Saturday I went to YALLFest in Charleston with Michelle and it was the most incredible experience ever. I think it might have beaten the Skillet concert. It was that wonderful. Nikki was supposed to come with, but she told me Friday night that she wouldn’t be able to go, but I was nice and got the Melissa and Heather books she gave me signed for her. I didn’t make it to any of the panels and we left before YA Smackdown, but it was still worth the 2 hour drive. Shoot it would have been worth an 8 hour drive. I’m going to pretty much run through the day so this might be kinda long. Be warned.
We got there a bit late because we had to find parking, and after we actually found parking we had to walk back. We ended up walking the wrong way down King Street so we had to walk all the way back. That was definitely my fault. Oops. So we get to Blue Bicycle Books (the used bookstore the fest was held) and we checked the scene out. Beside the store was a lot with a huge white tent. This is where they had books by the authors out to sign, and this was where some of the authors did signings. I got a few books while I was there so that was great.
(Might be the longest part) We went back in to check out, and I’m just chatting with Michelle when a couple guys walk by us. It took a minute, but I realized the guy in the dark shirt was Kaleb Nation. My reaction: “Ohmygod Michelle! That’s Kaleb! The guy in the blue is Kaleb!” I bought the books I was carrying and I went back into the signing line. I’ve never been to one of these book signings before so I was patiently waiting behind some kids that wanted to see Pseudonymous Bosch, but Kaleb saw that I had his books so he told me I could go over to him. Wicked. I’m not going to transcribe our entire conversation, but here’s some of it:
Kaleb: What’s you name?
Kaleb: Kim? Did you tweet me saying you were coming here?
I don’t know if he could tell, but I was freaking out at that point. I told him I watched his youtube channel, and congrats on his new show that’s being filmed. He asked me if I was doing NaNoWriMo and I told him I didn’t have enough confidence in my writing to do that. He reminded me that Farfield Curse took 6 years to write. I was so freaked out about meeting him I forgot to ask for a picture. Luckily, Michelle was there with mom’s camera and she asked him if he would take a picture with me. He stood up and put his arm around me so I put my arm around him, but it was shaking. I wonder if he felt it at all. Hmmm. He was a sweet guy though. I would definitely love to see him again when he releases more books. Now that I’m away from him I can think of more things I could have said and I didn’t. Nothing serious, just stuff so he knows that I actually do watch his videos and all. Instead of just saying, “I watch your videos…” Oh well.
We got out of his way and a woman approached us and told us she needed us to sign release forms. I knew they were filming Kaleb’s show at YALLFest, but I completely forgot that when I was talking to him. So we had to sign release forms to be in the show. Not sure if we’ll definitely be in it, but there’s a chance which is cool/terrifying.
Next we saw Andrea Cremer and Heather Brewer. I only had a couple of books for both of them, but they were both really nice and they were cool about signing Nikki’s books for me. I got a snazzy picture with Andrea.
Then we went inside and saw Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl. Melissa was nice, but Margaret…
Just kidding. She was nice too. She saw my red and yellow scarf and started messing with me.
Me: Can you sign these books for me?
Margaret: No. What are you? Gryffindor?
Margaret: Well *gestures to herself and Melissa* we’re Hufflepuff.
Michelle: Actually she *me* is Slytherin.
Margaret: Well that’s even worse
It was all good fun though. Got a picture with those 2 as well.
Sarah Rees Brennan and Caitlin Kittredge were next. I felt kinda bad because I didn’t have anything for them to sign really. I had 1 antho that Caitlin had a story in, and 4 that Sarah had stories/essays in. I thought about buying The Iron Thorn, but I decided last minute not to. Then we waited in line to get the Caster books signed again, but this time Kami Garcia got to sign them. She was with Victoria Schwab (Another author I decided not to get a book from. I know. Shame.). I got a picture with them together.
We stood in line for David Levithan so Michelle could get a copy of Nick and Nora signed. No I haven’t read any of his books. Yes I know this is close to a sin. I’ll get to it. I promise! I took a picture of her and him together.
Ellen Hopkins was next and I was most excited about her. Actually Friday night I had to buy a copy of Identical because it’s my favorite book of hers, but I never owned my own copy. I have an e-book on my nook, but I wanted a hardcopy for her to sign. I finally bought a copy of Triangles while I was there. I also had Ellen sign Dear Bully and Impulse. I was looking for my copy of A New Dawn since she helped with that as well, but I couldn’t find it. I’m glad I didn’t freak out when seeing her, but I felt bad because I didn’t know what to say. I’ve tweeted with her before, but face-to-face I was drawing blanks. She was nice though and she and Michelle got a good laugh at my expense.
Michelle: I was taking bets on if she would pass out when she met you.
Ellen: She’s doing so well. She’s not even hyperventilating.
I’d much rather be in a stunned silence than freaking out. Of course I got a picture with her.
Carrie Ryan was the next author I wanted to see and she signed my anthos as well as my copy of The Dark and Hollow Places. I didn’t have my copies of The Forest of Hands and Teeth or The Dead Tossed Waves, but TDHP was my favorite of the 3 so it was ok. Got a picture with her as well.
Finally, yes there is an end, I met Diana Peterfreund and Beth Revis. Meeting them was a great way to end the day. I told Diana I haven’t read Ascendent because she hurt my favorite from Rampant, but she assured me everything was going to be okay so I’m not quite as scared as I was before. Beth was nice too, but I haven’t read Across the Universe yet so I didn’t know anything to say. I had a copy of AtU to get signed so I’ll definitely have to read that one soon.
Thanks to all the authors that came to Charleston! And thanks to Michelle for being a sport even though she only knew David! I have to go to more book signings. This was so fantastic. All of the authors were wonderful!