Author Celebrity Sightings (ALAAC 2014 part 2)

“Spilt water cannot be retrieved.” –Chinese proverb

Words spilled out as writers can’t be retrieved. Words said as admirers can’t be taken back either, which I found out while blubbering to my favorite authors at the ALA conference. (Okay, so I wasn’t crying, but I still wasn’t suave.)

Here are my celebrity shots:

Jean Kwok

Jean Kwok
One of my favorite Asian American writers, we share a Hong Kong connection (my mom’s from there). Jean was the first well-known author (think NYT bestseller) to support me. When I was struggling with my writing career, she encouraged me through Twitter to follow my dreams. I also love that her book, Girl in Translation, unravels the untold world of sweatshop workers.

Hannah Dennison

Hannah Dennison

I met Hannah through a UCLA Extension writing class. Actually, I was pretty at ease speaking with her, and she congratulated me on my finalist standing with Foreword Reviews. It was all smooth…until the kids starting crawling around the floor and picking up the confetti stars decorating the carpet. Hannah’s first mystery series (Vicky Hill) features an obituary reporter as the protagonist. She adds fun to her England-based mysteries by incorporating quirky local traditions, like snail racing and hedge jumping.

Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak

I waited an hour in line to speak with him and then I rambled on about how I loved his writing. I also mentioned that I had a French friend who was a big fan as well (that was for you, Evelyne!). I’m not sure how much he understood, since I was rapidly speaking in American English (Markus, by the way, has a charming Australian accent). He, if you don’t already know, is the talented author of The Book Thief, a tale of Nazi Germany told using Death as the narrator.

Come back next Monday when I will explore mystery writing tips in part 3, the last installment of my ALAAC posts!

Foodie Friday First: Uni Don
Foodie Friday: Char Kuey Teow


  1. Jennifer, I am so glad that you went to ALA and are sharing it with us! I know that if I were meeting those authors, I would just be dumbstruck. Good for you for going and talking and telling us about it!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Carol! It’s amazing to meet authors in person. Fellow writers are always so friendly.

  2. How exciting! I’m sure I’d be just as bumbling. And I love it that Jean Kwok encouraged you through Twitter. The publishing world is tough, but the writing community is so supportive. I’m glad you had the chance to mingle with this authors!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Sometimes you think of your tweets as going into the void, but this goes to show that you can connect with others on Twitter!

  3. It was so good to see you and share at least a little bit of the ALA experience :-) It warms my heart that Jean Kwok encouraged you and I am so proud of you for pursuing your dreams!

  4. So jealous, Jennifer!!
    Thank you so much for the photo (s) and the conference feedback
    Really cool!

  5. Looks like it was worth going! And there’s nothing wrong with gushing over people we admire. Maybe someday it will happen to us and I’m sure we’d be thrilled. :)

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