Today was an absolutely amazing day to be part of this blog, WhatANerdGirlSays, and to be part of the creative force of iFandoms Collide. Myself and my fellow bloggers, Sylvia, Tatiana and Megan (plus my sister, Jessica) headed to the Ontario Teen Book Fest today!
First off, I want to say thank you to two people. One is to Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library, who seriously is becoming the most amazing person to know. She has helped me so much, in getting my interview with Cassandra Clare, telling me about other events that I’d be interested in and she’s just been amazing. She told me about this awesome event through the Ontario Library and I thank her for that.
I would also like to thank Courtney Saldana from the Ontario Library for two reasons. One, is putting on such an amazing event that happened today and for bringing together the group of authors that came together today. Such a great mix of super talented, inspirational and wonderful authors. Two, I’d like to thank her for allowing us the opportunity to attend the Author Breakfast and to have one-on-one personal time with the authors to get to know them. We were able to talk to them about some REALLY cool things, and get to know some AMAZING authors.
We were also able to film episode TWO of the iFandoms Collide vlog, in which we discuss our top ten fictional crushes (you guys know how I love to talk about my fictional crushes!) We also talked to the authors that we were able to meet today and asked them their fictional crushes, authors like Stephen Chbosky, Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody, Lex Thomas, and so many more. Check it out below.
This was super fun to film, especially with getting all the author’s fictional crushes as well. SUPER fun. I loved Marie Lu‘s answer of Sydney from A Tale of Two Cities and Stephen Chbosky‘s Scarlett O’Hara. So great.
But what this particular blog post is about is my personal reaction to today’s events. After all this is WhataNerdGirlSays, and I am the “Nerd Girl” in that title :) As you all know, I am extremely passionate about young adult literature. I am a huge advocate for it, I write constantly about, I preach its use in academics, especially in the middle school and high school curriculums. Young adult literature is the very foundation for this blog!
So that being said, today was an amazing experience. I really got to have an up close and personal experience with all the authors today. They all took the time to really talk to all the fans, and every single author took the time to talk to me as a writer, and to give me advice and encouragement as an author. Here’s a picture of us with all the authors today:
Authors at this event were (from left to right): Jessica Brody, Lex Thomas (duo), Gretchen McNeil, Carrie Arcos, Andrew Smith, Sara Wilson Etienne, Suzanne Lazear, Morgan Matson, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Ann Stampler and Jennifer Bosworth.
I wish honestly that I could have gotten every single one of their books and I could get them all signed. Unfortunately my wallet doesn’t permit for such things. I am a poor college student haha and I just can’t do that. But I came up with this idea: I bought a poster board, wrote “You are a writer” on it, in the middle, and I asked all the authors to write a piece of advice or words of encouragement. Once I fill up this poster board, I can frame it and put it on my wall, and it can be my encouragement when I feel like my writing is going bad (which, sadly, is often).
And the response was AMAZING. Every single author that was at the event signed it with words of wisdom. Here is the poster board below :) If you click on it, you can see it bigger, in order to read the advice given.
Hanging out with the authors during the Author Breakfast was a great opportunity and really gave us the ability to hang out with the authors, get to know them, interview them and really share with them our passion about books and young adult literature. Some highlights include:
Making funny faces with Jessica Brody
There were so many more moments and I’ll post a link near the bottom so you can see more pictures.
First we got to see Stephen Chbosky in a Q and A, and he was incredibly inspirational and touching. His book has touched so many people’s lives and it was amazing to hear him speak. We also got the great news that he is working on something new, hopefully coming out in 2014! Awesome!
I love being short, it causes some hilarity at times :) This is a GREAT picture of me and Stephen Chbosky. I loved being able to talk to him about a particular part in his book that was very resonating to me. I won’t say too much more than that because it is EXTREMELY personal to me but I was glad to talk to him about it, and I nearly cried when talking to him about it. What a great writer and a great person as well.
My favorite panel of the day was the Femme Fatale panel, featuring all female authors talking about female characters that kick butt.
