Where do I even begin?!
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is a sprawling, two-day event showcasing every type of book you can imagine. Thousands of people go, but as an attendee, you sort of need to map out your day because there’s no way to see everything. There are stages with interviews, music, cooking, painting, dancing, puppets, booths with authors signing and selling merch – yeah, kinda overwhelming, but totally fun.
Here is just a sampling:
- Just before my book signing began, Billy Idol took to the nearby stage to promote his memoir. He was interviewed by a female moderator and after years in the spotlight, he knew how to be engaging. There were at least 500 people surrounding his stage, many of them young enough to be his grandkids. Before he left, he pulled out a guitar and sang “Rebel Yell.” It was cool.
- Obviously, I did not attract as many people to my area as Billy Idol. He wasn’t the only celebrity author on hand. Lavar Burton and Octavia Spencer also drew good crowds. I may need to work on upping my celebrity quotient before I go next year ;P
- My librarian friend Amy went with me to the festival and we totally fangirled David Levithan and Sarah Dessen. We were shocked that neither of these incredible authors had lines, but we were happy to take advantage of the lull. I got to talk to Dessen about the Carolinas (she lives there, I love visiting) and Amy chatted with Levithan about what his books mean to her and her high school readers. Time well spent for both of us.
- The Jane Austen Society was there in vintage clothing, showcasing the many books that have built on characters first introduced two hundred years ago. Amy was in heaven 🙂
It was fun being at the SCBWI booth with other authors and as always, I enjoyed being able to talk to the kids that came by, parents too. And just in case there was any doubt, kids definitely liked the new cover. Win!
I can’t wait to do it again next year!