I’m back from my weekend jaunt to Ithaca for Teen Authorfest (with a detour in Buffalo, NY). It was the first-ever Teen Authorfest at Tompkins County Public Library and the folks there did a great job of putting it all together and making the authors feel welcome. When I got to my hotel room I found a welcome bag with local wine and chocolate (score!) plus other great stuff, including an awesome cookbook the library put together.
The library’s huge and beautiful, housed in a building that was once a five and dime. Only in Ithaca would commerce give way to information, right?
I spoke first, sharing a Prezi about my journey to publication, along with some of my favorite YA books from the 70s and 80s. Then Madeleine George spoke about her obsession with Harriet the Spy and the qualities it takes to be a writer. (Sadly, I didn’t get a picture!)
At lunch, we were treated to the funk-rock stylings of local band Bümph.
I was sad to hear this was Bümph’s last performance. They really killed “Watching the Detectives” and “Rappers Delight.” During lunch we ate pizza and the locally made Purity ice cream (chocolate swirl with PB cups). Then Shawn Goodman got up and talked about how good writers always look beyond the “official story.”
Finally, Jay Asher showed us a PowerPoint that traced the genesis of Thirteen Reasons Why (he showed us some fun international covers) and shared his and Carolyn Mackler’s process for co-writing The Future of Us.
It was an enthusiastic crowd and I loved meeting everyone. Can I just say it was a little surreal signing a book for Jay Asher? ‘Cause, yeah, it was. Here’s the author posse, minus Madeleine. She’s not a vampire, I swear.
In all, a fantastic experience.