Last night I met up with An Vrombaut to go to a meeting at the Society of Authors, where Wayne Winstone, former children's book head buyer at Waterstone's (the UK's largest book store) gave an interesting talk. But the audience got pretty freaked out by his estimation that a picture book has 2-3 weeks on the shelves to succeed before it's pulled off. Man, that's not much time! (Winstone retired last month, citing he didn't want to put up with the long commute any more, but he was a man exuding a huge sense of relief.) It was a real treat looking around the audience, people such as Jane Ray, Anthony Browne, Joyce Dunbar, Michael Foreman, Helen Craig, Ros Asquith, Tony Mitton, Lynn Breeze, Mara Bergman, Nicola Scree, and Gillian McClure. I can't quite decide if I want to apply to join the SoA. I'm already a member of the AOI and SCBWI and I don't want to join so many groups that I get into that bad place where I pay more in dues than I'm actually earning... but I think they're all good organisations. Tricky. Maybe I'll treat myself to another membership after I get my next book published? Or a trip to France. Maybe France.
While Steve Skidmore was giving the opening talk, he said something about 'shrunken heads', which made me stop listening for a little too long while I sat there thinking about shrunken heads.
Edit: And manuelap just posted the prettiest in-flight safety video ever! Way to make something really boring beautiful!! I don't know anything about Virgin America, but they totally rock for commissioning that.