On Friday after school, I jumped in the car with my husband, two kids and mother-in-law for a five hour drive. It kind of seemed like the longest drive of my whole life, but that's just because I was SO EXCITED to get there and see everyone.
I had plans to meet up with Kimberly Derting, Sophie Jordan, and Debra Driza that night, but by the time we hit Chicago it was about 10:30. I texted everyone and said I was dead tired and would just see them the next day. But when we checked in and I saw people roaming around in their roaring twenties attire, I got a second wind. Ended up chatting with friends until late late late.
Somehow, I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30 the next morning, despite the fact that I tossed and turned during the few hours I was in bed. The HUMONGOUS group signing didn't start until 11 a.m. but Sophie advised me to show up at 9 to pick up my badge. When I went down to the lobby, there was already a line forming. People brought boxes and bags of books to get signed and were chatting pleasantly while waiting.
I picked up my badge (with a flower to signify I was a published author, whooooo!) and then met up with my family to grab some breakfast from the hotel restaurant. I'm so thankful I managed to eat some eggs because it would be manymany hours before I'd get to eat again. We ran into Zoraida Cordova, who was sporting a cuter than cute mermaid t-shirt, and Cole Gibsen, who's just about the most adorable person I've ever met. Apocalypsies for the win!
The HUMONGOUS group signing was insane. I was sitting between Leanna Renee Hieber (who was rocking an amazing coffin necklace) and Alyxandra Harvey, who kept laughing at me because I had to pee about an hour into the three hour event and kept angsting about whether I should leave my table or not. Seriously, she will remember me as the author who had to pee.
I met tons of awesome bloggers and readers. I'm sorry I can't remember everyone's names. I should have taken some pictures, but it totally slipped my mind. Luckily, Nori over at Nori's closet took this picture of me:
After the signing, I had a bit of time to go back to my room to grab a water and handful of chips before I went to the speed reading session. Sarah Rees Brennan moderated and was hilarious, saying "beep beep beep" whenever an author went over her allotted three minutes. Cynthia Hand, Saundra Mitchell, Veronica Roth, Brodi Ashton, Bree Despain, Stephanie Perkins, and a ton of other authors read aloud from their latest books. I'm totally scared of public speaking, but there was this woman in the audience who looked SO MUCH like Megan Miranda, and she kept nodding reassuringly, so I just focused on her. I think I did okay because several teens came up to me later and said that my book sounded cool. Either that, or they were just being nice. Probably that.
Later on, we all headed to the ballroom for the Teen Day party. Everyone got a backpack full of books, and people circulated, getting author signatures. There was also this fun scavenger hunt thing where people had to hunt down authors and ask them questions. My question was whether I listen to music when I write. Answer: yes, I do. A girl asked what I listen to, and I said music from the nineties, like the Smashing Pumpkins, and that seemed acceptable to her.
Finally, the day was over, and some of us went to the sushi place for dinner, though I don't think anyone actually ordered sushi. I sat with Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Bree Despain, and Mary Lindsey. We talked horror movies and all agreed that the Buffy episode "Hush" is brilliantly terrifying.
And then, my friends, I crashed.
It was an amazing weekend. Practically perfect in every way.
Above: my view at the HUMONGOUS book signing