Monday, May 17, 2010

Rochester Teen Book Festival Recap

Wow.  Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.

What an amazing weekend. The librarians and all of the volunteers work SO hard to pull this event off and make it something special and BOY is it something special. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it. We all really felt like rock stars.

I took the red eye Thursday night and flew into JFK, then wandered around blurry eyed in my practically pajamas attire, waiting for my flight to Rochester. I met Barry Lyga and Robin Brande there, since we were all on the same flight. They were very kind to this very tired traveler. Later, after I napped and showered, and was heading down to meet my friends Kate and Deena, Barry was in the elevator and he said, "Wow, you look much better." Hahahaha.

Here's Deena Lipomi and Kate Fall, my friends who I blog with over at Author2Author. It was great to meet them for the first time!!

This is the wonderful author dinner Friday night at the Strong National Museum of Play.

Look what was at each author's place setting!! That is a cookie, and OMG, it was the most delicious cookie I have EVER had. Seriously.

This is the limo ride. On the right is Martin Wilson and THE Simone Elkeles. Way in the back you can see Coe Booth, who I was thrilled to meet for the first time and chat with a little bit.

And this is the fabulous Sarah Ockler and the funny James Kennedy.

A marching band led the two limos into the campus, where we were greeted with cheering fans. So cool!

I couldn't get the whole gym in, but people also filled the bleachers on the sides. It was a great crowd, there to listen to us answer a round of speed questions. Ack! I'm not good at speedy things...

The authors used the special, secret tunnels underneath the college campus to avoid the crowds above. There was some cool artwork down there!

In the gym, they had huge posters of each of us so kids could find the line they wanted to stand in to get their books signed. SO COOL!!

When I was finished signing, I clicked this picture to show what it feels like to be Alyson Noel!! :)

Finally, I had two teen helpers throughout the day, and they were SO wonderful. When Anthony met me, he said, I read your book twice, I liked it so much, and he had a copy of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME there, ready for me to sign. Sarah and I talked about driving a little bit, since I have a 15 YO at home and was curious about the classes she had taken. She was really sweet. I'm thankful I had them throughout the day to help get me where I needed to go.

My presentation went well and I had pretty good attendance at each one, which I was a tiny bit worried about. I mean, when teens have 25 amazing authors to choose from, including some big name authors, and can only hear 3 or 4 at the most, why would they choose me? But some did and to those who did, I want to say THANK YOU!!!! I was lucky to meet some people in person who I'd previously met on-line - fandoria, Kate from Eve's Garden,  ReaganStar, Lori Loveland, and more I know I'm forgetting - ack!! 

Oh - one cool thing that happened. A grandmother walked up to my table with two copies of IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES for me to sign. On one there was a sticky note with the name "Isabel" and the other one had a sticky note with the name "Sophie." I was a bit confused, because those are the characters in the book - Isabel is the main character and Sophie is her best friend. I said - do you want me to sign the books to Isabel and Sophie? She said - yes, Isabel is my granddaughter and Sophie is her best friend. They were born on the same day, one hour apart, and have been best friends their whole lives. WHOA!!!

Anyway, I walked away feeling so blessed to be an author for young adults. To see ALL those kids there, excited about reading and books - it was just so AMAZING!!!



  1. Yay-I'm SO glad you had an awesome time. I'll contain my jealousy at how cool that all sounds and just be glad I can live vicariously though your pictures and post. (Though I must admit, the claustrophobic in me shuddered at that Limo picture). Welcome back! :)

  2. I'm so glad you had a great time here in Rochester! It was awesome to meet you.

  3. Lisa- It was great to meet you too! I thought your presentation was great and especially liked hearing your tips for writing. Thanks again for the interview :)

    Kate (Eve's Fan Garden)

  4. What a great event!

    Totally, totally jealous.

    (did you get to keep the big poster of your head?)


  5. Gah! I didn't think I said that you looked better. I thought I said that you looked like you FELT better!

    In any event, that's what I meant. :)

    Nice to meet you, from one red-eye survivor to another.

  6. Sounds amazing! Thanks for the run-down, Lisa!

  7. Lisa- It was so great to meet you--let's do it again! :)

  8. Sounds like so much fun!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Looks like everyone had such a great time. I'd love to attend something like that.


  10. You met me online previously! LOL