Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recap: Austin Teen Book Festival 2012

I headed down to Austin this weekend for the Austin Teen Book Festival, an amazing line up of 31 authors. It was a stellar event, with so many awesome moments, and plenty of laughs and memories. From a blogger/writer meet up dinner on Friday to the actual event on Saturday, trust me when I say Texas so does it right.

Saturday kicked off with Libba Bray's keynote speech, which definitely played pinball with my emotions. From laughs to tearing up, she sort of hits it all, but does it so well. Not to mention, with an opening filled with fog and a lightsaber fight, and closing it out with a group sing along of Total Eclipse of the Heart, this was a speech to remember.

From there, I hit up the Real Life Happens panel, moderating by the hilarious John Corey Waley, and featuring Jesse Andrews, Guadalupe McCall Garcia, EM Kokie, and Jessica Lee Anderson. This was a fabulous group of authors, who were hysterical, and played off each other so well. With some great pieces of advice and some great stories, this was my favorite panel of the day.

Next up for me was the Creature Comforts panel, moderated by Sophie Jordan (do you guys know how much I love that woman?) and featuring Scott Speer, Anna Banks, Gina Damico, Tara Hudson, and Martha Brockenbrough. This panel, too, had me cracking up, and totally piqued my interest in the books of theirs I haven't yet read. So, naturally, I bought them while I was there...

Next was the We're Not in Kansas Anymore panel, moderated by Sarah Rees Brennan (do you guys have any idea how funny she is?), and featuring Libba Bray, Leigh Bardugo, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, and Rae Carson. With questions being answered like what is the most embarrassing or enviable thing have you done for research, this panel was a ton of fun, and so interesting.

The last panel I attended was What Would You Do for Love, moderated by Tracy Deebs, and featuring Allie Condie, Kresley Cole, Jessica Shirvington, Tamara Ireland Stone, and Jessica Khoury. Naturally, this panel had much talk of hot boys, and I loved hearing the answers to each author having to describe their hero and heroine in 5 words!

After that final panel, it was time to meet the authors and get books signed! I had a ton of fun getting to meet authors of some of my favorite books, talk to them about their books, writing, etc, and also just hang out with other readers. There really is something so awesome about being in a big room with hundreds of readers, of all ages. The event was a blast, and the panels were all fabulous. There were 6 panels total, but only enough time for 4, but the 4 I did attend were so worth it.

Now for a bunch of pictures of me with the various authors I met and chatted with. I didn't take pictures with everyone because I'm silly, and forgetful....

 Scott Speer (Immortal City)

 Tamara Ireland Stone (Time Between Us)

 Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl and the Dying Girl)

Rae Carson (Girl of Fire and Thorns, Crown of Embers)

 Eliot Schrefer (The School for Dangerous Girls, Endangered)

 Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention)

Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls series, Heist Society)

Jessica Shirvington (Embrace, Entice)
(Also, I love this woman's accent)

 Dan Krokos (False Memory)

EM Kokie (Personal Effects)

And now, I can't wait for next year's event!


  1. A lightsaber fight during a speech? That is amazing! This sounds like a lot of fun. Some of these authors I'm dying to meet but am going to have to miss their stops in my home state :(

  2. Great event Kari, seemed like you had a great time!