So I vanished from the internet this past weekend to attend the Decatur Book Festival, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING.
Me being me, I didn’t take pictures. I never think about taking pictures. I’m always too busy absorbing everything to stop and actually commit it to digital memory. But thankfully other people took some.
I attended DBF with the marvelous Myra McEntire (HOURGLASS). Due to our poor planning, the only available room was the ROMANTIC GETAWAY package at Holiday Inn Express. We had chocolate and merlot. True story. We ended our Saturday night watching Can’t Buy Me Love and eating truffles.
On Saturday, I went to three panels.
1. On world-building with Saundra Mitchell (SHADOWED SUMMER), Jessica Verday (THE HOLLOW), Cinda Williams Chima (THE DEMON KING), and Kathleen Duey (SKIN HUNGER).
2. On Vampires vs. Zombies with Alexandra Harvey (HEARTS AT STAKE) and Carrie Ryan (FHT).
3. Real issues in an unreal world with Rachel Hawkins (HEX HALL) and Nancy Werlin (EXTRAORDINARY)
All three were phenomenal!!! These authors had some brilliant things to say…
Saundra Mitchell commented that she liked to work with an almost mundane, though rich and realistic, setting, so that when she added an element of paranormal, it was immediately accepted.
Alexandra Harvey made a GREAT point when she said “Always make things harder” when you’re writing. ALWAYS.
I can’t remember who said it, but it was pointed out that the “next big thing” never comes in the genre as the thing it’s trying to follow. The next big thing after HP was not wizards, but vampires. After Twilight, it was kids killing each other in an arena. You can’t predict what’s next. Don’t try to.
When Carrie Ryan gets stuck, she always asks herself “What’s the worst that can happen?” And then she does it.
Rachel Hawkins was full of brilliant, funny words, and talked about Buffy the Vampire being the origin of the “I slept with my boyfriend and now he wants to kill me” idea, and most of YA paranormal for that matter.
After the panels, I got dinner with Rachel Hawkins (HEX HALL), Myra McEntire (HOURGLASS), Vania Stoyanova, Michelle Hodkins (UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER), Shelli Johannes-Wells, Kelsey Fleming and her sister Tori. It would be the first of THREE meals. We wandered a bit, Rachel went off to the participating author party, and we got margaritas and chips.
THEN, I somehow ended up in an amazing tapas restaurant with Disney PR, Josh Lewis (SUPER CHICKEN NUGGET, Cinda Williams Chima (THE DEMON KING and many others), Christina Gonzalez (THE RED UMBRELLA), Rachel Hawkins (I couldn’t get enough of the awesome, obviously, and Myra!
And that was just Saturday.
We hauled ourselves back to the romantic hotel room, for some reason thought it would be a good idea to crack open the box of chocolates, and sometime later passed out from all the good food and better company.
On Sunday, after having breakfast with Myra, Vania, Lori (of Pure Imagination Blog) and her husband, Michelle, and the lovely Kirsten Miller (THE ETERNAL ONES), we went to Kirsten’s panel and signing.
Cassandra Clare. True story. That would be a signed book. That would also be Cassie Clare in the background. Life closer to complete. (Do I look cracked out enough for you??)
After all that, I had to jump in the car and head home :*( And five hours later, I found myself in my house in Nashville, hungover from the AWESOME that was this weekend. There are so many more people that I only got to meet in passing, and I know I’m forgetting names!! But man, what an AMAZING weekend.