I am NOT, in absolutely any way at all, a morning person. So why then was I up at some absurd hour when the sky was still dark on Saturday? Books. Plain and simple. I will jump out of bed, flying through my morning routine (coffee sitting and contemplative staring included) for anything to do with books. First stop on this particularly busy Saturday was The Barnes and Nobles at the Grove in Los Angeles. I wanted to get that Sabaa Tahir wristband at any cost. She was one of the few authors I hadn’t meet or seen at an individual panel yet, so I was just a bit excited. In the mean time I wasn’t just going to stand in line, I was going to multitask.

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I’m on the left, sister on the right.

For those that don’t know, I also moonlight as the creative half of my sister’s Etsy shop theavantmarket.etsy.com and Avantmarket.co and we sell t-shirts (super comfy and soft!). I wore my Professional Bookworm tee and immediately got comments about it. Bonus! All in all standing in line for a few hours was worth it. I got my copy of A Torch Against the Night (and the all important wristband!) and skedaddled out of there towards Pasadena Loves YA. I would return later that afternoon for the panel.

Pitstop. In the mean time it had become lunchtime and lunch is always a requirement for any bookworm/author-to-be, as is coffee. After nourishment, I continued on towards Pasadena Central Library.

Upon arrival I cannot explain how happy I was that the panels were indoor! At 90 degrees, this So-Cal redhead was melting. The keynote speaker Aija Mayrock (The Survival Guide to Bullying), was INCREDIBLE! I hadn’t expected to see her, hadn’t read the book, but that’s what I love about festivals— you never know what you’ll find. Her opening poem/rap was like watching a spoken word performance in the most heart wrenching way. To hear someone who had overcome so much and taken their pain and transform it into something beautiful, it’s a reminder of how blessed my life is.

After that we watched as the festival raffled off our donated Bookworm shirt then moved on to see the end of another panel, which had Nicola Yoon on it. She would be moderating the Sabaa Tahir interview at The Grove later. It was a contemporary panel, which I don’t really read, but it was interesting nonetheless. After that I almost ran into (like actually almost RAN into) Tobie Easton- Emerge. In my defense it was a tiny staircase! On the way down I meet a various blogger friends, one of whom gave me Behind The Pages Rhysand soap and lip balm (seriously guys… I can’t stop smelling it!!!! It’s so good and beautiful and it makes me soooo happy. Considering I haven’t yet read A Court of Mist and Fury, I may regret being so happy right now….).

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Mermaids, Magic and String Theory panel

Next on the agenda was the Mermaids, Magic, and String Theory panel: Tobie Easton, Josephine Angelini, Shannon Messenger, and moderated by Evelyn Skye. Quick background— I really want to read Emerge (especially now that I’ve heard Tobie speak about it) and I had received an ARC of The Crown’s Game (Evelyn Skye) at Yallwest where she signed it. I haven’t read any of Josephine Angelini or Shannon Messenger’s books, therefore I can’t say anything besides how funny and wonderful they are! This entire panel was about world building and magic and creating a perceivable world for readers. Theses are the type of panels I ALWAYS laugh during. Authors are a finicky breed, one built off of wit, nonsense and hysterical moments. Needless to say this panel was my favorite. Shannon Messenger had the best snippets about the Wikipedia rabbit holes writers fall into and how an author’s job is to torment imaginary people. Evelyn Skye commented on the status of The Crown’s Game sequel, which is a little ways away from being completed (side-glance plea for Nikolai) L . As a writer I love hearing the process authors go through to write, edit, and publish a book. Basically, it’s have a tough layer of skin and do what you love, but I was one of only a few hands raised when the panel asked if anyone wanted to be a writer. I will NEVER NOT raise my hand, ever.

Sadly, I had to leave the panel early in order to make the Sabaa Tahir interview all the way across LA * reasons why I dislike LA— traffic. I met up with my other blogger friends and waited (slightly impatiently) for the interview to start. In the mean time, the security guard was absolutely FABULOUS! He read us Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop. Never have I laughed out loud and been drowned out with giggles and snorts of complete giddiness.

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Our wonderful narrator for Hop on Pop

And then Sabaa took the podium. If I thought she was great before, I love her even more now. She talked about all sorts of things: her writing process (which paraphrases into waking up, checking Twitter, Instagram, and other/all social media until 11 am then getting chocolate as a snack, and then actually writing), what special talents she has (animal noises. We heard a baa), and that Helene would watch the Great British Bake Off (secretly), Elias would watch The Bachelorette, and Laia would watch survival shows. I asked what’s something we don’t know about Helene and Sabaa responded that Helene would purposely lose hide-and-seek with her sister when they were kids * my heart — I’m totally Team Helene.

After the interview was a quick signing, where I got both my books signed *happy dance! In addition, they were handing out maps of Ember! Sabaa said she worked very hard to give the actual cartographer her version of the map, only to find some rather harsh error, such as rivers flowing the wrong way…

Throughout the day I met up with old friends, made some new ones, and took away how wonderful and full the fandom of YA is. Needless to say, it was a wonderful Saturday. Well worth getting up in the dark for.

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But, as of today, I will be reading Frost Like Night. I know A Torch Against the Night will be just as heart breaking, but… I have to wait until 2018 for the next book to come out, whereas with Frost Like Night… It IS the end.

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On that note, I will bid you goodbye and will go off to my pillow coma and read.

Toodles, Camille

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