I spent about two weeks trying to decide if I even wanted to go to The Rochester Teen Book Festival, because I didn't have anyone to go with, and as an older YA Blogger, I was worried I would be one of the only older people there. Thankfully, both of those issues became non-issues! First off, I was able to connect with another local blogger, Jessica, who blogs at Jessabella Reads, and second, we were NOT the only older bloggers there, which was great!
I arrived a little after the festivities began, so the "Author Game Show" was already in full swing when I stepped into the gym.
I decided to head over to where some of the authors would be speaking, while everyone else was still in the gym, and to wait to meet up with Jessica.
The first authors we saw were Gennifer Albin and Megan Miranda. We hadn't really planned to sit in on this panel, but I am SO glad we did! Megan Miranda gives off an air of being a very sweet, caring person - aside from her love of anything dark, psychological and mind-twisting! She spoke easily, and freely and seemed completely comfortable in a roomful of old and new fans alike. Unfortunately I do not own any, nor have I read any of her books yet, but I will be checking them out in the near future!
Gennifer Albin is one of those people with an infectious smile (maybe because of her killer lipstick - thanks to her obsession with Makeup Forever!) and a personality to match. Just telling a simple story about her people-watching adventures at Starbucks has you sucked in and enraptured, wanting her to keep talking. She was kind enough to play a "What If" game with us - where she handed out what if scenarios (Mine was: What if no animals ever went extinct?) and we got to come up with story ideas from them. She was even kind enough to award the best story idea with an ARC copy of the sequel to Crewel. Later in the day, I purchased a copy of Crewel and was able to get it autographed by her!
Next, we popped over to the panel that included Robin LaFevers and Alexandra Bracken. I adore LaFever's His Fair Assassin series, and it was fun listening to her explain where she came up with the idea for Kick-Ass Assassin Nuns! She seems like a very sweet person who loves to talk about what she is passionate about, and how important being empowered is to her, especially after growing up being told writing is not a good career choice. Luckily she showed everyone that it IS a great career choice, and that we can now read her amazing stories.
Alexandra Bracken is sweet, and pretty, and had an easy go at getting published that she doesn't take for granted! She as well was discouraged from writing full time, and even started out with the idea of becoming a lawyer. But somewhere around half-way through her LSATs she looked up and said, "What the heck am I doing here?" And that was it, she made up her mind to be a writer and hasn't looked back since!
Next up was Andrea Cremer and David Levithan. While I own the first book in the Nightshade series, I haven't yet read it and also haven't read anything by David Levithan before. This is about to change! Cremer and Levithan did a reading together from their co-written book, Invisibility. I'd seen the book around and it did pique my interest, but I figured I would keep it in mind and get it from the library at some point. Well, they did such an AMAZING job with the reading, that I HAD to go and buy a copy and have them sign it! They both seem like such genuine, sweet people that their enthusiasm during the reading was infectious! They had such a wonderful connection and lovely personalities that I can't imagine ever passing by their books again!
Without stopping to eat - we were on to the next panel; this one consisting of Marissa Meyer, Mary Pearson, and Jessica Brody. Much to my sadness, Lauren DeStefano was supposed to appear on this panel but unfortunately left early. Again, I have books by both Meyer and Pearson but at this point they remain TBR (To Be Read). I will definitely bump these up on my list, and must add Brody's titles as well! Jessica Brody came across as a sweet, fun loving person who can get along with anyone and loves to joke around! Mary Pearson talked about the issues parents face and how far they will go for their children - based on the premise of her Jenna Fox Chronicles. And Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles, explained how she came up with the idea for a Cyborg Cinderella for Cinder, and got into some of the research she did for the series.
The autograph session and book sales took place at the end of the day. I was so happy to get some autographs and also collected up some swag - including bookmarks, buttons, and bracelets (possibly for a Giveaway?! Maybe.. Maybe..)
At the end of the day, I am so glad that I decided to go. Not only did I have an amazing time, meet an awesome fellow blogger and get to hear and meet some great authors, it also gave me an idea of how to prepare for BEA (Book Expo America) at the end of the month. I will definitely be attending again next year, and hope you enjoyed the post!