Thursday, September 10, 2009

Decatur Book Festival & Old Teasers

So in honor of my Ballad Thursday post, I thought I would cheat slightly and link to all of the teasers I did for Lament, right before it came out. Do you guys remember that? There are several hundred more of you on ye olde f-liste since then, so I'll 'splain: I illustrated key scenes from Lament as teasers, but to keep from being spoilery, I replaced all the characters with animals. I included this one here because it has James in it, who of course narrates Ballad. Anyway, here are the Lament teasers. I like the one with Eleanor the crocodile, personally.

Okay, so, this weekend I was in Atlanta for both Dragon*Con & Decatur Book Festival. I was sharing a hotel room with Jackie Dolamore and hanging out with Jackson Pearce, an Atlanta native. And this is what happened.

4:00 a.m. "Wake" up. Drive to airport. Daydream about FOREVER most of the trip. (I mean FOREVER the book, not forever as in how long it's taking me to write it)
6:00 a.m. Go through security. Get stopped for random security check. Get patted down.
6:03 a.m. Realize I've left my cell phone in the car. Contemplate living without it.
6:15 a.m. Get my cell phone.
6:25 a.m. Go back through security. Get stopped for a random laptop check. Tell the security personnel: "This is no longer random. It's personal."
7:00 a.m. Fly.
9:00 a.m. Atlanta. Wait for Jackie's flight to come in. Sketch a man who is staring at his hand with a magnifying glass. What is he looking at? I have no idea. Just that it was really small.

10:00 a.m. Sketch the terminal while listening to the conversation next to me.
Man 1: I think Marilyn has pawned her wedding ring and the diamond earrings I got her. All the stuff that was meaningful.
Man 2: That's a crying shame. How do you know?
Man 1: I went through her stuff while she was out.
Man 2: Clever of you. Not worth very much though, pawning stuff.
Man 1: I know. Such a waste. Marilyn always did just think of short term benefits. It's probably cash for her affair.
Man 2: She's having an affair!? How do you know?!
Man 1: Because she pawned her rings and diamond earrings, weren't you listening?

Noon: Jackie and Jackson Pearce! Whoo! We proceed to get lost in Atlanta because people have cleverly named every street 'Peachtree.' I was informed by at least 8 Atlanteans that this was because Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground and they had to rebuild everything, so it's not quite right yet. I was a British history major, not American, but would I be wrong in assuming that Sherman did said deed 140 years ago? Which makes Atlanta the Capital of Procrastination.

1:30: Head to my first event for the Decatur Book Festival, a talk for 150 teens. Met Terra Elan McVoy, author of PURE, who was helping to coordinate the madness of DBF. (Also insert random shout out to Joe here! Not that you read the blog, but if you did, thanks for helping organize!)

3:30: Successfully avoid swearing during library talk.

Then I spent the rest of the day frolicking with Jackson, Jackie, and Jessica Burkhart ( )(author of one million Canterwood Crest novels), who I snagged at The Little Shop of Stories. We went to The Real Chow Baby, a make it yourself stir fry restaurant, which Jackson thought would be good for me, as I'm allergic to preservatives.
Manager: Welcome to The Real Chow Baby, where everything is real and natural and fresh!
Me: Great! Can I eat this?
Manager: I wouldn't.
Me: This?
Manager: Not unless you want to die in a twitching pool of drool.
Me: Is anything indeed real and natural and fresh here?
Manager: The brown rice. Also, the bean sprouts. Possibly parts of the broccoli.

I am not making this up.

However, the evening was salvaged as Jackson took us to a comedy club. Which made me laugh until my face hurt. So, a successful day.

Saturday (there are no hours listed on Saturday or Sunday as I lost all sense of time)

All of Saturday was spent in search of preservative free food, a search that did not culminate in actual food until 8 p.m. I supplemented my natural energy with caffeine, however, because safe tea is easy to find, which means that I basically jittered and rattled through this entire day. I'm sure it was exciting to watch.

This was the day of the massive Vampire vs. Werewolves Smackdown with Richelle Mead ( ). I was feeling bad about this, both because we are friendly online and also because neither of us really write traditional vamps or weres, so I was hoping there would not be actual smacking down. The crowd was packed into the room and quite rowdy. I think that Richelle and I were probably too nice to each other (my only subversive act was to hold up index cards with things like 'pulse' written on them while Richelle was speaking), but it was huge fun anyway. I'm not sure there was a clear winner.

Plus afterward we signed books for an hour and I got to meet a ton of book bloggers, which was nice to put faces to the names. I also got author swag in the form of a DBF shirt (I loved DBF, by the way, it was SO well put together).

I then drank my 18th tea of the day while shooting the breeze with Editor Mixtape (David Levithan) and Aimee Friedman (author of SEA CHANGE). After a brief sojourn at an author VIP party (meeting more people, like Ally Carter -- I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU -- ) Jackson, Jackie, and I stole David to play spot-the-hooker on the streets of Atlanta and grab a preservative free taco from Chipotle before my DragonCon faerie panel at 8:30 p.m.

Yes, p.m.

DragonCon = insane. DragonCon people = insane people. Every hotel and street in Atlanta was packed with people in costume. I saw someone dressed as Ursula from the Little Mermaid. And also a man who was dressed only in a speedo with the superman logo on it. Unless you count a few gallons of body oil as apparel, in which case, he was practically covered up. Anyway, the high point of the fairy panel was meeting Steve Berman, who was a DragonCon person (read = insane person) but entertaining anyway.

I had only a signing at DragonCon on Sunday, and spent the rest of the day in pursuit of a biscuit. Which I eventually got. Because I'm a big believer in following your goals.

I just realized that there were millions more people I met up with at DragonCon that I should've linked to, but I have totally run out of steam. I've already emailed most of you guys anyway.

I will leave you with a random cartoon Tessa did of Sam as a womb. Just because.
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