Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: Texas Teen Book Festival 2014.

Texas Teen Book Festival 2014.



So last year, my sister and I made the drive down to Austin to go meet some of our favorite authors at the Austin Teen Book Festival, but mainly it was me because I read a lot, and my sister barely does, but I digress. We had so much fun last year, that we decided to drive five hours to do it all over again (now called the Texas Teen Book Festival). 

This year was a completely different experience. It was held at St. Edwards University, which has an absolutely beautiful campus, albeit confusing. They had a map telling us where to park for the festival, and we ended up parking in the wrong spot because 1) I don't know how to read maps, and 2) it was just all so confusing. I panicked, and I parked where I found a spot. I didn't get a ticket, so I guess it was all good. I guess it's impossible for us to go to the festival without getting lost, because we got lost last year too. Oops!

We were overall confused by the setup of everything, so we just sat down in the gym where most of the days' activities were being held, including the announcements. (Before I go on, I want to point out that their gym was carpeted. I don't understand why. Is there such thing as temporary carpeting? I don't know, but I just found it strange that their basketball gym was covered with a carpet. Moving on...) During said announcements, the authors walked across the stage and someone read an interesting fact about them. It was a lot of fun to see all of the authors' personalities. I hadn't read books by most of them, but I started adoring them after seeing them throughout the day.

The first activity was the Texas Throwdown Game Show. A girl named Sarah moderated, and she was so adorable and hilarious. It was three against three - Paolo Bacigalupi, Frank Portman, and Simmone Howell versus Marie Lu, Jason Reynolds, and Joelle Charbonneau. They did lots of fun tasks like karaoke (I'm still obsessed with the song Frank Portman sang inspired by his book, King Dork. The song was called "Cinthya with a Y," and now that I've typed that, it's going to be in my head for the rest of the day), chubby bunny (everyone's favorite game, and Jason came out victorious), and a talent portion (Marie Lu won with her drawing of a chubby bunny). Just overall fun times. 

Frank Portman singing my new favorite jam, "Cinthya with a Y"


A very important thing I need to mention is that I got to meet a fellow blogger at TTBF! I met Brenda from The Daily Mayo, and we took it upon ourselves to pose with this not-so-artsy sign because we like big books, and we cannot lie.



Next, was the first panel. Sister and I attended the "Come On Feel the Noise" panel, which I loved because it was filled with authors who had big music influences in their books. I read two of the books from this panel - If I Stay by Gayle Forman and The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos - but now I really can't wait to read the other two - King Dork by Frank Portman and Exile by Kevin Emerson. 



After the panel, we stood in line for an hour and a half to buy books. I kid you not. I don't know what they did differently last year, but when we bought books, it took a max of 20 minutes. This year, it was absolutely ridiculous, and what made it worse was that we were outside, so we stood in the blazing sun for an hour and a half just to buy books, and we missed the panel we wanted to go to. I hope they work on that for next year, because it was seriously awful. I'm glad I was able to buy the books though, because a couple of the authors left before I got them to sign a book for me, but I bought a couple books that were pre-signed. 

I also had a fun moment in line with Frank Portman, who is probably my new favorite person. After he left, I realized I should've asked for a picture, but I let the moment pass, and I'm sad. He retweeted me, and when I mentioned it to him, he thanked me, and he was just so humbled by the fact that I did that, and it really just made me happy. He seems like a nice guy, that one. And he writes catchy songs for his books, which gets him an A+ in my book (not that I have a book...yet). 

After waiting an hour and a half to buy books (only putting emphasis on that because I'm still upset that we missed meeting a few authors and some panels), we went back to the gym for all the keynote speeches/special talks. First was James Dashner, who is just as dashing as one would imagine. He really inspired me because he talked about his journey as far as writing goes. He shared how his first novel went from selling dozens of copies to getting The Maze Runner published. He also shared some fun bits about his family and how he gets to hug Dylan O'Brien. #jealous

Yes, those are pictures of James Dashner in high school, and no, I can't ever look at him the same again.


