Saturday, October 1, 2011

Austin Teen Book Festival: Oh. My. God.

The Super Long Rundown of...

   For those of you who couldn't make it to the festival today, never fear! I am here to save the day, along with the Teen Press Corp who took video, photos, and interviews for you to see! You can view the blog here, the Youtube channel here, the Flickr here for photos, and the Twitter feed here to learn everything you can.
Austin Teen Book Festival started off small - not many authors, not many attendees. But now? IT'S PACKED! Signing lines are long, you can't move around, but thankfully, everyone just wants to meet authors.
It's an entirely volunteer run event, and you could see tons of volunteers all over the festival.

I had the huge honor of being in the Press division and got a press pass! (see below) This gave me the opportunity to be in the VIP Author Hospitality area where I could talk, mingle, and take photos with authors. Meredith (Mint Tea and a Good Book) and I got to talk with Stephine Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and recently out Lola and the Boy Next Door. 
All of the authors were so sweet and willing to take a photo with you in an elevator, ready to sign books at any moment, and to talk to you about anything!
<----- My Press Pass that I could flash and feel famous! I don't think I ever got over the "I'm so important" feeling.
While we were in the Author Hospitality room mingling, we were surprised by the Hill Country Player's performance of the Thriller dance! All of the authors wiped out their cells were and tweeting and photo taking machines!
Maureen Johnson saw the zombies before they entered the hospitality room (by accident) and was awestruck. "Where's my camera?!" She whispered to Meredith and I while we politely escorted her away from the zombies. Her face was hilarious.
The keynote speaker was Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series, Levithan series, Peeps, and Mignighters, all YA. The keynote talked about illustrated novels, and how the modern book world doesn't have illustrations like they used to.
We do have fan art though, and Westerfeld showed the crowd a few of his favorites.
"Maybe illustrated novels aren't gone - they're just from you," he ended with, referring to the fact that the novels are illustrated by readers instead of illustrators and authors.
One of the panels, Pen Fatale, made up of Alyson Noël, Mary Pearson, Jessica Brody, and Gabrielle Zevin (right to left in the photo) was hilarious and charasmatic.
Jessica Brody, author of My Life Undecided and The Karma Club is an outgoing and fantastic person - one of my favorite to meet and talk with at the festival.
Mary Pearson, author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, and most recently The Fox Inheritance, was eager to talk about anything with you, including her ideas for the future!
Alyson Noël, author of The Immortals Series and the Riley Bloom Series, most recently Dreamland, was so sweet! She was happy to laugh and giggle with you about your book crushes.
Gabrielle Zevin, author of All These Things I've Done, Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac, and Elsewhere noticed my nail polish and we had a conversation about that! She was a great person to talk to and eager to listen to everything you had to say.

Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, unfortunately lost her phone at the event! (If you were on twitter you probably heard this.) But, on the bright side, Meredith and I got to help her look for it! Stephanie is such a sweet person with a fantastic sense of style (her boots her incredible!) and loves talking with you about anything. She was happy to answer our questions about St. Clair, the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door and everyhting in between. Keep an eye out for her next, Isla and the Happily Ever After!
The signing lines.... Oh boy. These lines were to the farthest walls, curved, and sitting. An hour before authors were supposed to sign, avid fans were camped out with their books, flipping pages and enjoying their recently bought novels. Scott Westerfeld and Maureen Johnson's especially. It was amazing how much these authored were loved by their fans!
People were so willing to wait forever to get their books signed and have that split second with an author while he/she is signing your book. It's your second to connect, and many authors live for it.

The day ended though... Much to my dismay, but I left with four books, all signed by the authors! Meredith and I got the last copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door, so we had to share. (But we don't mind! I get it first though! YEAH!)
My signed copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Can't wait!
 Meredith and I's signed copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door!
 Signed copy of Vanish by Sophie Jordan!
I read Firelight, and want more of Will! Hopefully he's in this one.
Signed copy of The Name of the Star! (I did some minor stalking for this one!)

I'm so happy and honored to participate in the festival. To ATBF volunteers, attendees, and authors: THANK YOU! You made today so special!

Don't forget! Tonight the giveaway end! Finish up with your submitting!

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