From left to right: Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Morgan Matson, Jennifer Bosworth and Jessica Brody. Truly great panel, from some talented and inspiring authors. I was able to get books signed by all by Jennifer Bosworth, who I am determined to track down in the future! They were hilarious, inspirational, great at advice and it was a highlight of my day. Especially when Leigh Bardugo said she was a Tamora Pierce fan. I LIVE for that Tortall world.
Then came meeting the authors!
me and Morgan Matson, author of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer. She is a SERIOUS inspiration of mine and it was amazing being able to talk to her as much as I was able to today :)
Myself and Ann Stampler, author of Where it Began. She showed us the brand new cover of her new book and hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on some ARCs!
myself and Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy (I am so anxiously awaiting Champion!). She is so inspirational, as a young author, for aspiring authors like me.
me with Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone. Her humor, charisma, intelligence and inspiration drove me to buy her book. I can’t wait to dive into it. She was a wonderful person to me and gave good advice, and was truly inspiring. I hope to meet her again someday.
Myself with Carrie Arcos, who was nominated for a National Book Award for her novel Out of Reach, and Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck. Two books that are now on my t0-read list. Such lovely ladies!
the always lovely, hilarious and super great Jessica Brody. I finally picked up a copy of The Karma Club today, which I had only read halfway. You can also read Unremembered, My Life Undecided and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.
Another author that I didn’t manage to get a picture with was Andrew Smith. he recently wrote a book called Winger, which was unofficially released today at the Teen Book Fest but won’t officially release until Tuesday. He is already being featured in the New York Times today (the 12th) and has an immense buzz around his book. He was super fun to talk to, and a true inspiration. He was not encouraged as a writer by his parents and is an encouraging parent to his aspiring writer son. He was a truly wonderful author to meet as well and I’m sad I missed him in my photo taking spree.
All in all, it was absolutely wonderful day. I really got to hang out and talk and be inspired by people who are doing the very things that I wish to do with my life. My life’s ambition is to become an author and these authors are doing exactly that and I hope to one day become that. It is always a fun thing to meet these authors as a fan, but it is also fun to meet them as a hopefully one day future colleague in the field of young adult literature.
I left this event today feeling two different ways. In one way, I was extremely happy and fan girling over the amazing authors that I met today. But I also left feeling super inspired and uplifted. All of the authors today gave me great advice and words of encouragement and they all gave me the push, and the words of not giving up. Every single author gave me a stronger belief in myself and they all said that they can’t wait to see what I do. Which really meant a lot, as I’m in some serious writer’s block and I hate my third novel haha. But such wonderful people to meet and a wonderful event to attend.
Thank you so much to the Ontario Library for putting on this event, and to Mrs Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop for sponsoring the event and all the librarians and teen volunteers who helped put this on. You guys are all rock stars.
Thanks to my sister, Jessica, for being my book buddy for life.
Thanks to Sylvia, Megan and Tatiana for being the BEST book friends a girl could have and for being the pieces of the puzzle for iFandoms Collide and for understanding me :) and for always making every event we go to the best time ever.
(I had to put this picture of us with Thomas and Lex because they totally towered over all of us. And they were SO super cool)
And thanks especially to Courtney Saldana (below) at the Ontario Library. You gave us wonderful opportunities today to make memories that we will never forget. I can’t wait to attend more events that you and your library put on because I know that they will be absolutely wonderful :)
We all recorded the authors talking about new projects, fan reactions, their new stuff, all kinds of cool stuff. Those videos will hopefully be up soon (we are getting better at editing haha) and I will share them with you as soon as I can!
If you’d like to see more pictures from this event, check them out on the WhataNerdGirlSays facebook page here.
* * * * *
If you live in the Los Angeles/Southern California area and know of an author event or book fest event that you think myself or my team at iFandoms Collide would be interested, please contact us!
* * * * *
A last few side notes:
All of these authors rock! I tweeted all of them to tell them what a great time that I had meeting them yesterday and pretty much all of them tweeted back :) It takes time out of their day to do this and it means a lot when they reply :)
Also, all the authors are linked on this post, so that you can check them out, and every book that is mentioned is linked to its Amazon page so that you can check it out and maybe purchase it!