Yes, I know I’m terrible at this. I really should have been posting this a week ago, but oh well.  Better late than never, right???

So since we go there a bit late we missed Maggie Stiefvater’s opening remarks, though I have to say, I just finished reading Shiver and I loved it!  So instead we hit some of the swag tables (which you already saw my haul from) and then headed up to the INTO HEARTS OF DARKNESS panel that included Holly Black, Jon Skovron, Mari Mancusi, Robin Wasserman, April Genevieve Tucholki, and Victoria Scott as the moderator.  First off, let me say that since Holly and Robin were the only two whose books I’d read beforehand I was a little geeked out that the two of them are writing buddies and friends outside of the Festival universe 😛  (It’s like when a beloved TV show ends and one of the actors lands on a new show, and then brings on one of their old castmates for a cameo.  LOVE. IT.) Also, sorry if my pictures aren’t that great.  I was decently far back in this one…


Left to right: Victoria Scott, Mari Mancusi, April Genevieve Tucholki, Jon Skovron, Robin Wasserman, Holly Black

It’s always interesting to listen to authors talk about how they came up with their story ideas (at least it is to me, since I find mine come from the most RANDOM places…).  Like that Robin Wasserman wanted to have a town where everyone goes crazy, but imagine you’re trapped inside…  Or that Holly Black has had a life-long obsession with vampires, and a mother that used to warn her not to astral project as a child (no wonder she comes up with such random, but amazing stuff!)   Also love finding out things like that Mari Mancusi is a Texas girl (woohoo!)  And I know the purpose of these things for the authors is to convince people to buy there books, but MAN they are effective!  I haven’t picked up any of these author’s books yet, but that was more about $$ constraints than about desire.  Definitely added them to my list!

Also, at the end, they played Truth or Dare.  Here’s a shot of Holly following through on her dare to steal the devil horns from someone…

IMAG2165Okay, so the next stop for us was the Fierce Reads vs. Dark Days panel.  My friend tried to convince me to sit on the Fierce Reads side, but I’m sorry!  I had to sit on the Snarkles side!  I don’t care if we were team Slytherin!

IMAG2168Do you see him there on the table with his little mustache??? So cute!

AND, I have to say it, this was probably the highlight of my whole freaking day!!!

IMAG2169EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I got to meet BOTH Margot AND Aubrey!!!! Seriously, I watch Tea Time every freaking week!  In fact, I’m kind of just writing this while I wait for Tea Time to start.  Yes, I’m a nerd, I know.  But I’m okay with that!

So this was just a fun little panel where they two groups of authors competed against each other in Newlywed-type games (go marmosets!) to a Taboo-like game with pictures (who doesn’t know Alan Rickman???) Anway, I think at the end Fierce Reads traded us 15 of their points for half of our Purple score so that they could be lilac…don’t ask, but it was fun!

Team Fierce Reads: Leila Sales, Alexandra Coutts, S.A. Bodeen, Marissa Meyer

Team Fierce Reads: Leila Sales, Alexandra Coutts, S.A. Bodeen, Marissa Meyer

Team Dark Days: Michelle Gagnon, Sherry, Thomas, Mindy McGinnis, Madeleine Roux, Rae Carson

Team Dark Days: Michelle Gagnon, Sherry, Thomas, Mindy McGinnis, Madeleine Roux, Rae Carson

And then afterwards I jumped in to take one of the crowd signs they were giving away and got it signed by our beloved Tea Time girls and ALL of the authors! (Well, except Sherry Thomas, who I somehow missed, but I did run into her in the bathroom later if that counts for anything!)

IMG_3732So then at lunch we got to hear Sarah Dessen and Rob Thomas (no, not the Matchbox 20 Rob Thomas, the Veronica Mars one!).  They were both really interesting to hear.  Now I’d always heard about Veronica Mars, heck even my dad’s suggested it a few times, but it was just one of those things that I never got around to watching.  So I made sure to rent at least the first disc from Netflix before going to the Festival and of course I loved it.  PLUS Rob used to write for Dawson’s Creek which yes, being the nerd that I am, I have to say that I do own almost all the seasons of that show on DVD.  But I digress…  I also have to say that I wasn’t expecting to come away having a desire to buy anything of Sarah Dessen’s, she’s just not really my style, but after hearing her talk about Dreamland I say I’m in!