What I was most looking forward to was Scott Westerfeld's Special Talk. I've been reading his books since middle school. My favorite series are The Uglies series (obvs) and The Midnighters series. I got him to sign the first book in both series, because I'm just a tad bit excessive like that. Anyway, during his special talk, he talked about his writing journey, where he comes up with ideas, the importance of having a writing group, and he shared tidbits about Uglies and his new book, Afterworlds, that I really really really want to read, because it sounds incredible. 

The only decent picture I got of him during his speech. I really need to invest in a decent camera. 


The last panel of the day was the "From Shelf to Screen" panel, which was incredible. It was so interesting to hear the process of getting a book to the big/small screen. Books discussed in this panel were The Maze Runner by James Dashner, If I Stay by Gayle Foreman, and The 100  by Kass Morgan. It was moderated by Ransom Riggs, whose novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, will eventually become a movie. Ransom reminded me of Matthew Gray Gubler. I couldn't get the picture out of my head. They don't look like twins in pictures, but in real life, Ransom really looks like Matthew. It's uncanny. He even has some of the same mannerisms.



The closing speaker was Lauren Oliver, who is just absolutely adorable. She also talked about her journey to becoming a published author, and of course, her words were very inspiring to me as well.



The last part of the day was book signings! There were other signings held throughout the day, but I couldn't get to any of them because I was either 1) in a panel, 2) hearing a speaker, or 3) waiting in line for an hour and a half to buy books, which makes me so mad, because I really missed out on meeting some authors that I really wanted to meet. I didn't get to get books signed by James Dashner and Gayle Forman, even though I specifically bought books before the festival for them to sign. Arghhhh! 

I did get to meet Scott Westerfeld, which I'm thrilled about. He was my main reason for wanting to go to the festival. I have to admit, that I was so awkward, and when I told him that I had been reading his books since middle school, he said that I made him feel old. My bad. I'm happy that he was willing to sign two books for me though.

Like a kid in a candy store. Biggest. Smile. Ever.


I also met Lauren Oliver, who was super nice. We weren't supposed to take pictures at this point because the festival was ending, and all the authors were trying to get through their lines. Hence, this monstrosity. Eek!



I got to chat with Frank Portman in the line, as mentioned above, but I didn't get him to personalize my book. Luckily, I bought a signed copy. I also got my book signed by Kass Morgan, who is just so sweet. I finished reading The 100 before the festival, and I'm excited to read the second book in the series and watch the TV show as well. 



I met many of the other authors as well, and got them to sign my poster since I couldn't afford to buy everyone's books. I have a lot of books on my TBR list though. 

I was excited to meet Julie Murphy, because she was at the festival last year, but her book wasn't out yet. I can't wait to read Side Effects May Vary. I have a feeling I'm going to love it.

These are all of my signed books. They're so pretty!


I have to say that I had a better time at the book festival last year because it seemed like everything was more organized. Everything was in one place. There was no need to go outside for anything. I was able to attend almost every panel (this year, you could only choose two panels to go to aside from the "From Shelf to Screen" panel, because that was held by itself. The others were held three at the same time and only once each.). I also didn't have to wait so long to buy books last year (last time I'm mentioning it; promise). 

All that said, I still had a fun time at the book festival this year. I loved meeting the authors, meeting a fellow blogger, and getting lots of advice from authors that I really admire. Plus, I got tons of compliments on both my hair and my deathly hallows tattoo, which was really nice and unexpected. If there are awesome authors coming next year, I may find myself going for a third year.

Have you ever been to a book festival? What authors would you like to meet? 

36 comments :

  1. How cool!!! I haven't been to a book festival before but it looks amazing!

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  2. I have never been to a book signing but how cool with all those authors in one place! I may want to meet Jodi Picoult... She is pretty awesome seeming.

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  3. Of course, I love it when my songs get stuck in people's heads. Thanks again Tiffyany.

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  4. I really want to go to this next year! But yes, as a St. Ed's alumna I can tell you, the campus layout is just confusing. :)

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  5. Sound like a great event. They might have laid down temp carpet. We have a stadium in Michigan that is used for basketball games and other event. That they also are change the floor up.

