Random Thoughts #3/L.A. Times Book Festival!

So yesterday and today was the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and I decided to go this year because I haven’t been since I was a little girl. I didn’t go both days, only today, but next year I’m definitely going to go both days. So here’s how the day went!First off we (my mom and I) got there kind of early, before a lot of the booths were open and before events were up and running. So we wandered around to get a feel of where everything was and then the first thing that we saw while waiting for our first event was part of the Trojan marching band (since we were on the University of Southern California campus) which was super cool!
Then we went hopped over to the Young Adult stage where we saw a panel of 3 authors (Alyson Noel, Cornelia Funke, and John Stephens). The panel was amazing and all of the authors were amazing. I’ve read Alyson Noel’s books and Cornelia Funke’s, but I’d never heard of John Stephens before (he has a new book out now, I think it’s more geared for teenage boys…). Either way all three were wonderful and seemed extremely nice.
After that we went to a panel session called “Future Books: Media in the Digital Age” which was a bust. There was just a few people there trying to push their books. Oh well.
Our next panel session was called “YA Fiction: The Wide Lens” which had Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, Maggie Stiefvater, and Jacqueline Wilson. I’ve read books by all of them except Jacqueline Woodson, but I think I may check out some of her books now! All four of these lovely ladies were super awesome and hilarious. We were laughing through the whole hour with them. Within the panel, the authors discussed issues in YA writing such as race, sexuality, and violence. The authors also discussed how parents sometimes react to what their kids are reading and a lot of them said they receive hate mail from parents because of something they’ve written. (So sad..)
After this panel session ended we rushed back to the YA Stage and saw Deb Caletti, Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan, and Joanna Philbin (!!!!) on a panel. We didn’t listen in for this panel because I wanted to wait in line to get my book signed by Joanna Philbin.
Eventually the author’s came over and I got to talk to Joanna Philbin for a bit. She was super sweet and nice and so easy to talk to!! I got to snap a quick pic with her and here’s what she wrote in my book:“To Paige, Keep breaking the rules! Joanna Philbin xoxo”(She wrote that because she signed the second book in her series, The Daughters Break the Rules)
It was a very surreal moment for me! I’ve never had a book signed before, let alone met the author!
We also wandered around the booths and I met the author Syrie James (she was at the Jane Austen Society booth so when I was in there I ended up talking to her somehow). Anyways she was extremely nice and was telling me all about her books and she has a new one that just came out for YA that I will definitely be picking up sometime it’s called Forbidden and she co-wrote it with her son Ryan M. James.
The last panel we went to was called “Publishing A-Z” which was very informative for me as an aspiring book editor. It really gave me some great insight and tips about all things publishing.
Overall, I had a wonderful time, got to meet some amazing authors/people and I can’t wait until next year! If you’re in the area next year I definitely recommend it! There was other stuff going on too like poetry readings and Betty White and Kareem Abdul Jabbar were there (I stood just a few feet away from each of them!). It’s free so come check it out next year!
See you soon!

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