Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ontario Teen Book Fest 2014

How do I begin!?! Hmmm....well, first off, let me tell you....we had a blast at Ontario's 4th Annual Teen Book Fest! of many events that book fans can meet authors and other fellow booknerds. It's been four years since my daughter and I last went to this event. Yup! The first time we attended was the very first year the Teen Book Fest started! So, when we attended this past May 17, 2014 at Colony High School in Ontario, I was blown away at how much it has grown! That's a definite "Yay!" Since my brother and his wife was coming down for the weekend and knowing that she is also a booknerd, I invited her to come along and join the fun with my daughter and myself!

In preparation for this amazing day of authors and books, several bloggers included, participated in a blog tour to promote and get the word out about this fun event! Each blogger got the opportunity to spotlight one (some got two) author on their blogs! I got Katie Alender! Boy, was I stoked! The kicker here is that my daughter and I first met Katie at the first Teen Book Fest! It was so cool to catch up with her! Each author spotlight revealed so much about these amazing authors confirmed to attend.

Check out these author spotlights:


Although the event had begun, we were able to catch the Keynote Speakers, featuring Jessica Brody, Lauren Kate and John Corey Whaley, talk about books, writing and other stuff. However, after Lauren Kate spoke on stage, she was not able to stay for the whole event. After these amazing authors took answers from the audience, we ended up staying for the next panel. Since we had time to kill, we discussed a bit of what panels and authors we were planning to see. As for my sister-in-law, she was all ears since this was the first time she attended an event that's all about books and authors...hahaha! And...she had fun!

Jessica Brody

Lauren Kate

John Corey Whaley

The next panel we eagerly waited for was Women in YA featuring Katie Alender, Elana Arnold, Robin Benway, and Sarah Skilton. Lauren Kate was supposed to be on this panel, but was not able to stay for the event. The panel was moderated by Alysha Hernandez, Ontario City Library.

The first question posed to these authors was about change, what would they change in their first book and if they have changed since writing their first book. They all agree that they feel that they have grown and improved as a writer. Another question posed was about writing standalone novels against writing a series. Since Jessi Kirby and Sarah Skilton have not written series, this particular question was posed to them. Both authors just doesn't feel that their stories have a specific ending that doesn't need to be a series. Even Jessi Kirby pretty much said that she has no plan to ever write a series. Another interesting question that was asked to the authors, was about writing male characters. Of course, they all find to write female perspective a lot easier. Most, not all, of them answered that they have help from their husband or brother. For the most part, the common factor is that their stories just leans towards a female perspective. So much was discussed that was so informative and entertaining in learning about these amazing authors and their writing. I can go on and on...but I just had to mention some of the highlights from this fun panel discussion.

Women in YA panel
Sarah Skilton 
Jessi Kirby
Katie Alender
Elana K. Arnold
Robin Benway

After lunch, we decided to skip the Teen Book Fest Speed Dating, in which booknerds can participate in a fast-paced and hysterical "date" with a selection of Teen Book Fest 2014 Authors. So, we headed on down to the Lecture Hall for the next panel we planned on sitting in: It's Not Me, It's Society: When the World Really is to Blame for Your Troubles. While we waited for the panel to start, we killed time by reading...hahaha!

The next panel that we sat in was the It's Not Me, It's Society: When the World Really is to Blame for Your Troubles panel, featuring Jessica Brody, Catherine Linka, Lauren Miller and Lissa Price. This panel was moderated by Juliene Malecot, Corona Public Library. What's interesting about this panel is that these authors' books are about twisted societies, be it in the present or the future and the teens that rebel against and/or challenge these powers which has become a popular theme for many readers. They seem to agree that this theme has become popular in books allows writers and readers to play out the "what if" with society which is, in turn, fascinating and terrifying. Many of their books is somewhat a realistic look at the possibilities of those "what if" this happened in today's society. Definitely an interesting and fascinating discussion of what's happening in the world today and the interesting take that can be seen as possible in their books. Although their books are fictitious, they take what's happening now and write the "what if" twists in our society in the future. Wow! That's definitely intriguing! The things that make you go...Hmmmm!

It's Not Me, It's Society:
When the World Really is to Blame for Your Troubles
Jessica Brody, Catherine Linka, Lissa Price, Lauren Miller
Jessica Brody
Catherine Linka
Lauren Miller
Lissa Price
Now, after all that excitement of sitting in panels and speed dating (which we didn't participate in), the author signings was what we, including everyone else, were looking forward to as well! After purchasing our books during our lunch break, we set out to get our signings on...hahaha! It was so much fun! Not only did we get to chat face to face with these amazing authors and get our books & posters signed, we got to meet and chat with other booknerds as well while waiting for our turn to chat with the authors! The author signing was an incredibly fun way to close this exciting event. Although we didn't get to meet all the authors, we definitely enjoyed meeting the ones we did meet!

It was great seeing Katie Alender again...and the kicker is that we first met her at the first Teen Book Fest in 2011! Katie was also my spotlight author! It was so funny when we finally met Robin Benway! She actually recognized me from when we were at the L.A. Times Festival of Books! It was so funny! Now that I got to know her better as an author from the panel discussions, I was able to finally officially meet her and get a signing...haha! We even had a few laughs over it.

Mariah with Catherine Linka
Jasmine with Catherine Linka
Mariah with Jessica Brody
Jasmine with Jessica Brody
Mariah with Lauren Miller
Jasmine with Lauren Miller
Mariah with Jessi Kirby
Jasmine with Jessi Kirby
Mariah with Katie Alender
Jasmine with Katie Alender
Jasmine with Robin Benway
Mariah with Robin Benway
Mariah with Lissa Price
Jasmine with Lissa Price
Jasmine with Mary E. Pearson
Mariah with Mary E. Pearson
Mariah and Ava Dellaira
Mariah with Katherine Ewell
Jasmine with Ava Dellaira

All in all, we all had a great time meeting all these amazing authors and hanging out with other booknerds! I think I got my sister-in-law hooked! She definitely will be looking out for author events in her area! She even went home with a few signed books for herself! Yay!

View the full album of this fun event, HERE!

Til the next Teen Book Fest!

Watch What a Nerd Girl Says' video: Meet the Authors!

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