out of season (what? since when is there a season for homemade marshmallowy goodness?), so we had to drink our cocoa straight up. It was as excellent as I remember from the last time I was here. (Can you tell that I am a hot chocolate afficionado?)

And then it was time to say goodbye to New York and head home. Flying south from Seattle we dipped over Mount St. Helens and her stunning caldera (thank you, Alaska Airlines)…

Caldera of Mount St. HelensMount St. Helens – so close I could practically touch it!

…and arrived in Portland, where we were greeted by this sweet little face:

Billie -- Spring 2015Our dog Billie 

She missed us, and was happy to have us home again! And we were happy to be home, too, where our Pacific Northwest spring is in full bloom…

Rhodies in Gabriel Park

 … and where I have this to keep as a reminder of a magical trip to the Big Apple!

Edgar Award nomination certificate

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