For the second year in a row, I have been fortunate enough to attend Books by the Banks, an author event held in Cincinnati, OH. Last year, I was still at school so I only had a little over 30 minutes to travel to Cincinnati for the event. Since I graduated and moved to the Columbus area, I had to drive 2 hours this year. Thanks goodness I have the best sister ever who came with me! It was a lot more fun having someone else there to keep me company :)
Last year, the lovely Emily Giffin was the hot-shot author to attend and I completely fangirled over meeting her. This year, the big author that was attending was…..Rainbow Rowell!!!
This year was so much more crowded than last year. I think that many more people are Rainbow fans and there was a lot more promotion for the event this year. When I arrived around 10:05 (it started at 10), there was a HUGE line to get in and a HUGE line to get books signed by Rainbow. It took about 45 minutes before I finally got to see Rainbow and I was freaking out the whole time. I met some great Rainbow fans and was glad to know that I wasn't the only one who was super nervous to meet her. I had her sign all five of the books I own from her and she was super sweet! She had an adorable phone necklace on (nod to Landline) and I told her about how I loved her books, how I had a blog where I have reviewed her books, and how my students have read her books. I pretty much just rambled on while she was pretty much the most amazing person ever. This was probably one of the best moments of my life.
After I met Rainbow, I went to a speed dating event with 9 YA authors that was so much fun! I got to talk to Jennifer McGowan, Mindy McGinnins, Sara Raasch, David Arnold (who casually mention how he was really good friends with Andrew Smith), and some other great authors. When I saw Jennifer McGowan, she actually remembered me from last year! How cool is that? Then, when I was talking to authors at their tables after the speed dating event, I said hi to Melissa Landers and she had remembered me from last year, too! I was pretty excited. Oh, and Melissa explained her upcoming book to me as Overboard (the movie with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) meets Firefly and I am FOR SURE going to read that when it comes out!
After chatting with some YA authors, I met the lovely ladies who wrote Doon and they were so sweet! I obsessed over Carey's Star Wars shirt and talked a little bit about their series with them. I had ordered a copy of Doon online but it still hasn't arrived, so I went ahead and bought a copy of the second book Destined for Doon and had that one signed. It was so much fun meeting these two and I can't wait to read their books!
I limited myself to only one more book and bought Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. I completely forgot that Adi was going to be at the signing and left my copy of Never Always Sometimes at school since I have it in my classroom library. I have wanted to read Let's Get Lost ever since it came out, so I decided to pick up a copy! Adi was pretty cool and I'm glad I have his first book to read!
If you can't tell, I had a blast at Books by the Banks this year. I met amazing authors and got to re-meet some favorites as well. There's no better feeling than an author remembering who you are! I know some people may think authors are no big deal, but they're like celebrities to me and I still cannot believe I got to meet so many amazing people. Especially Rainbow! She gave a talk around 1pm and she was so funny, down to earth, and just real. I am so excited to read Carry On and see what else she has in store for us!
And that's another Books by the Banks in the bag! I can't even imagine how amazing next year will be after two amazing years in a row. I guess I'll have to wait and see!