On Saturday morning, I popped on over to Houston Teen Book Con. Ugly traffic and poor planning made me late, but I made it just in time to grab my free ARC (woohoo!), find a writer-friend, and watch the author introductions and Deb Caletti's awesome keynote address.
It was so great just be around that many teen readers. Yes I'm surrounded by teenagers five days a week, all of whom are forced to read, but this was different. My heart warmed at the collective sighs as Deb Caletti described her love of books. The cheers and applause for authors and their books, as if they were rock stars, thrilled me. Somehow, watching awkward teens milling about, clutching books to their chests, inspired more hope for humanity than my daily view of teenage swagger.
I attended the panel titled, "Where there be ghosts...and werewolves, and everything else!" Rachel Hawkins, Saundra Mitchell, Stacey Kade, Joy Preble, and Andrea Cremer were funny, insightful, and incredibly open and honest in answering questions. Saundra Mitchell discussed how paranormal creatures in fiction reflect the attitudes and general consciousness of the writer's society. All the authors spoke candidly when asked, "What YA book do you wish you had read as a teen?" The panel was great and over entirely too quickly.
Unfortunately I couldn't stay for any more panels or for the signings afterward. But the Teen Book Con was a blast for the short time I was there. If you ever have a chance to attend something like this, I highly recommend it.
P.S. I tried taking pictures with my phone, but they didn't come out well, so I'll spare everyone pics of blurry authors.