This is the second year a row that I’ve had the change to attend the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving, TX, which is a small suburb of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I enjoy the DFW area every time I visit. The past two years I’ve managed to find a hotel mere minutes away from where the convention is actually held, which makes me happy. 🙂
This year, the festival had over 80 (!!!) MG and YA authors, and I was overjoyed to see that many authors I admired would be there! Another great thing about the festival this year is that they had publishing houses there, so that means Epic Reads, Fierce Reads, and Penguin’s First in Line was also there. It was such a fun experience, and I felt like a true book blogger because I managed to snag some ARCs from the tables. 🙂
I set out with a set schedule of panels and other events to attend, but that went kind of haywire. Last year, the festival catered to over 6,000 people but this year, they nearly double that number with over 10,000 people! 😮 I’m so thankful something that huge is just a few hours’ drive away!
First, the festival stared at 8 AM and book sales started then, too! Barnes and Noble was the book partner this year, and they did an amazing thing by having ALL of their stock signed! I bought a few books. It was certainly a madhouse! (But very organized.)
They gave everyone these cute stickers. I wish I had more.
I grabbed signed copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, an early copy of Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (released on March 21), American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. After buying the books, we received a wristband and it was our “ticket” to stand in line for author signings, and helped balance the books we brought from home.
Then at 9 AM, I attended the Fierce Reads breakfast. It was a windy and chilly day but there was coffee, waffles, and delicious pastries. Nina would have totally approved. 😉
While we sipped our coffee and enjoyed the view…
There were also authors there to talk about their books! But I was especially excited for Maurene Goo, as they were giving away copies of her upcoming book I Believe in a Thing Called Love which she signed for me! ❤
lol Some of things pics came straight from my IG story. 😉
Then I attended my first panel at 10 AM called “New Kids on the Shelf.” I was very excited to attend this panel. As a budding writer, I thought it would be great to hear from debut authors as they talk about their experience.
From left to right: Samantha Mabry, author of A Fierce and Subtle Poison; Natalie C. Anderson, author of A City of Saints and Thieves; Kate Hart, author of After the Fall, Lilliam River, author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; and Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street.
They each read the first paragraph of their book. They all sound amazing! I’m putting them all on my TBR!
Afterward I stood in line at a booth and received an ARC of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh! Behold!
While admiring the ARC, I was a little late to the next panel, “Flights of Fantasy” with Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen series), Ryan Graudin (Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood), Heidi Heilig (The Girl from Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time), Claire Legrand (Foxheart), Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts saga), and Amy Tintera (Ruined series).
I absolutely love when the audience asks questions, and definitely felt inspired after many of the authors encouraged us to take breaks during the writing process and to do other things we love in order not to get burnt out. Good and sound advice. 🙂
The last panel I attended was “Do You Ship This Fandom?” I love how we can all fangirl over something. (Very certain the whole audience screamed in delight when the moderator, Sarah Enni, said she was excited for the Ronan trilogy).
When it came time for the audience to ask questions, the ever present, “Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?” came up and my favorite answer was from Maggie, who is very “Team Volvo.” Indeed.
Afterwards, BFF and I had lunch and then explored the books again. Then we decided to stand in line for author signings two hours early. After the craziness that was the previous year’s festival, I was glad to see organized the signing line was. But that didn’t deter the people at all, lol.
I went to Maggie’s line first. 🙂
Then OMG, it was time, and OMG, I fangirled. (But not as much as this other girl who was crying afterwards. Her heart was so full, and it made me happy. ❤ )
Can I be Maggie when I grow up? She’s one of the nicest people I’ve met. I say that about most authors, because it’s true. They’re all so nice!
Because lines were getting so long, the BFF and I had to split up. She went to Marie Lu’s line and I slid over to Nicola Yoon’s.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Why didn’t you take any pictures with them?” I wanted to, really I did, but due to the amount of people, pictures were incredibly restricted and eventually weren’t allowed at all due to the number of people who wanted their books sighed. I figured I could sacrifice a couple seconds of my time if it meant others could have their books signed. 🙂
Afterward. BFF and I celebrated with fries and milkshakes. So delicious!
Well, thanks for sticking to the very end! I’m incredibly excited to see what next year will hold for the NTTBF. Just a few days ago, they released the 2018 date which is April 21! I’m already planning. It’s so close to my wedding anniversary, I’m making this a gift to myself! 😛