Over Labor Day weekend I went to the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA – an event that’s relatively new to me but I was so super psyched to go to!
Check out their website to see just what it is: http://www.decaturbookfestival.com/2013/index.php
I wanted to share my weekend with you all because it was terrific!
After a really early start Saturday morning, I drove 3(ish) hours to Decatur, GA, which is just next to Atlanta. It’s really one of the suburbs of ATL. Decatur is home to Agnes Scott College and is a pretty funky, artsy kind of town that I IMMEDIATELY fell in love with. The downtown area, where the festival was held, was full of neat little shops and restaurants, cute coffee shops and bakeries. There were people on bikes and walking with kids and… just a lovely little town.
Anywho… by the time I finally found my way there, after getting majorly turned around twice and not being able to find anywhere to park, I made it over to the Teen Stage – I basically spent the whole time there – as Jonathan Maberry and Amy Tintera were speaking. I hadn’t read either of their books, so I took a few minutes to get acclimated and take in the nearby sites. When I got back, I stood waiting for the next panel, only to realize Myra McEntyre was standing like 5 feet away from me. Commence fangirling and texting.
Myra, along with a few other writers, were getting ready for their panel called “Well How Did We Get Here?” and I was excited to listen. However, just as they were about to start, I realized I left my wallet in the car. Frick! So, I hiked it back to the car to get it. Luckily, I made it back to the stage in time to a) buy Infinityglass and b) get Myra to sign it!
The next panel was Francesa Lia Block who was promoting her new book Love in a Time of Global Warming – a loose retelling of the Odyssey! Other than The Elementals (which I had brought for signing!) I hadn’t read any of her other books, but wow… apparently she is HUGE. I loved hearing her talk about her different characters and her writing. Something that really stuck with me is that when she was younger she was into punk music and how the music made her feel was how she wanted readers to feel about her books. I did gather the courage to tell her that the Selective Collective had reviewed The Elementals – I don’t think she had any idea what I was talking about but she was gracious enough to write “Thanks for reviewing” on my book. ha
Next was a panel I was excited about – Love and Romance (woo woo!) featuring Bridie Clark, Lauren Morrill and Robyn Schneider. They were all SO CUTE! Tera Elan Mcvoy was the moderator, so that made it even more fun.
I really had wanted to stay for the next panel which featured Robin Wasserman (if you haven’t read The Book of Blood and Shadow I highly recommend it!), but I did not… I may love books but it was gameday and I needed to go find my hotel so I could cheer on my Crimson Tide boys!
After a super late night of football and general not being able to sleep, I woke up extra early. Stupid internal alarm clock. About 7am my stomach started growling and I needed coffee. So I walked down to the main area of my hotel for their free breakfast. Let me tell you what they had: some individually wrapped muffins, individual bowls of extra sugary cereal, AND THAT’S IT! No coffee, no juice, no milk… I trudged back to my room and drank some water and ate some Chicken and Waffle flavored chips. I was not a happy girl.
About 10ish I checked out of the hotel and looked up some breakfast places in Decatur. Which brought me to Revolution Donuts… omg if you are ever in Decatur GO THERE! The line was out the door but soooo worth it!
I finally got over to the book festival about 11, but everything started about 12. I walked around, perused some of the stands that were already open.. Making a quick stop to Little Shop of Stories (one of the cutest bookstores I’ve ever been in!) before making my way back to the Teen Stage for the highlight of my trip!
The Fierce Reads panel, featuring Marie Rutkoski, Leigh Bardugo (yaaaayyyyyy), Anna Banks and Gennifer Albin. These ladies were AWESOME. Like seriously, they were all funny and witty and had the whole audience cracking up. Leigh Bardugo even did a Twitter dance, which I’m sure SOMEONE there posted on Twitter.
After standing in line for no joke 30 mins to get Siege and Storm signed, I finally got to meet Leigh Bardugo and introduced myself. We hugged. She gave me a button. We’re now BFFs.
By this time it was starting to get dark and stormy, thunder cracking and lightning streaking across the sky. Cue my exit from Decatur, GA.
I think one of the BEST things about this past weekend was getting to see true fans who were all SO EXCITED about these authors and their books. I stood in line by a few teenagers who were absolute fangirls for not only the authors there but other books and authors. I know that we all fangirl together, but to see these younger kids who were chatting with total strangers about books, series, writing, etc., unworried that it wasn’t “cool” or “hip” to get excited over books, made me so so so so so so so proud to be a part of this book world!
Did any of you go to the Decatur Book Festival? I swear I stood in front of a group of bloggers – but, was too shy to say anything.