Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC Booknerd/Fangirl Experience 2014

It's that time again for creators of books and lovers of books to come together and celebrate our love of...you guessed it...books! This year is the 34th Annual L.A. Times Festival of Books held on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, California! Hundreds of people from all over the country venture over to enjoy a fun-filled weekend of live music, poetry readings, author conversation panels and film screenings with Q&A sessions afterwards.

Since this festival kicked off in 1996 with it's sole purpose to: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them, it has grown into a successful phenomenon that has expanded with activities such as: cooking demos, musical performances, artists creating and sharing their works, poets reading their works, cultural entertainment...and, even, celebrity Q&A sessions!

Check out this year's poster! I received it in the mail today! Pretty awesome!


 Saturday, April 12, 2014
This will be our second year attending this amazing event! Unlike last year, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon to meet authors, sit in panels, book signings...and meet up with booklover friends and meet new ones as well. For Mariah and I, we met two amazing authors, Mary Ting/M. Clarke and Rebecca Ethington, at the Bernard Books booth! It was an absolute joy meeting them! I love that Rebecca Ethington favors the genre, Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal Fiction, because that's just what her mind wants to write! Apparently, she tried Contemporary, but her brain didn't care for it....hahaha! Love her answer to "why the genre she writes/favors." It was also interesting, as well, that Mary Ting's Crossroads Saga was based on a dream she had...just never know where inspiration for stories come from...right!?! They were a joy to meet and chat with!

Here's me and Mariah with Mary Ting and Rebecca Ethington!

After chatting it up with Mary Ting and Rebecca Ethington, Mariah and I made it over to the Bovard Auditorium for the John Green panel; however, we noticed the ticket line AND the stand by line, and decided to skip the panel and head over to the signing line. Guess what we found...the signing line was already long as well...hahaha! Good thing we decided to skip the panel or else our wait time for the signing would have been a good 3-4 hours! Whoa! Yah, this is no joke! Mariah and I was somewhere in the middle in the line, and our wait time was close to 2 hours. Crazy! I even had Mariah take a couple of photos of the line (which didn't included the end part of the line) near the signing booth. Talk about WHOA! So, yah, I am so happy that we decided to skip the panel, we would have been in the line for a good 3-4 hours if we did! I found out that there was close to 2500 people in line for the signing! Yikes! Because we skipped the panel, and was in a decent part of the line, we made it in time to meet Kelley Armstrong (again) and Rainbow Rowell (for the first time) at the Mrs. Nelson's booth! Yup, signings are scheduled at individual booths as well, not just after panels. So, there's always a chance to meet authors...just have to check the signing schedules, signings vary with each book vendor.

Check out the crazy long line for John Green! And...these photos doesn't even cover another part of the line...haha!

Our turn to meet John Green! It was so exciting! Because it was such a long line and a lot of people were waiting, being able to really chat with him was not happening. It was still just a thrill to meet him! At least Mariah was able to greet him up front...I was taking pictures...haha!

View the full album of Day 1 at:

I think Mariah and I did a pretty good job at not going overboard with books...hahaha! I already knew I had to pace myself, but I did get quite a bit of new books and signings that I wanted. Yay, for us! Now, on Sunday, I can go back to get the rest of the books that I didn't get as well...hahaha!!

Watch a video clip of the John Green panel, here!


Sunday, April 13, 2014
Mariah and I had an early start on this second and last day of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. We were both up and ready to go, so we decided to just check out and head on over to the USC campus at 8:30AM. It was a beautiful morning when we arrived to the USC campus, of course, the festival didn't start until 10AM, so Mariah and I walked a bit then waited near the Mrs. Nelson booth since it was the place where we planned to start our day. Sunday morning was the start of several author signings that we wanted to get to. And, at the Mrs. Nelson booth, we were able to meet Marissa Meyer (again) and Sarah J. Maas (for the first time) which was amazing to be able to meet these amazing people writing stories that we love to ready, plus stories that we have newly discovered.

We even saw a squirrel enjoying the morning on the USC campus...hahaha!

The start of our Day 2 was amazing! Marissa Meyer got a "kick" when we had her sign our photos taken when she was on her Cress Tour! I told her that I have fun having authors sign the photos since they too get a "kick" remembering those events...haha! Thanks to my cousin for the cool idea, I pretty much adopted it for when I meet authors. Being a book junkie, we try to attend as many book events, such as this festival, to meet new and favorite authors!

Meeting Marissa Meyer...again!

Meeting Sarah J. Maas

However, the morning wasn't as fun as we hoped it would be for one particular scheduled author. While we waited for the signings with Marissa Meyer and Sarah J. Maas, news of the Veronica Roth signing after the panel was trickling its way to us. Due to the huge demand of John Green's signing Saturday, the "powers that be" decided that the signing would be limited to only the first 500 people attending the panel. As word was spreading, fans were in an uproar. A good amount of people did not get tickets for the panel, because they just wanted to go to the signing. But, because the signing was limited, a lot of people were not going to be able to get the signing. Even then, those who got a ticket to the panel and wasn't the first 500 wasn't going to be able to get to the signing either.

