Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made"*

A few weekends ago, my twin-not-twin sister and I took a trip to the publishing capital of the world for the NYC Teen Author Festival. There was a week's worth of workshops and readings, but we were only able to go for the massive book signing that featured more than 45 authors at Books of Wonder.

My sister is an avid YA reader, so she was super-excited to meet some of her favorite authors. I was excited as not only a reader but also as a YA writer because the kidlit world is full of such generous people who are always willing to talk and offer encouragement.

Australian YA author (trust me when I say that there is some seriously awesome kidlit coming from down under) Melina Marchetta admitted that she was nervous that no one would know who she was, which was so surprising because she wrote the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award winner Jellicoe Road. I mean she has some serious U.S. fans, one of whom is my sister...I think the main reason she wanted to trek all the way into the city was to see Melina. I picked up a signed copy of her new book The Piper's Son.

Two authors who "I know" from Verla Kay's blueboards that I was looking forward to meeting were Maggie Stiefvater and Danette Vigilante. I have been dying to read the final installment of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, which is called Forever. Unfortunately, it isn't out until July 12th (which just happens to be my b-day), so I had to settle for having two books I've already read signed: Shiver and Lament. Maggie wanted to know which one I liked better and I copped out on my answer by citing reasons why I like both...Shiver because of the fantastic love story and Lament because of all the fantastical elements.

(There's my sister, Maggie, and me...picture courtesy of the person standing behind us in line!)

Danette signed The Trouble with Half a Moon for me. She commiserated with me over the fact that I'm on the agent hunt. Surprisingly, Maggie told me that she actually like the process of subbing to agents. I don't know that I've ever heard another author say this (maybe she'll switch places with me for a little while...that way I can try my hat on as a best-selling author and she can wait on pins and needles to get e-mails--mostly rejections--from agents).

(Here's Danette and me...this one my sister took.)

I also had a really nice chat with Sarah Beth Durst, who I didn't really know that much about, except that she wrote a retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon called Ice. She signed my copy as my "future reader.

Finally, I met the tired-looking and prolific David Levithan (he organized the Festival) and had him sign Will Grayson, Will Grayson (now I just have to track down his co-author John Green and get him to sign it too) and Emily Lockhart, who signed The Boyfriend List (I didn't remember to bring my copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, so I'll have to catch up with her another time).

Events like this always make me dream about the day I get to do a book signing in'll happen someday...or at least I keep telling myself that! And don't forget to check out my tsunami post and comment to help raise money for Japan.