Next we skipped the TALES OF TOMORROW panel so that I could actually hear the DARK DAYS panel talk about their books.

IMAG2178So there is not a book on this panel that I’m not excited to read!  Asylum has a gorgeous cover and Madeleine was awesome and creepy (on purpose 😛 ).  The idea of trapping your characters in an abandoned asylum is always great!  Sherry Thomas was funny (and helped create a story about zombie cats during the FR vs DD panel).  Also, she apparently buys her story ideas wholesale at Costco!  (She actually did get the idea for her book while walking across a Costco parking lot.  “The day I was born, stars fell…”  How cool of a line is that?!?)  Then there’s Mindy McGinnis (whose book I did buy), who also had to remind the audience that while the panel was goofy and funny her book (about a post-apocalyptic female sniper) is not.  She also said that once she got her first line correct, it never changed, no matter how much else did in the later drafts: “Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond…”  Michelle Gagnon was entertaining and her books look awesome.  And Rae Carson convinced me to read her stuff with 3 words: Magic Naval Bling.  (Sherry Thosmas’s were cross-dressing Harry Potter, which got me, too…)  Plus Amy Tintera was there as a moderator, and I’ve been waiting to get Reboot for a while so I picked that up, too! (Oh, and Madeline as the coolest fashion sense!)

IMAG2181Next it was on to the FIERCE READS panel!!

IMAG2183This one was fun because at least I’d read books from 2 of the authors.  I’d just finished Cinder (which was awesome, and I got it signed for a friend) and The Compound (which was creepy and scary…you don’t even want to imagine what’s behind that yellow door!)  I thought it was really cool that Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life) gave away a free mixed CD to someone, and that when asked what her protagonist would think of her she answered that her protagonist would probably just think she was a random adult, but would probably find it strange how similar their tastes in music are 😛  Also, Tumble & Fall looks really interesting because I love the idea of what do you do when you think you might only have hours until the world ends?  All in all, great panel!

IMAG2184Last panel we hit was POWERS STRANGE AND PERILOUS, and I won’t lie, for me that one was mostly because Rosemary was going to be there and I absolutely love her!

So LOTS of people in this one... On the left, husband and wife team Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston.  Then Linda Williams Chima, Maggie Stiefvater, Robin LaFevers, Lisa McMann, and of course, Rosemary Clemet-Moore!

So LOTS of people in this one… On the left, husband and wife team Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston. Then Linda Williams Chima, Maggie Stiefvater, Robin LaFevers, Lisa McMann, and of course, Rosemary Clemet-Moore!

This group was funny and great as well, though I can say by the last panel of the day, I think the audience was getting tired of the audience questions like “Which part is the hardest for you to write?” and “Where do you get your ideas from?”  Dude, those have been asked in every stinking panel so far.  If you don’t have your answer yet, you never will…

That said, my friend actually did come up with an interesting question for them.  She asked what their feelings were on fan fiction, which could go either way with a set of authors.  The general consensus seemed to be though that as long as you weren’t stealing from the author outright, fanfic is great and gives a lot of authors a good place to start!

Also, I haven’t read a lot of these authors (other than Rosemary!) but my friend has read a lot of Robin LaFevers and talks about it all the time so I’m definitely down to check that out.  Oooh, and Raven Boys looks pretty awesome, too!

AAAAAAAAND then there was the final closing with Holly Black!

IMAG2186Who of course was awesome!  And apparently had a creepy childhood growing up…  Also, I would like to say that the super old copy of Interview With A Vampire that she read as a child was the same one that I have!

interview vampire 1977 back cover


And then that was it!  Well, besides the book signings which were awesome!!!  I brought a small suitcase full of books to get signed, so between those and the new ones I picked up, I probably got about 15 or so signed?  5 of which were by Robin Wasserman alone!


And 4 by Miss Holly Black!

IMAG2187Both of whom were super nice, and I also got Rosemary to agree to come back to my teen writing group next year (especially since I’m about to be in charge of it!!!)

So…that’s about it, kids!  If you want a full list of the authors, check out Austin Teen Book Festival’s website, because they still have everything up, including the book covers!  Anway, Tea Time is on and I gotta go!  See you alter and keep reading!!!