|My apologies for the blurry photo! :(|
During the FOB, Gayle, Nina, and Stephanie were also there for a signing, but with our jam packed schedule we were unable to see them, so I was happy to have the opportunity to see them in a smaller, less blazing hot venue! Thankfully, the Goddess of No Traffic was on my side and I managed to get there and arrive in time to buy copies of the book I needed signed.
The ladies from Authors are Rockstars* were moderating the panel and started off by asking each author about their current work, and read from one of their books. Nina was up first and read from her latest book, The Disenchantments.
I haven't read this book yet, but the little excerpt that Nina read made me SO happy I purchased it! It sounds like so much fun, I will definitely report back once I've read it!
Next up was Gayle Forman, reading from Where She Went, the amazing sequel to her equally amazing book If I Stay. Hearing Gayle read from Adam's point of view made me remember everything I loved about her writing and the story of Adam and Mia in the first place. I almost bought another copy of both books again just to have her sign them...but my single mother's budget was seriously not amused by that.
Lastly, Stephanie Perkins (did I mention she's my bff?) read a swoony scene from one of my favorite books of all time, Anna and the French Kiss, and I got all swoony again remembering how much I love my reigning book boyfriend, Etienne St. Clair. I might have made sure to reread a few of my favorite scenes again before I went to bed that night...you know just for old times' sake.
After the readings, there was a Q&A from the moderators and eventually the audience. My favorite answer was from Gayle Forman regarding her writing "Do's & Don'ts". She said her do was to write in an authentic voice, and if you sound like a fifteen year old Valley Girl, you should be true to that voice and not try to sound like someone you aren't. She said that true organic writing comes from within and can't be achieved by worrying about sounding like someone you aren't or worrying about what sells. That little tidbit hit me exactly where I live...voice is something I struggle with constantly. It was good to hear that advice from someone who obviously knows what the heck she's doing!
The best part of any event for me is obviously the signing. I was able to get my freshly purchased copy of The Disenchantments signed, and also my much loved copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. Yay for Stephanie remembering that we are besties!
One official pic, then another to incite everyone's envy. She so obviously gets me.
While waiting for Jessica and Erin, I was able to chat with Gayle and it turns out she's very familiar with the city I live in and used to hang out here in here when she was young. Usually no one ever knows about where I live so I was happy to discuss it with her and thank her in person for her extremely helpful words earlier that evening. Oh and if you notice how hard I am grinning in this picture, it's because when the lady behind me offered to take a pic of the two of us, Gayle referred to me as "a pal". I get all happy just thinking about it again.
This event was so much fun! We even ran into our old buddy Ava from the Tour de Nerdfighting! Her enthusiasm for YA seriously makes my life. She reminds me so much of me as a teen, you know if I would have had such a great community where I felt I belonged like she does.
Luckily I am a card carrying member of the YA community now, despite my advanced age and you know, lack of being able to finish writing a YA (or really any other genre) novel as of yet. ;-) Good thing I keep going to amazing events like these and getting inspired...I may find myself on the other side of the podium sooner than I think!
*Be sure to check out the Authors are Rockstars podcast on the event, you can hear me shamelessly promote myself and my blog at the end!