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A first encounter with BEA: Writer Maile Meloy

May 26, 2011 |  9:36 am


Writer Maile Meloy was named one of the best young writers in America by Granta in 2007. Her upcoming novel, "The Apothecary," is the first she's written for young readers -- really young, as in 9 to 12 years old.

"The Apothecary" -- a magical story of two children in 1952 England -- will be out in October. Although Meloy has published four prior books, including the acclaimed short-story collection "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It," this was the first time she's attended Book Expo.

"All these people excited about books is fantastic," Meloy, who lives in Los Angeles, told The Times Wednesday. "It feels optimistic."

When she did a book-signing at the booth for Putnam Juvenile, her publisher, she said she encountered booksellers, librarians, other authors and people who run after-school programs.

"When I first started, I was really shy," she said, but this time around she was told by someone waiting in line that she was spending too long talking to each person. "I've gotten better at it," she said.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Maile Meloy with a copy of her middle-grade novel "The Apothecary." Credit: Carolyn Kellogg