Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend Books by the Banks, a completely free book festival that hosted many, many authors to come, sign books, and simply chat with readers. I was definitely excited for this event because there was a huge selection of YA authors that were attending, as well as Emily Giffin, author of Something Borrowed. I couldn't wait to meet so many fantastic authors!
When I first got there right at 10am, I was bombarded with table after table of libraries and performing arts organizations in Cincinnati. I had a fun time browsing through those tables, picking up free pens and candy before finally arriving at the room full of authors. The first author that I ran into was Melissa Landers, author of Alienated, which I had read last month and absolutely loved!
Since Melissa was the first author I spoke to, I was so nervous! Haha, I was still overwhelmed with how many authors were there and that I was meeting some of my favorite authors. She was so nice, though, and we talked a little bit about Alienated and her novella coming out in December, as well as the sequel coming out in February.
After fangirling over Melissa, I came across Emery Lord's table and about had a panic attack. I had read Open Road Summer two weeks ago and completely fell in love with it. Emery was definitely one of the authors that I had wanted to meet and it was finally happening!
I had a fun time talking to Emery about writing Open Road Summer and how different The Start of Me and You is, her second book set to release in January. We also talked about her covers, which I had told her I loved. She told me that the couple on the cover of Open Road Summer are actually engaged in real life! How cool is that? I'm definitely looking forward to the release of The Start of Me and You because I'm already dying for another story from her!
After talking with Emery, I went to a special teen author "speed dating" event where 6 authors visited a table for 7 minutes before rotating to the next table. The authors I was able to talk to included Kristen Simmons, Gwenda Bond, Mindee Arnett, Katherine Howe, Laura Bickle, and Jennifer McGowan. After talking to those ladies, I definitely want to read all of their books and wish I could have bought something from all of them! It was so fun hearing how excited they are about their own books and they were genuinely interested in us as readers/aspiring writers. When Kristen Simmons was talking to us, she told us that she did some fun research for her books, including an overnight ride-aloing with a cop, sailing lessons, and motorcycle lessons. Sounds fun, doesn't it? The 7 minutes we spent with each author flew by, but it was fun catching a glimpse inside of their lives and their writing processes.
After that event, it was close to 12pm, which was when Emily Giffin was showing up at the event. I raced over to her table at 11:55 and was actually only about the 10th person in line, which I was super excited about. I obsessed over all things Emily with the woman standing behind me and then Emily showed up and I went into complete fangirl mode.
I had Emily sign my copies of Something Borrowed and Something Blue and babbled on about how much I loved her, the movie Something Borrowed, and all of her books. She was so sweet and told me that she had just turned in the screenplay for another movie, which I didn't even know was happening! I, of course, freaked out and she went on to tell me how she was on the phone last night talking to Colin Egglesfield, who played Dex in the movie, about relationship problems and how he's such a sweet guy in real life. OH MY GOSH. I freaked out all over again and she was just so nice even though I was acting completely insane. Haha, it was awesome! I definitely won't forget meeting Emily and I can't wait for that new movie!
Once I calmed down a bit, I came across Kristen Simmons' table and was definitely excited to talk to her outside of the 7 minutes of speed dating. While I haven't read her Article 5 series, I have heard so many fantastic things about it and decided to buy a copy to have her sign for me. I also grabbed a copy of Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis to have signed as well!
Both ladies were so nice, as was everyone I met at the festival, and it was so much fun talking to them about their books! Mindy even told me that she sold the screen rights to Not a Drop to Drink to Stephanie Meyers' production company, so we will very likely be seeing this book on the big screen in the future! How exciting is that?
After that, I stopped by so many authors tables and just talked to them about their books, writing, and life in general. I was able to talk to Mindee Arnett, Gwenda Bond, Karen Ann Hopkins, Alex Mallory, Mindy McGinnis, Jennifer McGowan, and Bethany Neil. I stopped by some various adult authors, but had the best conversations with the awesome ladies of YA lit. I had the most fun talking to Jennifer McGowan about her historical spy novels and Bethany Neil about My Last Kiss, which is her debut novel. They were so much fun to talk to about the experience writing their books (Jennifer was an Elizabethan scholar before she started writing, so she knows quite a lot about that era) and life in general (Bethany was an interior designer and photographer before she turned to writing).
Three hours after arriving, I walked out of the festival with four signed books, a bag full of swag, and a permeant smile on my face. I loved meeting so many YA authors, meeting Emily Giffin, and just talking books with so many fantastic people. I already can't wait for next year!