Thursday, May 19, 2011


Before I write about the TBF again, I would like to note that on the news this morning was a story about the mental hospital in which I based Get Well Soon.  It is understaffed, and as a result there have been a number of sexual assaults.  As if those teens don't have enough to contend with.  Damn.

In much cheerier news, on to the big event itself: The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. When I walked out of the hotel elevator, the lobby was packed with authors awaiting our transportation to the Fest.  And it was a very cool ride (picture taken from a Facebook page):

The driver had the 1949 bus refurbished.  It was so fun to ride in, and he kept us awake by yanking on the loud horn.  Walking aboard the bus, it was a little daunting trying to figure out where I should sit.  There weren't very many open seats by themselves, but I didn't really want to sit by myself.  I ended up sitting next to Jon Skovron, who I had previously only met as a Facebook "friend."  We had a lovely chat about our kids, and the anticipation for the event built as we drove closer.  When we finally arrived at Nazareth College, where the event was held, a marching band awaited us.  Tons of teens cheered as we exited the bus and reached the red carpet.  Again, a photo stolen from Facebook:

Don't I look all happy?

After that, the authors met at tables in a cafeteria with their teen and librarian handlers.  We could identify them amongst the mass of people because they had buttons on with our faces!  I loved the Julie Halpern's Face buttons.  My handlers were awesome, and it was great fun talking with them throughout the day.  Happily, a few of them friended me on Facebook already (this blog post is full of fb references, no?).  My panel-mates, Garret Freymann-Weyr and Melissa Kantor, were fantastic.  It was so much fun spending the day together, and I would be on another panel with the two of them in a heartbeat.  It felt like a great bonding experience, to have to speak to people together.  Awesomesauce.

Here is a poster of my face from the wall in the gym.  Every author had one (of their faces, not of mine):

There were many other facets to the day, like the opening ceremony where all of the authors were introduced to the Fest in the gym, and we all had to answer questions in front of everyone.  I was in the second row of risers, and I'm pretty sure no one could see me due to my lack of height.  My answers didn't feel very clever, since by the time they got to me someone else usually said what I wanted to say.  However, each author received a sealed envelope that we were not allowed to open until the very end.  The envelopes contained a special question.  Mine was: Would you rather... spend a day with any book character or spend a day with any author?  Which character or author?  I was the last author to go, and my answer was, "No contest.  I would spend a very long day with Mr. Ronald Weasley."  Ha!  That was funny.  I hope.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the autographing and the final dinner and drinks event.  And also some pictures from the Jell-O Gallery.  I'm scattered in this post because my cat is not eating, and I'm all nervous about it.  Come on, Tobin, eat!  To the vet it is.  Sigh.

No comments: