So, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, or if you live near me/work with me/follow me on any sort of social media, you know that I’ve been obsessing over the Tucson Festival of Books for months now. This is one of my favorite things about living in Arizona, and it’s the spring equivalent of Christmas for me. Last year, I had a great time going to panels from authors who couldn’t wait to share their insight on the publishing world, pass me their cards, and dole out great advice for a rising YA author! This year, I got to experience the festival on a whole new level, and it was an amazing experience.
First of all, I probably earned the step equivalent of a day at Disneyland on my FitBit, and I’m not mad. This is the 3rd largest book festival in the nation, and it takes up a large part of the square-mile campus at the University of Arizona. Booths on booths on booths. Booths everywhere. For day one, I spent a couple of hours in the Young Adult Pavilion, and I had the best time connecting with readers old and new! I ran into a lot of great friends of mine and was happy to have my family there. It was also a treat getting to say hello to fans I met at Sunnyside High School in February, along with the coolest kid ever named Kayden who I met at Barnes and Noble in December. What an awesome feeling it was to hear him talk about how much he loved the book, how much he loves Pietro, and how much he can’t wait for the sequel!
But of course, I always love experiencing the festival as an attendee as well. I love the smells of paperbacks, kettle corn, and sunscreen in the air. I love the music. I love the little science town where the kids play with water and look at Gila monsters. And I love connecting with other authors! The highlights for me were Bob Proehl, who wrote A Hundred Thousand Worlds (which I listened to on Audible and loved so much that I bought the hardcover and read it again), and James Dashner, who wrote the Maze Runner series (which I haven’t finished but am loving so far!) There was so much I wanted to ask and share with these two, but you know how it goes. When you meet people you look up to, you forget your own name. Basically, even after you’re published, you never stop being a fanboy/fangirl!
Oh, and did I mention food? Gelato is my tradition, but I also had to get one of these amazing chicken-on-a-stick things. Like, how can chicken be so tender without being a chicken tender? I’m legitimately curious.
Anyway, that’s the quick version of a long weekend that I will cherish forever! I’m already marking TFoB 2018 on my calendar, and if you’re a lover of books, food, authors, music, or sunshine, I hope to see you there!