We arrived at TBF SUPES early, “supes” here meaning “like an hour before the authors started to arrive.” Oops.
The staff made the executive decision to give us our bags early with only a little side-eye, and we sat down to wait for the shop to open.
*fifteen minutes later*
The curtain was drawn back to reveal blogger heaven, aka the arc table. For those of you who have never been, the arc table supports keeping the event free by raffling off arcs and other door prizes. We each started off with twelve tickets, then another twelve for good measure.
Final arc count:
Erin — 7/24
Laura — 4/24
Next, we hit the B&N vendor tables, and picked up some last-minute books for signing.
Final B&N count:
Erin — 4
Laura — 5
Mom Becks — 1
Books in hand, we got ready for the Truth or Talent segment, but Erin’s bag was not long for this world, and the strap snapped under the pressure of eleven books. Luckily, she was able to get a replacement bag.
Staff announced that they would be locking the doors during the T or T segment, so we decided to take it in via live feed from the Cabaret to avoid aggravating the anxiety monster.
Truth or Talent was much improved from last year. They read their emails.
Mercedes Lackey Panel
We started off our panels with Mercedes Lackey. She began with a reading of the first chapter of her fort official YA book, Hunter. We all immediately wanted to read her book. She followed that with a Q&A, and her snark, her candor, and her occasional colorful language left us in stitches. She ended by reading us a snippet from the sequel to Hunter– Elite, which will be out later this year. She also discussed fan fiction and its viability as a genre and as practice.
Tamora Pierce Panel
After Mercedes, we went next door to Tamora, who was equally hilarious. She told a lot of stories about her start in writing, including the fact that Danielle Steel hates her. Her words, not ours. She also spoke about living through several different waves of feminism, and maintaining her personal views through them, which was inspirational. Later, she discussed her research and writing method so, and her trouble with multiple drafts of novels, which really resonated with us.
Scott Westerfeld & Justine Larbalestier Panel
We moved on to Scott Westerfeld and his surprise wife (the surprise being to us, not to them– they’ve been together some time) They discussed the writing process and how social it is, with the exchange of information and critique. Scott was vocal on the importance of feedback. Justine was vocal on everything else, and spoke about her new novel and the research she did for it.
We were within the first 50 people in Scott Westerfeld’s line, which was wise because it immediately became a leviathan *wink wink*.
From there, we went through Justine’s line, which moved much more quickly, and then we hopped on over to Mercedes Lackey’s signing. That line took longer, because she is so gracious and spends time with each person.
We checked out Tamora Pierce’s line, but due to the length, we decided to come back later. (We didn’t make it, but is okay– we make lamb.)
We went into the library, but ’twas empty. The black hole strikes again! (We have never made it to the authors stationed in the library– they always seem to disappear before we get there.)
Our next stop was the gym, author central. By the time we got there, the lines were relatively short, but none of the authors had left. We saw everyone we recognized and chatted with a few.
At this point, I (Laura) left to see Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson. Ellen was gone by the time I got to her building (sad), but Erin managed to get her signature in the gym (yay)! I have the best co-blogger.
I just made it into Laurie Halse Anderson’s line (there was a time crunch because of a wedding happening later in the chapel), and Erin hopped from line to line getting as many signatures as possible in the gym. We were determined not to miss anyone else.
Kudos to Laurie Halse Anderson and A.S. King for staying after the authors’ bus left, making sure that everyone who wanted to see them got their chance.
- The weather was great! It was supposed to storm, but it only rained a little, and we were inside for it.
- The crowd was much more manageable this year.
- We got all the arcs that we wanted.
- The authors were so gracious.
- We chose really good panels this year.
- Mom Becks got to see an author she’s been reading for thirty years (Mercedes Lackey). She squealed on the elevator.
- We planned and strategized well, and it worked out for us. (Mostly)
- There were a few disrespectful attendees. For example, not following the three book rule, talking and texting during author panels, etc.
- Missing some of the authors we hoped to see . (Luckily only 2 1/2.)
- Swag/Loot (Mercedes is a pirate, arr)
- Lots of great author advice, which we will have in a follow-up post.
- Many more people with rolly suitcases for their books. (we are trend-setters!)
- “I don’t do groups.” — Tamora Pierce
- “Tie the fucking plot threads together.” — Mercedes Lackey
- “Australians don’t like to use full words.” — Scott Westerfeld
- “Why don’t you try writing it as a diary? *growly noises*” — Tamora Pierce
- “This is so nervous-making”. — Erin in Scott Westerfeld’s line
- “Here’s the problem with Carthage: there were these pissed off guys called the Romans…” –Tamora Pierce
From our bookshelves to yours,
Laura & Erin
Erin & A.S. King
Erin and Laura with Scott Westerfeld
Erin & Mom with Mercedes Lackey