The festival today was something that I’d dreamed of doing. I’d attended this for several years, always as an audience member. But being a participant, you get the magic badge that allows you into other panels without a ticket, to sit in the special section. And you can bring a guest. So my husband and I got to see Anne Rice and listen to her talk about her writing. I’ll blog more about that on the League of Extraordinary Writers this week.
Then the green room is where the authors get to mingle before they go on. This was sort of like heaven if you’re a writer. It was a large ballroom, with a constant buffet. At various tables are your favorite authors, some very famous, some not so famous but they might be your friends. Anne Rice was at the next table to ours and I got to say hi to John Scalzi and thank him for posting my Big Idea blog on his wonderful site.
Then our panel was held on the YA stage. I was concerned there might be a small group since it was the last panel on that stage, near closing time. But in fact, we had an amazing turnout filling the chairs and then standing behind or spilling over to the sides and on the grass. It would have been perfect except for a breeze that kicked up, tossing our hair but also rocking our high director’s chairs. The sun disappeared and it turned suddenly cold, but the questions were lively and we all had a great time. The signing after was a dream, with an amazing line of wonderful readers. I signed for over an hour, really enjoying talking to people who had heard about the book from a friend, or seen the trailer before the Hunger Games, or just liked the talk. Some had already read the book, and that’s a thrill to talk to them.
Everyone at the LA Times, from the staff to the volunteers, really worked hard to make this a big success. I applaud them and you, the readers!