Monday, July 8, 2013

Tales From ALA, Part 2: Book-people Bliss

Again. Before ALA, I had been to one author signing. Gordon Korman. I was nine.

So you can imagine my excitement shortly after acquiring my beloved Dream Thieves ARC, as KT and I got in line for our first author meet. Namely, Holly Black, who was super cool.

We chatted with the writer-librarians next to us in line. They attempted to bring us into the fold, pointing out the benefits librarianeering had for writers, as well as the fact that conferences like ALA were tax-deductible.

We met Marie Lu, and I’d just read and loved Legend two days ago, so it was AWESOME.

We met Alexandria Bracken, and Brian Szelnick. We got free Looking Glass Wars graphic novels signed by Frank Beddor, who I didn’t even know was gonna be there. We happened past a booth giving out free copies of Sure Signs of Crazy, by Karen Harrington, who was signing and seemed quite nice.

In another line, I met some ALA veterans who verified my belief that No one comes to Iowa on purpose.”

THEN WE MET FREAKING TAMORA PIERCE, WHO WROTE SOME OF THE FIRST FANTASY I EVER READ. This epic woman signed for three hours straight at three different booths, with massive lines at each. It was worth the wait. I think she genuinely talked to us more than any other author we met.

And when KT mentioned she was a writer, she BESTOWED WISDOM UPON US.

She wrote “Be legendary” in my copy of Bloodhound.

We stumbled away, awestruck.

I was in bliss.

We bought several books, and acquired many ARCS. Though I’d heard about some shoving and rudeness at other conferences, that wasn’t my experience at ALA. Everyone seemed polite, professional. Some ARCS went fast, but I saw no shoving. That said, I didn’t see everything, and we stayed mostly to one section.

For all I know, I missed a bone-breaking mob over nonfiction titles on the other side of the conference hall.

We walked around basically from nine to five. We took breaks to restack our tote bags and sip water. We listened to impressively-accented readings near the graphic novel sections.

ALA was everything I’d hoped it would be, and everything was happy and nothing hurt, except for my arms from carrying my tote bag.

And the best part?

Dreaming of the day when we’re the ones giving signings, handing out books, and hopefully making some nerdy teenager’s day. 

Been to a bookish event? Know of any near Iowa? Please tell me of any near Iowa. Ahem. If you’ve never been to a conference or a signing, what or who is number one on your Someday list?

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