Many people think that the life of the author must be incredibly glamorous, filled with cheering crowds of adoring fans, travel by limo, and being heralded by marching bands.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that the reality is very far removed from that fantasy.
Except for yesterday.
The Teen Book Festival in Rochester is the top teen book fest in the country. Maybe the world. Thousands of teens came to listen to a couple dozen YA authors. We were all blown away by the magnitude and wonderful atmosphere of the event.
It’s always good to start an event with a cool cake. We had a dinner on Friday night at the Strong National Museum of Play so we could meet each other and hang out with some of the incredible librarians whose volunteer efforts pull TBF together.
I FINALLY got to meet Barry Lyga, who is much nicer than he wants to admit. You can see him TODAY at river’s end bookstore in Oswego, NY at 2 pm.
And I met Lisa McMann, which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
They really did drive us to the event in two limos.
Here’s an interior shot of the limo I rode it. You can see Matt de la Peña toward the back on the left, Alyson Noel on the far right, and just to the left of Alyson, Holly Black.
And when we got to the Nazareth campus, Ellen Hopkins and Terry Trueman were transferred to a motorcycle & sidecar. At the front of the procession? An honest-to-goodness marching band.
That was when I knew the day was going to be a waking fantasy.
Then I saw the giant posters of all the authors on the walls and began to doubt the "waking" part of that previous sentence. It felt like a fever dream.
We all spoke on a "lightning round" panel in the gym, then broke off to give workshops to smaller audiences. Thank you everyone who took the time to hang our at my presentations!
At the end of the day we met back in the gym to sign books. And sign books. And sign books. For hours. It was heavenly.
Again – THANK YOU to everyone who stood in the very long lines!
The mom and daughter who traveled from Long Island for the event AND
the mom and daughter (I think her name is Mackenzie) who traveled all the way from Massachusetts (Worcester, maybe?) for the event. I see a new trend: mother-daughter book festival road trips!!!
Now I head back to the Forest where there is no marching band, but there is a handsome husband, overzealous dog, baby chickens and a garden that needs some attention.
Thank you very, very much Teen Book Festival. Amazing experience.