Author Fantasy

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.

12 Replies to “Author Fantasy”

  1. Okay, I’m putting this on my list of “I’ll know I’ve made it as a YA Author when…”

    1. Invite to appear at Rochester Teen Book Festival!


  2. TBF

    Thank YOU and all the other wonderful authors for a wonderful day of insights and book talking. It was awesome and so exhilarating to see so many teens excited about books. It sends chills up this librarian’s spine.

  3. Oh my goodness, it’s official, I need to borrow a teen and go to Rochester! (For purely professional reasons, my students would flip!)

  4. Argh, why has everyone had a good experience with him except me?? He wasn’t horribly mean but very cold/not seeming to care at all when I met him. *sigh* at least I got a book out of it.

  5. Rochester Teen Book Fest

    The book fest was amazing! Thanks so much for coming. I can’t wait to get back next year. I know the teens were stoked to see all of you, as was I(even though I’m not a teen any more.:)) What a great opportunity to encourage kids to follow their dreams of writing and allowing them personal contact with the authors they idolize. It was a wonderful event. Thanks for being there!– Jessie Andersen

  6. Crowd Member

    As a fan of writing in general, and one of the many teens in attendance, I feel I speak for all of us (who were there for reasons beyond extra credit in English) when I say we had just as much fun. It was a really great event and none of us had a problem waiting for our autographs. Hope to see you again next year, your seminar was one of the best.

  7. wow, that really sounds like a fantastic event, for both the teens and the authors in attendance. Jealous of the limos!

  8. Laurie, I have been to this event (last year) and it is AWESOME!!

    I mean, limos. There are so many opportunities for authors to feel humiliated. In this case, you feel honored.

  9. …almost makes me want to move out of my forest

    Wow! a conference for young teen authors! After reading this I had a small twinge of pain; almost wishing I lived back east instead of on an island in Alaska. Thank you for sharing and letting me live vicariously through your experience. What a great time!

    I loved seeing you in South Carolina at the School Libraries conference. Got off the rock for that one.

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