(Original post date January 24, 2010)

Thanks to all our friends who came out to Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on Friday night for our inaugural public discussion of When the Parkway Came! We really enjoyed getting to read from the book and talk about how it came to be, especially with some of the folks who have helped us along the way.

We especially appreciated the presence of children’s author and illustrator Clay Carmichael, whose 2009 novel Wild Things has received much well-deserved acclaim recently, and her husband, Carrboro sculptor Mike Roig. In various informal chats as we were working out together at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, Clay has been a fount of valuable information about the weird and foreign world of children’s book publishing, about which both David and I were almost completely ignorant upon starting this project.

And it was so gratifying also to have Chapel Hill Public Library children’s librarian Susan Smialowicz there, too. She remembered that almost two years ago we had both talked to her about our idea for the book, and she had pointed us in the direction of some other similar books from which we might get ideas (e.g. Jane Yolen’s Letting Swift River Go, about Massachusetts’ Quabbin Reservoir).

Thanks again to Sarah Carr and her colleagues at Flyleaf for reaching out and getting us off to such a fantastic start!’