I had to come back up to this paragraph to reintroduce this post…because I didn’t realize how long it was going to be! I maybe should have seen the signs from the really super long title…but rest assured, this post is mostly pictures, less words so you don’t have to worry too much! Just enjoy my awesome post, and stop complaining already!
I’m still kind of recovering from the event. It was an absolute blast but I got sunburnt, and really worn out, and I’m all sore from all the walking and lugging the heavy books around and I got a heat rash and all of that. It was a fun weekend that beat me up haha. I’m still totally recovering.
So, this past weekend was the annual event, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. For those of you who don’t know, it is an event held every year, two days, with tons of authors and poets and book-related things at the University of Southern California (USC). I have been to this event several times in my past, when it was at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It has always been a super fun event, and I’ve met authors like Meg Cabot and Eoin Colfer there.
This year, though, there was so much excitement and SO much going on.
First off, I’ve had the seriously amazing opportunity to meet Tatiana from City of Shadowhunters, Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels and our partner in crime, Megan (who you can follow on Twitter @yugenbliss) through Twitter, and the love of the Mortal Instruments and other fandoms. We all were at WonderCon (Tatiana and Sylvia were in the special meet and greet for TMI too!) and didn’t even realize it! So we planned a Shadowhunter meet up on Saturday, to meet more fans! Check out our cool photo!
These girls were all SO awesome, and I had a fantastic time meeting them. You can also check out Paulina’s blog, all about the Divergent fandom.
The first event on the agenda was seeing Cassandra Clare (I know, again, I have an obsession…) and Harald Zwart, the director of City of Bones. I was unable to make the actual panel; Sylvia and I went to wait in line for the autographs. One thing that the Festival of Books didn’t do so well, was schedule all the young adult authors overlapping each other. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl were from 2-4, Cassie was from 3-5 and Veronica Roth was from 4-6. Silly. So Sylvia and I waited in line while Megan, Tatiana and my sister Jessica went to the panel.
Cassandra Clare and Harald Zwart discussing the City of Bones movie :)
Then possibly the coolest thing in the entire world happened. Jessica and Megan joined Sylvia and me in line for Cassie. Now, Sylvia, Tatiana and I were part of the VIP meet and greet at WonderCon and Megan was at WonderCon as well and we were bummed that Harald wasn’t there! Well, he was walking around so we got to meet him finally! I got to have my City of Bones book signed, which had already previously been signed by Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins, and Kevin Zegers. Harald and his family was super nice.
After Sylvia, Megan and I basically assaulted him, a ton of people started coming up to him and his son was like “Daddy, you’re famous!” It was adorable.
Then a professional photographer saw me showing Harald my Fearless rune tattoo and asked to take a picture of him pretending to draw the rune on my shoulder…and then for some reason, he signed his name on my arm haha. I had to wash it off but I got a picture of it!
Then we met Cassie again!
I gave her a letter that I had written her and she signed the picture of this two of us at the Mission Viejo library event. She totally remembered me and Vivi from Hebel Designs, who designed the Clockwork Angel necklace that I got from Cassie, was there which was super cool.
After we all met Cassie, we busted a move to the other side of campus to meet Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth. Lauren Oliver, of course, is the author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, who I met back in March at the Mission Viejo library. Veronica Roth is the author of the Divergent trilogy.
I’ve already met Lauren Oliver so Sylvia, Jessica and Tatiana went to meet her and had a blast with her, as she is an absolutely lovely person :) Then we all met Veronica Roth, which was REALLY exciting, as she is super famous now and she’ll only get bigger now that movie Divergent comes out next year.
She was SO beautiful and awesome. And I just had to tell her how much I admire her, as she is six months younger than me, and so successful and super talented and I think she’s an absolute inspiration. I also had her sign an extra copy of Divergent and I’m giving it away as a prize, until May 4th. Find out how to win it HERE.
Day Two was even more fun. We spent the whole day chasing authors around!
First we went to the Penguin booth, put on by Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop to meet Maureen Johnson, the author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes and the Shades of London series (I just reviewed The Name of the Star last week). She was so incredibly sweet, and HILARIOUS. I mean, that girl is SO funny.
She always makes the most fantastic faces. She’s a character. Her tweets the next day all about being in the airport, were just too funny to handle. You should follow her.
After Maureen Johnson, we headed to the Young Adult Fiction: Call Me Maybe panel to hang out with Gayle Forman, Morgan Matson, Sarah Dessen and Robin Benway. The panel was amazing because that’s EXACTLY the type of literature that I want to write, the literature that they write. I write contemporary YA and they had amazing advice and stories, and they really helped me to believe that even though I’m 25, and feeling super unaccomplished, that there is a chance for me. Robin Benway‘s stories of struggling through writing and Gayle Forman talking about the three years it took her to get back into college, it just makes me feel so much better. They were amazing.
Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay, and other such novels. I’ve never read her books but they are now on my “to-read” list on GoodReads and I can’t wait to read her books.
An extremely blurry picture of Robin Benway. I had never heard of her, but after that panel, I NEED to go and read her books. She was exactly me. She was talking about working crappy jobs and wanting to write and feeling like nothing was going to work out but it did work out and it was so incredibly inspirational to someone, like me, who feels like they just aren’t accomplishing anything. I can’t wait to read her books.
Me telling Morgan Matson that she is absolutely fantastic. I adore her two books “Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour” and “Second Chance Summer“. She is such an inspiration for me as well, and I was sooooooo excited to meet her. I don’t think she expects that or something because she was SO happy. She deserves all the praises and more.
After Morgan Matson, Gayle Forman and Robin Benway, a couple of us (not me), went to meet Melissa de la Cruz, the author of the Blue Bloods series. Here’s a picture of my sister, Jessica, meeting her :)
After THAT, we all booked it back to the Penguin Booth to meet the AMAZING, AMAZING Sarah Dessen. I was most excited about meeting her ALL weekend. I have been reading Sarah Dessen since I first read Someone Like You when I was 12 years old. I wrote her a letter to tell her, and I pretty much hyperventilated in her presence.
She LOVED how beat up my Along for the Ride book was, said it looked super super loved (which it totally is), and was just super sweet. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth and I’m Sara Elizabeth and yeah, I got a total kick out of that :) We also were able to take a nice group picture with her as well!
Tatiana, me, Sarah Dessen, Meg, Sylvia and Jessica.
* * * * *
In all honesty, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend. I got to meet some amazing authors, get my books signed and I met some incredibly people while I was out, people that I dont know how I wasn’t friends with before.
Sylvia, Megan, Tatiana and me. We spent hours at Barnes and Noble shopping for books and talking books :)
If you’d like to follow my fellow nerd friends,
Also don’t forget to enter the autographed Divergent contest!
* * * * *
Were you at the Festival of Books? Who did you meet, what was it like? Or do you have an author event that you attended that you’d like to share? As always, share in the comments!