I wasn't sure I was going to make it this year to the festival. Partly because my brother's birthday (or birthday party) falls on the Saturday, a.k.a. the first day of the festival. On Sunday, I had plans to go hiking and meet up with a classmate after that to do some work together. I felt too tired to wake up early for the hike though, so I cancelled that. Around 10am, the boyfriend left for a photo shoot and I had about six hours before meeting up with my classmate. I checked online the schedule of activities and my attention was instantly caught when I saw Sarah Dessen was going to be there that day! I double checked on her website and saw that she was in fact going to be on a panel around 12pm and signing after.
I decided I would go after all! I got ready quickly but ended up in traffic and was having a hard time parking, so I didn't get there until a little after noon. I wandered around for a bit once I was there, but without a map or schedule, I really had no idea where to go. I set out to find the YA stage, but after a few minutes I saw a sign for the information booth. I headed that way instead and finally managed to snag a schedule and a free tote bag. On my way to the YA stage, I checked the schedule and realized that the signing and panel I had seen for Dessen was in fact a ticketed event, for which I had no tickets. Bummer!
Disappointed, I decided to continue since I knew I would find some author signings to attend anyways. I made a quick detour to the Harlequin booth, who were handing out free paperbacks of several of their titles and snagged a copy of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I made another quick stop at the Once Upon A Time bookstore booth and grabbed two t-shirts.
Once I reached the YA stage, I sat down for a few minutes even though it was too hot to sit for too long. The festival was really crowded around this area because it was also near the children's stage and booths. Since the authors on the panel were Middle Grade, I wasn't too familiar with them and eventually decided to keep wandering. I was walking past one of the booths when I saw that Lisa McMann was sitting at one of the tables watching the crowds walk past. I was super excited and went up to her and started chatting with her about her books. I didn't have my copy of Wake with me (which I now realize I let someone borrow once and they never returned it) or Fade because I had no idea she was going to be there. Since Wake was one of favorite books the year that I read it, I bought the trilogy and had her sign it!
Since I had checked Sarah Dessen's website while sitting at the panel, I knew she was going to be signing elsewhere, so I went to look for the other Mrs. Nelson's booth (they had three at the festival!) and hopefully find out what time she was going to be there. I found it eventually, not too far down and saw that Gayle Forman was also going to be signing, an hour before Sarah Dessen. Since I still had about an hour left to kill, I wandered around the festival. I saw a few performances, took a break under a tree (did I mention it was hot that day? It was hotttt!)
After that I got back in line to wait for Dessen, and landed the first spot in line. The other two girls I had been talking to jumped in line right behind me. One of them was also a blogger, Jackie, from over at Starting from Narnia and we were able to chat for the hour we had to wait for Dessen to arrive. The line ended up getting pretty long so I was glad I got there early, and even happier I had Jackie for company. Luckily, Dessen arrived a bit early and we didn't have too wait much longer in the sun. I hadn't brought any of her books that I own fo her to sign (because they are still at my parents house) and instead bought a few of her books that I don't own. She was really nice! It was awesome to meet her and I got to take a picture when I thought I wouldn't be able to.