Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Decatur Book Festival Re-Cap

I've decided not to do an IMM this week since most of the books I purchased this past week were either at DBF or right before; plus, I really want to tell you all about how much fun I had and how awesome all the authors were, and I have had a mucho busy week (that's half over now) and very little time!  **Disclaimer: All photos are from my phone and kind of suck!** Sooooo...

The Decatur Book Festival was freaking AWESOME!  On the 1st day, I took my daughter Emma, and we pretty much hung out by the Teen Stage all day.  Let me tell you, it was amazing!

The first panel we attended was called "Past and Future Loves".  It was with the delightful Myra McEntire and Beth Revis, moderated by (the equally delightful) Vania Stoyanova.  They talked about their books, Hourglass and Across the Universe, and answered oodles of questions.  As you may know from my my REVIEW, Hourglass is one of my favorite books of 2011.  The same can be said of Across the Universe (I just haven't posted my review yet- SO behind!).  Both are fabulous books and I was completely starstruck when I was getting my books signed.  I have a signed copy of each to give away at a later date, so stay tuned...

Myra, Beth, and Vania


Our second speaker was none other than the ridiculously funny Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Going Bovine).  I'm not even doing this woman justice by saying "ridiculously funny" because I can honestly say that she could make gazillions of dollars as a stand-up comedian if the writing thing were not to work out.  She talked about Beauty Queens, which I LOVED (read my review HERE), and she had the entire audience in stitches.  We did Mad-Libs (which got a little pervy thanks to Lauren Myracle), talked a little Zombies vs. Unicorns (Go, Team Zombie!), and learned that Libba was NOT a success with the boys in HS.  Sadly, I did NOT get my copies of her books signed because the line was over 2 hours long and I really had a need to see Lauren Myracle (she's Emma's literary idol).  My fingers are crossed that YallFest will announce her as a guest so that I can give it another go.

LIBBA BRAY!!!!! (Isn't she cute?)
As I mentioned above, our next author was Lauren Myracle (The Winnie Years, Flower Power series, Kissing Kate).  She did two talks at DBF.  The first was on the Teen Stage and is was about my beloved Shine, which is still my favorite book of 2011 (read my review HERE).  It was great to hear about her reasons behind writing the book and she answered lots of questions.  She was funny, down-to-earth, and completely real.  I swear, I like her more every time she opens her mouth.  I have so much respect for her because she is not afraid to tackle the tough stuff. I had her sign the three books in in her Internet Girls series (ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r), which are some of the most challenged books ever, to be given away during Banned Books Week.  On our way over to her talk about her MG books on the Children's Stage, we had the pleasure of talking to her parents.  It is clear where she got her delightful personality!


We also saw Adam Gidwitz, Margaret Peterson Haddix (series The Shadow Children, The Missing), Lisa McMann (Wake Trilogy, Cryer's Cross), and Gordon Korman (Schooled, The 39 Clues) on the Children's Stage.  Lisa McMann is as nice as she looks and it was so interesting hearing Margaret Peterson Haddix speak.  I would show the pics of Emma's signed copy of The Unwanteds, but it is currently with her at school (she has not put it down- and she is on her 2nd reading of it). I think it's destined to be- dare I say it- of HP-like popularity! Adam's book, A Tale Dark and Grimm, is my favorite MG book of 2010 (and for those of you who are wondering from my previous post about DBF; yes, he is cute!).  Gordon Korman has written loads of books.  My favorite is Born to Rock, and Emma's a fan of the 39 Clues series.  My phone died between Lauren Myracle and Adam Gidwitz, so no more pics for Day #1.  :(

 Day two at DBF was just as great.  This time I took the whole family.  My twins are really into Pete the Cat, and he was the mascot for the Children's Stage, so we went for that first.  I have to say that Iam equally impressed with author Eric Litwin and illustrator James Dean.  If you need a picture book for a gift, you can't go wrong with either Pete the Cat book.

After the Pete parade and festivities, we headed over to Teen Stage again for another Vania moderated panel, "A Bunch of Real (Cool) Witches" with Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, Demonglasss, Spellbound), Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red, Sweetly, As You Wish), and Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch).  It was AWESOME!  They were all so funny, and truly had the crowd in stitches.  I would like to say that the highlight of the panel was my 6 year old daughter's loss of a tooth (yes, right in the middle of it), but I would be lying.  All the authors were great, but Jackson PearceSweetly away, but at the last minute I decided to keep it for myself (I LOVED it!).  It's signed to me and Emma because she started to crying in line because she loved it too.  I should have listened to Emma and brought my Kindle and had it signed since that's where my copies of  Hex Hall, Demonglass, and The Near Witch reside, but I didn't.  Victoria was nice enough to sign me a bookmark though, so yay me! I am giving a signed copy of Demonglass away soon, so stay tuned...

Emma, Jackson Pearce, and I.  :)

Finally, we went to the panel, "A Real Girl Conversation About Writing Real Girl Books".  This was moderated by author Terra McVoy (Pure, After the Kiss), who happens to also be local and the Program Director for DBF (I've had the wonderful experience of meeting Terra before at our local B&N- if you haven't read her books, DO!).  The panelists were Jennifer Jabaley (Crush Control, Lipstick Apology), Elizabeth Eulberg (Prom & Prejudice, The Lonely Hearts Club), and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door).  These girls were great!  They were all seriously adorable and had such great stories to tell.  I honestly feel like this was the best of the panels to bring my daughter to because the stories these ladies tell are relevant to her.  I like and respect these authors so much because they don't glorify the mean-girl stuff that is so dominant in YA Contemporary.  They are real in every sense!  We waited in line for a LONG time for the signings, but it was well worth it.  Emma got her signed Elizabeth Eulberg books (I haven't read them yet, she's a HUGE fan), and I got copies of Crush Control and Anna and the French Kiss signed (one of each for me, and one of each for one of you!).  

Terra, Elizabeth, Stephanie, and Jennifer


So, as you can see, it was a VERY busy weekend indeed!  I had such a fabulous time, as always, and cannot wait until next year!  I feel so blessed to have such a fabulous annual event right in my backyard!  Kudos to all the people who made it happen!  

Don't forget to click on the various author names to go to the blogs/websites to find out more about them.  You may find out that they will be in your area soon, and I tell you, they were all so awesome, you don't want to miss out if they are...

My first giveaway will be in next week or two, so keep checking back.  If you follow me on Twitter, you'll likely be one of the first to know (my handle is @karisrene).  


  1. hey there! new follower! :) i am SO jealous you got to meet beth revis! and jackson pearce! and a billion others! :) excited for your upcoming giveaway for sure!! :)

    love the blog.

    stop by mine and follow me?


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