Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southern Festival of Books 2013

So this weekend, I made the trek up to Nashville to go to the Southern Festival of Books.  I had never been to this festival before.  It's super fun. I am enthusiastic about it.  I went up with my friend Hannah, who is a bookseller. We both enjoyed totally different aspects of this festival--it's enormous! So many people and panels to see!

This sign was really pretty. Unfortunately, I'm kind of a terrible photographer.
So Saturday morning my friend Jessamyn (a fellow librarian!) and I got up early to hear Kevin Henkes.  Kevin Henkes is wonderful.  If you're not familiar with him, remedy that.  He's written and illustrated 47 books--picture books, early chapter books, and novels.  I just love him.  I think he understands the mind of children better than anyone writing books for preschoolers and young kids right now.

This is a really fuzzy picture of Kevin Henkes being hilarious.
Jessamyn and I decided to brave his signing line. It was really quite long.  While we were there, we were checking twitter obsessively (as you do) and we decided to stalk Sarah Dessen (as you do).  Not two minutes later, she walked by in a bright yellow dress!!  This was my second time to meet her, and she is delightful. What you see is absolutely what you get! She's gracious and sweet and was totally nice about my fangirling.  As soon as I walked away, she fangirled all over Meg Wolitzer! I love it.

That afternoon, I went to a middle grade panel with Jeramy Kraatz, Chris Krovatin, and Caroline Carlson.  It was great fun! They talked about their middle grade series, their characters, and their inspirations. It was awesome!

Caroline's book was one of my favorite reads of this year.  If you don't believe me, feel free to consult the completely ridiculous Goodreads review I wrote back in the spring when I read a galley.  We've enjoyed it so much at my library that we're reading it aloud by chapters to our afterschool group.  It's about pirates and I love it.

I made Caroline do this. And she had to pose twice because my phone flipped out. And then I didn't tell her I was putting this pic on the blog. Basically, I'm the worst. And she is the cutest.
SUNDAY I was determined to go to this panel, mainly because Myra McEntire is kind of my favorite human. She did a panel about her books with fellow Nashville resident Sharon Cameron, whose books I will now devour. The panel;s theme was awesome heroines, and they talked a lot about their MCs, but also about research, writing in general, and the writing community.  I also met Sonia Gensler after this panel, who is just a delight.

Myra's like YEP. I am, in fact, legit. I thnk this is where she was agreeing with the notion that writers don't shower.
Then awesome librarian Angela and I went to the Rick Riordan  (by way of a VERY STRANGE Chuck Palahniuk session) and Y'ALL. These kids were SCREAMING their brains out. It was like the Beatles in Shea Stadium! I mean...seeing HUNDREDS of kids that excited about books made my librarian heart so happy. I cried tears of this is why I do my job.

Angela recorded this during the presentation. Serious. Altamont Speedway, y'all.

A small portion of the line for signed Rick Riordan books. He wasn't even signing them! They were pre-signed!

ANYWAY. This Festival was not only SO SUPER FUN (and super Southern and chill--I got BBQ from a food truck!) and I got to see ALL THE PEOPLE, I also got to talk to some friends and authors about the year-long reading initiative that I'll be doing at my library in 2014 (oh, don't worry, you'll hear LOTS more about this), and people are willing to come and talk to my kids about books! I just want to talk to kids about books. Forever.  The end.

1 comment:

  1. Nashville loved having you! I've already promised myself that next year, nothing will interrupt my SFofBooks weekend. I'm still in awe that I met Al Gore AND John Lewis.