I showed up at Cha Cha's Cantina downtown just before 7p.m. to find that I was the first one there, so I wandered around outside of the building waiting for someone else to show up so that I wasn't sitting at a huge empty table all by myself. Luckily, Kris Spisak and Lauren Oliver showed up a few minutes into my table avoidance.
Once the table filled up there was a mix of people I knew, like Kelly who owns Fountain Bookstore, and those I didn't, like Kris and authors Gigi Amateau and Silas House. There was good conversation, tasty Mexican food, and it led to Gigi and I having a donut date at Country Style Donuts (which are the best donuts in the city).
I was especially excited for the chance to actually sit down and talk with with Lauren since we'd never had the opportunity before. You see, we had been friends on Twitter for a while before her book came out, and when it did a friend got a copy signed for me. (Of course Lauren had to get a dig in about the fact that I didn't drive from Virginia to Chicago to see her.) A few months later, at Teen Author Carnival in NYC, we finally got the chance to meet! I mean, who cares that it was in a line for the bathroom. Then at ALA in Washington, D.C. we ran into each other again and walked the venue for about 10 minutes before we parted ways. Needless to say, we hadn't exactly had a lengthy conversation at any of our meetings.
It was a wonderful night with literary folks. Thanks so much to the James River Writers for inviting me!
Up for grabs is a signed copy of Lauren Oliver's debut novel, Before I Fall, and a total bag featuring the cover of her forthcoming novel Delirium (Harper, February 2011). A huge thanks to the James River Writers for supplying the book and to Lauren for sending me the super-cool tote bag to add to the giveaway!