On March 20, I drove the hour to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book. I met James from Book Chic Club, my cohort in crime, at the Barnes & Noble there to kick off the day. Kim Harrison's signing was the first order of business.
Unlike James, who arrived early and had the chance to eat breakfast, I was late. When I did arrive I got the skinny from him. He explained that they were handing out numbered bracelets, and that there was a "paparazzi line" for photos. We waited in line and finally had the opportunity to meet Kim, who was extremely nice. She even signed a book for one of you lucky readers!
We left there and drove circles around the city for about 15-20 minutes before finding a parking spot. I paid for parking without a problem, but James and the electronic "Pay for Parking" machine had a slight disagreement. (It was operator error.)
Once James worked things out with the cranky yellow box holding his parking pass hostage, we began our search for the Omni Hotel. That took another 15 minutes because GPS lies, and we were late to meet Amy Brecount White (Forget-Her-Nots) and head to the first panel discussion we planned to attend. (Thank you yarn store ladies who pointed us in the right direction!) On arriving to the hotel, we went to every room on the first floor except the one that held that particular panel.
Upside: We knew the layout of the hotel like the back of our hand. Downside: We were even later now. We got there in time to grab a seat on the floor and hear a bit about children's publishing.
Still Amy-less and on the hunt for lunch, we snuck out of the panel just before it ended. That put us in front of the elevators just in time to cross paths with Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year), who ushered us out into the shopping district. We chatted with her as we walked her to a lunch get together then broke off to find sustenance for ourselves. We wound up at Five Guys because the local joint we hoped to eat at was super-busy.
Burgers, beverages and much witty book banter kept us busy during lunch. James flaunted his shiny ARC of Will Grayson, and I'll openly admit that I touched it. I'll say it loud and proud. I am a shiny object floozy.
After sufficient grease intake, we found our way back to the hotel a into a panel on worldbuilding where Suzanne Morgan William (Bull Rider), Keri Mikuski (Screwball), P.J. Hoover (Forgotten Worlds) and Barrie Summy (I So Don't Do Spooky) talked about how they go able creating a world readers can believe. Shortly after the panel got going, Amy appeared.
We talked for a bit about books and writing then James headed off to find the table where P.J. Hoover and Barrie Summy were signing while I went to the car to grab all the books I planned to get signed later in the day. I returned in time to find one unchaperoned boy blogger still gabbing with the girls. Apparently James had been talking about me because I was asked if I was the other half of we.
I told them I was a blogger too and that blogging was how James and I knew each other. Naturally, this prompted Barrie to ask, "What's your blog?"
I had like 100 followers at the time and was more than sure my blog royally sucked. Embarrassed, I looked down and sort of ground my toe into the ground. Then half-muttered, "Wastepaper Prose." The reaction that followed nearly gave me a heart attack.
Barrie Summy, author of three middle grade books, reeled back in her chair and squealed! Over me! She cried, "I READ YOU!"
I almost died. All James said was, "See? I told you your blog didn't suck." Smart aleck.
Finally, it was time for Amy and Jennifer's panel on hot teen literature. Along with their fellow panelists, Paula Chase (Flipping the Script) and David McInnis Gill (Soul Enchilada), they read from their latest works, discussed their writing, and talked about young adult literature today. The panel was fantastic and afterwards all four authors signed books and we had the opportunity to talk with them for a while. All in all, it was a great day!
Ends 5/29 at midnight EST.
I'm giving away a copy of Prom Nights from Hell, signed by Kim Harrison. This anthology also features stories by Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle and others. You must be a blog follower to enter. Here's how you rack up entries...
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