Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Authors at the Library

This past Saturday one of our local libraries (the "other" one, not the one where I work) held their first annual Teen Book Festival. Headlining the event was Scott Westerfeld.  (As you probably don't remember, he's one of the authors I choose for my dream BEA panel...) So of course I was excited! It was free, but you had to have tickets to go to his presentation, and of course those tickets were gone in the first couple of hours of distribution weeks ago, and of course I didn't get any. But Melissa from One Librarian's Book Reviews came to the rescue and got two extras and said we (me and Jenny) could use them!

So, off we went!

First we heard Scott Westerfeld's presentation. He began by telling how Uglies came about. He said he had a friend who moved to LA and was flustered by going to the dentist and being told he needed to get on a five year "teeth beautification" plan. That gave him the idea of what if what if.... and Uglies was born.

When the book came out in Japan, he was surprised that it had pictures. It made him wonder why we don't have pictures anymore... in big people books. It used to be that we did (like Bleak House that I just read!) but the camera came along and here in the this county anyway, it made illustrations less accepted. Anyway, that morphed into an idea he had .... and Leviathan was born.

He then showed us several pictures from both Leviathan and Behemoth and talked a little about the story itself, without spoilers...mostly!

So after that we stood in his signing line and I got both Leviathan and Behemoth signed. I had no questions for him, and he was sort of an all business non-chatty author signer, so it was a little awkward. But aren't they all? (See my post here!)

 (and can you see Scott's wife Justine Larbalestier in the background?)

Then we stood in Brandon Sanderson's line and this time when it was my turn, I chatted with him whether he wanted to chat or not. Here's what went down:

Me: So I'm trying to making my way through the Wheel of Time series, I just got done with #4 and loved it!
Him: Oh, really? That's my favorite one too!
Me: Really? Cool!
Him: Yeah, and then 5 and 6 are similar in feel so I bet you'll really like them too. But the later ones concentrate more on side characters, so I guess then it depends on which characters you like.
Me: Oh, my favorite character is Perrin, no question!
Him: Oh, well then, book 4 is his best book... so..
Me: But I really like Min too, is there much more about Min coming up?
Him: Yes there is.
Me: And Lan, I'm really anxious to learn more about Lan too!
Him: Yes, him too! Both Lan and Min will be prominent in later books. Also, there's some Mat stuff that will blow you away. Stuff you can't even imagine right now!
Me: Awesome! Well, hopefully I'll get them all done one of these days so I can read your stuff there at the end!
Him: Cool.
The Two Brandons!
Then I had J. Scott Savage sign my "real" copy of Far World: Land Keep. He said, "Don't I know you?" So I reminded him from where.

After that we went to a panel already in session about YA Fiction with Sara Zarr, Carol Lynch Williams and Ann Dee Ellis. Much of the same stuff was covered as many of the panels I've gone to in the past. I'm guessing the authors get sick of discussing the same things over and over again!

When that was over, we went back to the author signing area where all the authors had now switched over, and I had Sara Zarr sign all three of her books for me. Then Sydney Salter signed two of hers, and Wendy Toliver signed one, and Carol Lynch Williams signed one. Whew! That was fun!
From right to left: Sara Zarr, Wendy Toliver, Sydney Salter and Dene Low.
While waiting in line for these authors, I kept snapping pictures of Nathan Hale because whoa, he looked especially dashing and I couldn't help it!

Then back to the panel we went, to hear Ally Condie, Lisa Mangum and Bree Despain talk about romance in YA fiction. It morphed, as these things usually to do, to publishing and writing hints and helps. We really wanted to ask this question: "So, what's up with all the love triangles?" But we never got a chance. Oh, well. Next time!

So, in the end, I had twelve books signed by seven different authors. (One of those books, however, was a special request by Ibeeeg of Polishing Mudballs, and will shortly be sent off to her!) Yes, it was loads of fun, and with that, I think my author encounters have come to an end for the time being. It's been a whirlwind of a couple of months, but I think things will calm down now!


  1. What a fun day! Thanks sooo much for getting the Sanderson book, The Way of Kings, and having him sign it! Your a sport! :D :) :D

    By the way, I much prefer a chatty author, nothing huge, but a few chatty words over a down to business let me sign your book author because yeah...that is uncomfortable. Still, I am glad you got your Westerfeld books signed. My 13 year old daughter has started to re-read the Pretties series. I wonder if she would like the Leviathan and Behemoth books.

  2. Have I mentioned how completely jealous I am of the whole Utah book blogging community? Seriously, I'm thinking of moving back just so I can be a part of it. If only I weren't stuck in this hot, dry desert ... Oh well, at least I get to read about all of you lucky Utahns and your good times :) Thanks for bragging, I mean, sharing ...

  3. what an incredible day.... love the conversation with Sanderson. My husband Sean likes Perrin best, too, and was disappointed to less of him after a while--still he enjoys the series.

    could feel your exhilaration in the post. it was wonderful of you to share. sounds like a really great time.


  4. Great recap! Thanks for letting me tag along with you (and for letting me steal the photos).

  5. Wow, what a great day! It really sounds fantastic :)

    I didn't realize until today that you live in Utah...I just moved from SLC to Denver in June last year, lol.

    Also, I have an award for you on my blog:

  6. Thanks for letting me tag along as well.

  7. I wish my library hosted events like this! That looks like so much fun!

  8. OH my goodness, you are living the high life!! Rubbing shoulders with those who transport us so....

    I'm insanely jealous!! I think I would even put up with all the lines for a local library that put such a great event together. Yeah, Utah for growing such terrific word-crafters.

    I love weekends like you had. I know when we go to the Book Festival in the spring I feel like I'm on a high. Now, off to enjoy your bounty!! Enjoy!

  9. Ibeeeg: Your book is on its way! And yes, I bet your daughter would really like the Leviathan books. They are just plain cool.

    Caroline: I know, right!? :)

    Susan: Come back come back!

    L: Glad you enjoyed the conversation recap! I hope I keep enjoying the series too even when Perrin fades off...

    Melissa: No thank YOU... and you're welcome! :)

    Crystal: Thanks for the award! Sweet!

    Jenny: Thanks for going with me, I love having such a great book buddy!

    Amused: It appears we are very lucky around here.

    Inside: It was a great day. I didn't have much chance to be on a high though because I had to come back and survive the worst trunk or treat experience ever... but that's another story.



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