Oh. My. Stars. I’ve been here for ONE event and it has already been worth my time/money/extra hours waitressing at a chain restaurant that thinks the words “gourmet” and “burgers” belong in the same phrase!
Tonight was the ALAN Reception. It was sponsored by many publishing groups and it was amazing. Here are my highlights…
As I walk in to the lobby, before I even get near the room the event is in, I do a double take. Gary Paulsen is standing there. I repeat… GARY PAULSEN! The man who tricks my middle school boys in to reading and actually liking it! I am so flabbergasted that I just keep walking until I get to the event room. The doors open and we all pour in. After a little liquid courage (two glasses of Diet Coke to be exact) I calm my nerves enough to go and talk to Mr. Paulsen. He was charming and hilarious and I will never in a million years be able to repeat half of what he said to my middle schoolers. The teachers will get a kick out of it though! I have photographic evidence of the meeting but I didn’t bring my camera cord so you’ll have to trust me.
As I wondered dazedly away from Mr. Paulsen I saw the fabulous Andrea Cremer and went to reintroduce myself and say hello. Second moment of awesome: she recognized me! I’ve met her twice before and won this prize pack from her (which is the In My Mailbox portion of today’s blog too!):
So, either I am a stalker or she is just a really nice person. Let’s go with option two.
I wandered around for a bit more and saw authors like Ellen Hopkins and A.S. King (I spoke with them briefly!), Heather Brewer (I wanted to speak with her but didn’t get a chance), T.A. Barron, Alyson Noel, and MANY more!
I decided it was time for another glass of Diet Coke (have I ever mentioned that I’m addicted?) As I was waiting for the lady to get it I hear the gentleman next to me jokingly say, “You’d better cut her off!” I look over. Yeah, it’s Jack Gantos. We chat. I make him laugh! At this point my heart plummets because I am sure this must be a dream. No way is this happening! I am on awesome author overload!
I make another circuit of the room and meet up with a woman who has been answering questions for me about ALAN and generally helping me out. She worked in the publishing industry for years. We chat and she introduces me to some other publishers she knows. One of them has buttons on her name tag for The Curse Workers and Zombies vs Unicorns. I start telling her how much I enjoyed those books and Holly Black in general. Not a minute later I turn around and Holly Black has appeared. That’s right. Not only is she a fabulous author and all around lovely individual… she’s magic!
And this is where I realize it isn’t a dream. If it was a dream I would make sense while talking to her. Instead, I start to babble. I have no idea what I said. I’m sure it was random and nonsensical. On the bright side, I tend to talk pretty quickly so I’m fairly sure no one else understood what I said. All I know is that I was in fangirl mode. I mean, she is one of the main authors that ignited my passion for YA lit (see previous post here
.) She is also likely working on the restraining order as I type this.
So yeah, gushity gush gush gush! I am loving this conference and it hasn’t even really started! That happens early tomorrow morning so it is off to bed with me. I’ll try to share more tomorrow.