So last weekend had me so wiped out that I had to come home and pretty much sleep for two days. Seriously. That is the kind of fun that is had at The Montgomery County Book Festival in The Woodlands, Texas.
I road tripped up there with Bethany Hegedus in a nice little caravan of authors with car #2 containing Cory Putman Oakes, Mari Mancusi, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Greg Leitich Smith. It’s always nice to see these guys, but it’s especially nice to discuss the following over fajitas: writer coping mechanisms, book fest strategies, and sneak peaks of forthcoming book covers. Shhhh!
The night before the fest, we gathered for drinks and later a dinner party for authors and volunteers. I met some lovely people including Anna Myers, who has published more books for young people than I can count on my hands and toes.
I was on a panel called GET REAL with the fabulous Bettina Restrepo, Carolee Dean, and Anita Bunkley. It was moderated by a young writer from the local high school, Molly Harras, who recently self-published her first novel. It was so lovely to talk realistic fiction and memoir with a fabulous crowd.
The Teen Zone at the festival was complete with a photo booth. So, of course, there was much mugging.
Bettina taught me some new bookselling skills, which mostly consisted of badgering teenagers into buying our books “so that the cats can get their kibble.” Good times. Afterward, I signed many things. You know, the usual books and programs…but also t-shirts and a pizza box. I suppose I’ll know I’m like rock star famous the day I get to sign boobs or a baby’s head, but for now I’m totally cool with pizza box.
The night of the festival, I stayed up way too late with many authors and the inimitable blogger/librarian Jen Bigheart. Jen and I always seem to take pictures that look like this:
It was so nice getting to know Kendare Blake, Victoria Scott, Carolee Dean, Jonathan Maberry, Lindsey Cummings, Bettina Restrepo, David McInnis Gill and Dom Testa, who spent some time with us at a little Irish pub and then out on the hotel patio, talking about the industry, our crazy lives, and, duh, adorable pets.
Also, shout out to Jen, Kendare, Dom, and our pal Maria Cari Soto, fellow stragglers, who, like me, just didn’t want to say goodbye to the fest. One of the loveliest things about these events is the late night chats, getting to know new people and new towns, and making friends. Also, hijinx.
This weekend I’m off to the Austin SCBWI Conference, here in town, where I’m hoping to have my butt kicked by local talent and esteemed guests alike. See you there, Texas writers!