From the Library of Congress National Book Festival on the Mall in DC, to the American Girl store in McLean, VA, and the Barnes & Noble in Ellicott City, MD, 
this last week had a fairy tale feel to it.

At the Barnes & Noble I introduced Caroline Abbott, the new historical character I created for American Girl, to a lovely group of avid readers. Some had already zipped through all six Caroline books, and they had great questions!  My thanks to everyone who attended. I hope all of you had as much fun as I did.

Kathleen Ernst signing Caroine Abbott books at Barnes & Noble

For me the National Book Festival began Friday night at the historic Library of Congress building with a glittering gala for the authors. It was a magical evening.
National Book Festival 2012 Gala at Library of Congress building.

The setting (by the US Capitol) resembled a magnificent, secular cathedral built to honor books. Attendees included Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times Bestselling authors. I felt like Cinderella at the ball! 

And on Saturday over one hundred thousand book lovers visited the National Mall for the opening day of the LOC's annual festival. The weather was beautiful and, as you can see, the setting was majestic.

Library of Congress 2012 National Book Festical on the National Mall.

After being interviewed by the Library of Congress, and SiriusXM Radio's Book Channel, I signed stacks of Caroline Abbott books at the Barnes & Noble tent before heading to the Target-sponsored Family Storytelling Stage.

Target's Family Storytelling Tent at 2012 National Book Festival.

There I spoke about Caroline Abbott and did a reading from Meet Caroline, the first book in the series. Then I answered lots of questions from the audience.

Kathleen on Target Family Storeytelling Stage at National Book Festival.

Afterwards I met lots of patient fans and signed their books. One girl told me she had used the time in line to read, and was already into the third chapter!

Fans waiting to get Kathleen to sign their Caroline books at National Book Festival.

My thanks to the Library of Congress for their superbly organized festival, and to the Target Corporation for their generous sponsorship of my participation. Thanks also to Don Delauter of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Alexa Rubin of American Girl, and my husband Scott Meeker, who were my volunteer 'entourage' for the day. They made sure I was where I was supposed to be, on time, with whatever was needed.

Sunday found me signing books at the American Girl store in McLean. As a special treat, store staff had arranged for me to have lunch with Caroline, and for a sweet group of girls to come sing patriotic songs in honor of the War of 1812.

Kathleen Ernst and choir at American Girl Washington DC store.Kathleen Ernst and Caroline Abbott lunching together.
These events afforded me the great joy of meeting lots of young readers, and the adults who encourage and support their love of reading. 

Their enthusiasm helps explain why the six-book Caroline boxed set with game and the Meet Caroline paperback have, since their release three weeks ago, been consistently ranked in the top one percent of sales out of the eight million books tracked by Amazon.

Next Stop Boston

Next stop on my American Girl fall tour is the U.S.S. Constitution Museum, which has invited me to do an AG Fans tea and Caroline Abbott presentation at the museum on Sunday, October 7th. I am enormously excited about this!  If you have friends in the area, I invite you to let them know about it.

Warm regards,

Kathleen at the Swiss Village Museum in New Glarus WI
Kathleen Ernst writes for adults and young readers.

Over the years her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha national mystery award nominations and an Emmy for educational TV.

Her books have sold well over a half million copies.
With her six new Caroline Abbott American Girl books,  plus her third Chloe Ellefson mystery from Midnight Ink, Kathleen now has twenty-four published books.  

American Girl is a trademark of American Girl LLC.
Midnight Ink is a trademark of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Publicity photo of Kathleen by Kay Klubertanz. All other photos by Scott Meeker.
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This email Copyright 2012 by Kathleen Ernst, LLC.