And the winner of the DOGS OF THE DROWNED CITY contest is…

KAITLYN MARTIN!

Congratulations, Kaitlyn! And since I just visited the Scholastic offices and received copies of all three of the DOGS books, I will send you signed copies of the entire series! And a bookmark! Hooray!

Kaitlyn’s winning entry is below:

She is a Golden Retriever named Magnolia but we call her Maggie. She only has 3 legs. She walks with a hop but is an awesome swimmer.  She could survive the drowned city by swimming through the floods. Maggie loves water, rain, and there is a lot of that in the book. Maggie has a squeaky toy duck that she loves to chew on.  I think she would make a great addition to Shep’s pack.

Thank you so much for your entry, Kaitlyn! I think Maggie would be a great addition to Shep’s pack, too!

As I mentioned above, last week I traveled to the bustling Big Apple to meet with my editors at Scholastic and Dial.

It was awesome to get to visit with everyone, and to finally meet in person both my agent, Faye Bender, and editor at Dial, Kathy Dawson. We had a lively debate over the relative attractiveness of various 80s movie stars (John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, anyone? Can I get a hells yeah?) and generally had a fabulous time.

These meetings were largely about plans for promoting both DOGS and NO SAFETY. There’s lots of exciting stuff in the works. And to give you just a taste, look for a guest post from me on Scholastic’s Ink Splot blog next week!

Most importantly, I was able to visit one of my favorite places in the city: the original Magnolia Bakery in the West Village. This place smells how I imagine heaven must, and for a few shekels, you can purchase a piece of heaven: the Magnolia cupcake. If the mere smell was transcendent, imagine the taste of this toothsome morsel. I recommend buying yours with a small milk and then moseying over to the park across the street to eat your confection.

Preferably with a copy of one of my books…nothing compliments a cupcake like catastrophe! (Or maybe nothing calms an anxious mind like a delicious cupcake!:)

Before leaving the Tri-State area, I returned briefly to my hometown in New Jersey and dragged my sister-in-law to the local mega-mall. I display this picture just to give you an idea the scale of mall I grew up with.

This is a tiny side hall. The mall as a whole? We’re talking huge, people. Like so huge, there had to be thousands of people in this mall while we were there and it felt empty. This is the kind of mall I’m talking about in NO SAFETY (But this is not the mall described in NO SAFETY, Corporate Counsel for Said Mall. My mall is fictional! FICTIONAL, I TELL YOU!).

This Week’s Media Roundup:

Book: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races (As a horse-lover, I was obviously going to read this book, and I am so glad I did. It’s a carefully wrought story about two fully realized characters that features killer horses from the sea–what’s not to love?!:)

Movie: Yojimbo (I love Akira Kurosawa’s films, and this is one I hadn’t seen. It’s AWESOME! And has been remade like a billion times, including as A Fistful of Dollars. See it.)

TV Show: Modern Family (Just watched the most recent episode. The show has such an insanely good cast and they are given such fresh writing. But you already know this because you’re watching it, too…)

Song: Too many to name…I’m working on a playlist for No Safety in Numbers. I’m so excited about it, it’s a little scary. The list is going to bottle some minds, I tell you…