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  6. Ah! Next time you're in ATX, give me a call! We should grab lunch!

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  7. It's now on my bucket list to go to a book festival. It looks like so much fun, and all of those books are so good! :)

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  8. OMG!! This is so cool!!! How did I not know about this? *cries in corner* I LOVE the Uglies series!! Thank you for sharing :)

    http://neatly-packaged.com/

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  9. I LOVE that poster!! Hilarious. Glad you had a good time, even if it wasn't as good as last year x

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  10. Besides waiting in line for an hour and a half, sounds like it was a great time. I'm so sad I wasn't able to go but hopefully I'll be able to go next year.

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  11. Oh my god. Sign me up. I'm going next year.

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  12. Surprisingly (and considering how much I love books), I've never been to a book festival! It sounds right up my alley though. :) I hope the organizers iron out the wrinkles before next year's, but it seem like y'all still had an awesome time!

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  13. This sounds so rad! I've never heard of any book festivals in my area but I'm definitely going to be keeping my eye out. The inner book nerd in me is drooling.

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  14. These are my new favorite events to attend! It's so fun, and you're surrounded by people who love books as much as you do!

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  15. My first was last year. I didn't even know it was a thing! But now that I do, I'm hooked.

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  16. I'm really sad that you couldn't go! I think you would have loved it, but I'm sure it'll be bigger and better next year!

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  17. Right?! A group of kids had shirts that said it too. I wanted one!

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  18. You're welcome! I think Scott Westerfeld may still be on tour for his new book. You ought to check out his site, and see if he'll be in your area anytime soon! The Uglies is my favorite! I love it so much and want to reread it ASAP.

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  19. It's definitely bucket list worthy!

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  20. Yes! I didn't know you were in ATX or I definitely would have tried to meet up. Next time, for sure. It's only about five hours from me.

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  21. I didn't know temporary carpets were a thing, but that definitely makes sense! I was just so confused, but now that makes sense.

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  22. You're an alum?! That's awesome. It's so beautiful, but I definitely got lost haha. You should definitely make plans to attend next year! They're also have the Texas Book Festival this year (might be next month?). I would love to go, but don't know if I could afford another drive down there so soon.

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  23. FRANK! You're my new favorite person. It's officially official. I don't think I can ever forget that awesome song of yours. Thanks for stopping to talk with me in line. It was one the most memorable parts of the festival and the first thing I tell my friends when they ask about it.

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  24. It was definitely a learning experience with the authors having so much advice for wanna authors, and it was amazing to meet some of my favorite authors. I would love to meet Jodi Picoult too! She's on tour now, but I don't think she's coming anywhere near me, unfortunately.

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  25. It's definitely an amazing experience. I hope you get to go to one someday!

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  26. This is so awesome! I've heard of Scott Westerfield's books before a long time ago, but I couldn't remember the title or the author - thanks for reminding me of it =) Looks like you had a blast & hey, Brenda!!! =)

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  27. That looks like so much fun! I used to go to book shows with my Granddad when I was little. I would love to be able to do that now that I'm into books more. :-)

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  28. Scott Westerfeld is amazing! The only book I didn't love by him was Peeps, but I never actually finished the book. Oops! You should definitely read the Uglies and Midnighters series though and his new book Afterworlds.

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  29. It was a blast! You should definitely plan to attend a book festival again soon!

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  30. I've never been to a book festival but I'd love to go one. J.K. Rowling is one author that I'd just about die to meet, but it seems like kind of a stretch. :(

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  31. JK Rowling is definitely #1 on my list!

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  32. So cool you were able to take photos with so many authors! If only my daughter didn't have to go to birthday parties. :-) It was super fun getting to meet you in person!

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  33. Hi there, Miss Addie! I get around. :-)

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  34. That's awesome that you went there! I tried to convince my sister to apply (she's a senior in high school), but I'm not sure she was convinced. :-)

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  35. I'm so glad we got to meet up! I'm sad that I didn't get to meet James Dashner and Gayle Foreman, but it is what it is. It was awesome to discover lots of other great book though!

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