Now...a huge amount of fans were disappointed and upset about that...me included. It was already bad enough that all the fans in Southern California didn't get an author event when Allegiant was released, many fans didn't even get a chance for a signing when she was in Southern California! That really blows! I can totally understand why they did it, especially after John Green's signing...that lasted a good 4 hours or so with about 2500 fans (from what I heard from others) in line! But, it doesn't make it any less disappointing. Oh well...maybe Veronica Roth will come out to the Los Angeles area another time...maybe for another event!?! I don't even live in the L.A. area, and I made the trip down...not only for her, but for the event itself...haha! Meeting authors is one of the best perks there is at the Festival of Books! I don't know, but I'm over it...for now...haha!

Anyways, at least, we were able to sit in on the panel...even though we were in the "nosebleed" section of the auditorium...haha! The panel with Veronica Roth was filled with laughs and a lot of chatting about herself and writing, as well as Leigh Bardugo, who served as moderator. So, it wasn't a total loss. After the panel, Mariah and I made our way to the signing area. Although we didn't get tickets for the Veronica Roth signing, we were also there for Leigh Bardugo as well. Since we already had our books signed from a previous event, we had Leigh sign our photos from Fierce Reads event we attended last year! I just love seeing authors' reactions when they see the photos! It's great and we get a lot of laughs out of it. Definitely....fun times we get from these author events!

Watch a video clip of the Veronica Roth panel, here!

Leigh Bardugo signing our photos!

After the Veronica Roth panel and signing, we had time to kill before the YA Sci-fi: Fantastical Tales panel. I had already decided that I wanted to complete the Imdalind Series (Rebecca Ethington) and purchase the Crossroads Saga (Mary Ting). It was great chatting it up with these two amazing authors...I even brought friends to meet them as well. So, I accomplished what I set out to do; however, Mary Ting's books Crossroads and From Gods was sold out! After chatting it up with Mary and Rebecca, and purchasing the rest of the books that I wanted, we made our way to the YA Stage for the panel that we were waiting for.

Our next stop was at the YA Stage for the Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales panel with: Marissa Meyer, Cecil Castellucci, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Andrew Smith as moderator. It was definitely a fun and interesting conversation with these amazing authors! A conversation with lots of laughs discussing their books, their ideas, their writing, and why they wrote in this particular genre...they even discussed dancing...haha! Too funny!

The Young Adult Sci-fi: Fantastical Tales panel:
(left to right) Andrew Smith (moderator), Marissa Meyer, Cecil Castellucci, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo.
Andrew Smith
Marissa Meyer
Cecil Castellucci
Sarah J. Maas
Leigh Bardugo

After the fun panel the audience lined up for the signing which was right next to the YA Stage! Since we already got the signings from the panelists from an earlier signing, our only goal at the time was Andrew Smith. Goal! Even thought we will be seeing him at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest, it is always exciting to meet them again and again at different events! Each and every individual author event is always fun, exciting and unique every time! While the majority of the audience lined up for the panelists, we headed for Andrew Smith! And, it was an awesome pleasure to have met him. Too funny....he even told Mariah to read Grasshopper Jungle before me...haha!

Meeting Andrew Smith...for the first time!

After the amazing conversation on the YA Stage, we headed back to the Mrs. Nelson booth to meet Tahereh Mafi (now Tahereh Riggs). Yes, after not being able to go to other past events that she had, Mariah and I was finally going to be able to meet her! As soon as it was our turn to meet her, she commented that she liked our t-shirts...haha! Tahereh even thought we were sisters!?! Whoa...too funny! She couldn't believe that we're mother and daughter! I also congratulated her on her nuptials to Ransom Riggs! I caught her by surprise when I congratulate her and Ransom in "tying the knot." With a beautiful smile, Tahereh replied with a "thank you." She was such a pleasure to meet!

Meeting Tahereh Mafi...finally!

After meeting Tahereh Mafi, we closed out our weekend at the L.A. Times Festival of Books with one of my favorite authors, Melissa de la Cruz! Yup! Melissa and her husband, Michael Johnston, was scheduled for a signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth. After getting a snack, it was time to have a quick chat with Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston. In addition to seeing them...again...Melissa recently had another book released titled The Ring and The Crown, so, it was definitely a must to see them. Of course, I just loved their reaction when they saw the photos when Frozen was released.Too much fun! It was so much fun and a pleasure to see them again!

Whew! What a fun-filled and exciting weekend! Meeting new and old booknerd/fangirl friends, plus meeting authors, and sitting in panels was authors talk about books, writing and then some, was pretty much the highlight of the entire weekend for us! Exhausting as it was, it was so totally worth it!

View the full album of Day 2 at:

Well, see you guys next year at the L.A. Times Festival of Books!

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