Where: Encinitas Branch Library
540 Cornish Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
When: Saturday November 10, 2012
I spent the afternoon of Saturday, November 10th in YA paradise. I was surrounded by wonderful authors and readers just as over-the-top excited as I was. I learned about, “YA in the Sun,” while browsing through the events calendar on the Mysterious Galaxy website. When I read “Celebrate Young Adult literature with local authors, fans, and friends,” and saw the long list of featured authors, I was convinced I could not miss out on such a fantastic opportunity. (The full list of authors can be found at the end of this article). The event took place at the beautiful Encinitas Library. Since I arrived about two hours early I had some time to explore the library. I have to admit I was surprised by just how beautiful the library is. It has an ocean view, for goodness’ sake!
Once the event got started, I was also surprised by the small group of attendees. I arrived prepared to shove people out of my way in order to get my fair share of the writers’ attention. Fortunately, no shoving was necessary since I was able to interact with all of them. The small number of guests made for a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. Attendees received an autograph keepsake, which made it very easy to get signatures. The festivities started with some bonding time between writers and readers. We were all set loose and allowed to interact with one another. It all felt incredibly friendly and personal. I approached Shannon Messenger first and by immediately cracking a joke, she paved the way for a wonderful afternoon fawning over authors. Everyone was approachable, lovely, and just plain amazing. I learned about writers previously unknown to me, and let’s just say that my book list grew exponentially. After funny pictures were taken and the initial mingling was finished, writers took turns answering questions and signing books. Throughout the event there were raffles and piles of books were given away (some of them were advanced reading copies of books that have not yet been released).
In the end, I was left with a feeling of immense satisfaction. I got several books signed. I received hugs from Nancy Holder and Cindy Pon . Leigh Bardugo gave me a beautiful Grisha Trilogy poster and some nail polish. I got Marie Lu to sign my copy of her book for the second time. Jessica Brody and I bonded over the fact that I am dying for a copy of her upcoming book (Unremembered). I also learned that Shannon Messenger is a wonderful artist, and that Tone Milazzo takes very funny pictures. I got plenty of swag, and ended up winning a copy of Andrew Smith’s Ghost Medicine. As I was leaving the event, and the live music was playing, I thought about a nice conversation I had with Gretchen McNeil. She stated that making it as a writer is an extremely humbling experience, and that got me thinking, is that why everyone there was absolutely delightful? Who knows, maybe YA authors are just naturally predisposed to be awesome (we can only be certain after extensive genetic testing).
Interacting with authors, learning about them, their books, and their upcoming projects was a book addict’s delight. I left with a long list of new books that I am excited to explore. Mysterious Galaxy was the onsite book seller, and I have to admit that they left with a good amount of my cash—I tell you, they just will not stop enabling my book-addiction! Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I learned that if you get YA authors together, fun is bound to ensue. I was greatly impressed by all of the featured authors. It was clear that each and every one of them is very appreciative of their readers. I was also reminded of why I am such a huge fan of the YA genre: it is a fun and close-knit community.Writers and readers of YA literature are not afraid to get overly excited about the things they love, and that, my friends, is the recipe for fun. According to the official, “YA in the Sun” Facebook page, there will be another event next year. They can count me in! In fact, if the world does end in December, I will be furious I had to miss the next YA in the Sun event.