May 3, 2013

Author Event | L.A. Times Festival of Books 2013

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, I still 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!

I continued walking and across the way, Katherine Applegate (author of Eve and Adam) was sitting there also by herself just chatting with one of the volunteers. I already have an ARC of Eve and Adam, but I decided to go ahead and pick up a finished copy for her to sign as well.

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 hot!)

About fifteen minutes left to the signing (and a few too many book purchases later) I made my way back to the booth and saw that there was another person in line already waiting. I stood in line and I started chatting with the other person in line. Eventually there were three of us in line and Gayle Forman arrived. I'd met her previously, but hadn't gotten a copy of her book Just One Day yet, so I purchased that and had her sign it. I also grabbed another copy of If I Stay for her to sign.

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, 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 for 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.

Anyways, that was pretty much my entire day because I left shortly after. For such a last minute event, I was able to meet some great authors, bloggers and grab some great books!


  1. That's so cool that you got to go! I really wanted to go to this, especially to see Lauren Oliver on Saturday! But of course my prom was on the same day, so I didn't get the chance to go and Sunday was a busy day... Great recap!

  2. Oh yay, what a great experience! I still haven't read my Sarah Dessen books. Really need to read them this summer!

  3. You're pretty and all of this looks so cool! It's awesome that you got to meet all these authors. =D Also, I'm psyched to be reading Just One Day soon.

  4. Looks like an awesome time was had. I love Gayle Forman and Sarah Dessen. Those are two of my favorites! I'm going to have to check into next year's event. It's silly that I don't make plans to be there, considering how close I am to it. Thanks for sharing your experiences and pictures. :)